Nearly 200 Jewish college women from across the United States joined together on April 23 at the Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Hillel Center at the University of Maryland for a weekend of celebration to explore gender issues in a Jewish context. The weekend concluded with the participants joining thousands to attend the national March for Women's Lives in Washington, D.C.
"The weekend helped build community and foster dialogue," said Liz Rutzick, senior Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellow. "These discussions demonstrated that the Jewish community is committed to addressing the concerns of contemporary Jewish women."
The weekend began with keynote speaker Susan Weidman Schneider, founder and editor of Lilith Magazine, who kicked off the conference by talking about the choices and issues facing Jewish women today.
On Saturday there was a series of workshops addressing Jewish perspectives on women's issues such as abortion; political activism; body consciousness; domestic violence/rape; and gender constructs. The workshops were led by the Feminist Majority, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, an eating disorders specialist from the University of Maryland, and a representative from the New York City Mayor's Office.
This program was made possible in part through a grant from the Kolker-Saxon Hallock Engagement Grant and a Student Initiatives Grant. It was organized by the senior Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellows, recent college graduates who work on college campuses across North America.
The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, is committed to creatively empowering and engaging Jewish students through its network of over 500 campus Foundations, Program Centers and affiliates. Its long-standing dedication to building Jewish identity, while nurturing intellectual and spiritual growth in a pluralistic community, positions Hillel as a leader in building a stronger Jewish people and stronger Jewish future.
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