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Susannah R. Cohen

Little girl wearing a superhero mask and boxing gloves

Today, on Thursday, March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day. The history of this celebration is surprisingly radical: the first occurrence was on February 28, 1909, in New York. Established by a Jewish labor and women’s rights activist, the day was created to recognize women’s contributions and promote women’s suffrage within the Socialist Party of America. This has since spread throughout the world with the guidance of the United Nations.

The United Nations selects different themes each year, and this year, it has chosen “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming...

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Young girl in superhero costume

This piece originally ran as a Strategies for Sisterhood Success item in Women of Reform Judaism's Weekly Digest newsletter.

On Thursday, March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day. The history of this celebration is surprisingly radical: the first occurrence was on February 28, 1909, in New York. Established by a Jewish labor and women’s rights activist, the day was created to recognize women’s contributions and promote women’s suffrage within the Socialist Party of America. This has since spread throughout the world with the guidance of the United Nations. The UN has...

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Supreme Court

On Monday, February 26, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Many are deeming Janus to be the most important labor case in recent memory. Why is it so significant?

Background: Abood v. Detroit Board of Education The decision in Janus could change the way that unions work, and specifically how they collect money from the employees they represent. The foundational case governing this area of law is the 1976 Supreme Court decision of Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. In this...

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Monday, January 22nd, marks the 45th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, Roe v. Wade. 

In the last few months, my thoughts on the status of women have largely fallen into two categories: the current push to allow individuals and organizations to opt out of offering medical services like abortion and birth control if they have religious or moral objections, and the intense cultural and media conversation on sexual harassment and assault, often referred to as the #MeToo movement. At first look, these issues seem fairly disparate, linked only in that they both...

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Woman with hands over her face as if distraught

The last few weeks have brought an onslaught of stories exposing powerful men committing various acts of sexual violence against women. So many stories have arisen that there are now stories tracking the number of stories, an unyielding and deeply sad reminder that women are often not safe in their own bodies.

When I turn to our sacred texts for guidance about this issue, I am forced to confront our long history of gender-based violence, evident in the many instances of sexual violence perpetrated against women in our own tradition. For many, myself included, the rape of Dinah...

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