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Celebrating The Power of Jewish Women


March is Women’s History Month. Our Jewish community and our Federation celebrate the power and influence of Jewish women every day.Women are central to who we are as a people and have been since our very founding. While Abraham cowered before a glaring God, it was Sarah who cocked her head back and taught us to laugh.
While Isaac followed faith blindly, it was Rebecca who moved the covenant forward. While Amram decided to give up Moses to the Nile River, it was Yocheved and Miriam who ensured Moses made it safely into the arms of Pharoah’s daughter.Women stand at the center of Jewish life, giving us wisdom, preserving our traditions, and weaving our precious values into our homes, workplaces, and communal spaces.
At our Federation, we very proudly celebrate the leadership and power of women. The majority of our workforce are women, three of our five Executive Staff are women, the majority of our Senior Vice Presidents are women, our Chair of the Board is a woman, and three of our five Vice Chairs of the Board are women. Jewish women have always stood at the center of all that we do as a Federation and as a community.This is why I am so devastated that the world seems indifferent to the plight of Jewish women.
After the October 7th massacre, where hundreds of women were assaulted, raped, tortured, and kidnapped, women’s advocacy groups around the globe were silent. Many of the women hostages who have been freed have reported sexual abuse in captivity. As of today, there are still 19 women and girls held hostage in Gaza.We are proud to partner with The Civil Commission on October 7th Crimes by Hamas Against Women and Children — led by international scholar and expert Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy — which advocates on behalf of all Jewish women.
Perhaps the most harrowing lesson of this month’s Purim story is that Esther, who began as a sexual object in the eyes of King Achashverosh, becomes the heroine and vehicle of liberation of the Jewish people. Like the matriarchs before her, Esther upends the status quo and shows the power of Jewish women as fighters, liberators, and agents of transformation.This month, join me in putting our shared Jewish values of courage and compassion in action as we celebrate the Jewish women in our lives, and pray for the safe return of those still held in captivity.
Am Yisrael Chai, R’ Noah Farkas

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