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Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology (Revised and Updated Edition)

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A stunning collection of angry, bitter, proud, and joyful writing - poetry, stories, history, analysis, autobiography - on Jewish lesbian identity. With a new section on mother/daughter relationships, new and updated material on Israel, and new poetry and photographs.


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A stunning collection of angry, bitter, proud, and joyful writing - poetry, stories, history, analysis, autobiography - on Jewish lesbian identity. With a new section on mother/daughter relationships, new and updated material on Israel, and new poetry and photographs.

30 review for Nice Jewish Girls: A Lesbian Anthology (Revised and Updated Edition)

  1. 4 out of 5

    sæfaɪɚ

    I really, really loved this book. I loved the sense of being deep into an anthology that was so catered to my experiences in the world as a Jewish lesbian, to experiences like mine. There were many themes in here I had felt for years... but somehow had never consciously realized that, of course, other Jewish dykes exist! And may feel the same way. Things like: How, as a 3rd generation descendent of still-living Holocaust survivors and as a Jewish woman, the familial pressure to have children and I really, really loved this book. I loved the sense of being deep into an anthology that was so catered to my experiences in the world as a Jewish lesbian, to experiences like mine. There were many themes in here I had felt for years... but somehow had never consciously realized that, of course, other Jewish dykes exist! And may feel the same way. Things like: How, as a 3rd generation descendent of still-living Holocaust survivors and as a Jewish woman, the familial pressure to have children and provide another generation, named after our ancestors, is strong. Or, how as an Israeli-born woman, I feel distinctly judged for my short hair and lack of feminine presentation, misgendered despite being quite obviously female. Or, ties between how as a Jewish woman and as a lesbian, I am seen as pushy, domineering. Or, how the word "lesbit" in Hebrew always felt dirty in my mouth, "feministit" just awkward; how our language is not built for us. How Israeli and Jewish views of womanhood complicate my life. That sense that how safe I feel in Jewish spaces/in Israel as a Jew and how safe I feel in women's spaces/surrounded by dykes as a lesbian have something in common. And that often, each space lacks what the other holds for me. I knew these things. I'd thought about them. I'd talked about them. Not always as Jewish experiences, but just as my life... Seeing them written, articulated by other Jewish lesbians, written in this book published nearly a decade before I was even born... something about that was really powerful to me. This book gave me a lot of comfort and sense of belonging, and context for understanding my own life, putting things together in a way that clicks for me. And, as an aside, there was even a photograph of a Jewish lesbian in this book who shares my name--talk about representation! The only thought I have is that I would love to have seen a sabra (sabrit) Israeli dyke featured here. Even an Americanized/expat type, but just... someone with an Israeli family, with those expectations, with Hebrew, that heavily gendered and religious language, forming her reality. I think that might have been harder to coordinate in the early 1980's, so it's not really a criticism... but if there were ever a second anthology, I'd really hope to see Israeli women talk about Israeli lesbian experiences too, not just, as fascinating and relevant to me as they were to me, the experiences of American women who had lived in Israel.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nate Merrill

    Most of the I/P stuff is very dated, but still interesting and worth reading. The antisemitism and homophobia stuffis very good, and definitely still relevant today. Irena Klepfisz and Melanie Kaye-Kantrowitz z"l especially remain essential reading. Most of the I/P stuff is very dated, but still interesting and worth reading. The antisemitism and homophobia stuffis very good, and definitely still relevant today. Irena Klepfisz and Melanie Kaye-Kantrowitz z"l especially remain essential reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Abi

    a classic. a must read for Jewish Lesbians and the people that love them.

  4. 4 out of 5

    ashes ➷

    This was great! Good vintage Jewish lesbian read, which isn't something I get to say often. Definitely still timely; not much I can say beyond that... I just definitely appreciate it. This was great! Good vintage Jewish lesbian read, which isn't something I get to say often. Definitely still timely; not much I can say beyond that... I just definitely appreciate it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    pleased to announce that a good, like, nine months after i 1. found this at the hyde park used book sale but didn't buy it because i was just briefly stopping by, not making my Big Haul Purchase 2. made two friends (gay male allies, one could say) hide it for me so no one else would snag it in my absence 3. made a photo of me holding this book my twitter icon after my sister took said photo at a dessert potluck my apartment hosted, i actually read this book. it's...what you would expect of a jew pleased to announce that a good, like, nine months after i 1. found this at the hyde park used book sale but didn't buy it because i was just briefly stopping by, not making my Big Haul Purchase 2. made two friends (gay male allies, one could say) hide it for me so no one else would snag it in my absence 3. made a photo of me holding this book my twitter icon after my sister took said photo at a dessert potluck my apartment hosted, i actually read this book. it's...what you would expect of a jewish lesbian anthology from the eighties, as specific as that might seem: something close to but vastly different from a sort of jewish lesbian life now, cute, entertaining, fascinating lives, valuable as history & not really as living guide. the opinions of israel/level of zionist commitment here were rather...unexpectedly positive/high, but that may just be 2017 speaking. all the same, the more-than-once-expressed opinion that one can't disentangle anti-zionism and anti-semitism was startling & disappointing—i pin this on the majority perspective of ashkenazi jews with living experiences of the holocaust & holocaust-related trauma, which somehow as a Dumb Millennial i didn't realize an adult in the 1980s could have...been in and survived. a welcome attempt to attend to the experiences of non-ashkenazi jews & jews of color. some embarrassing fiction. some very embarrassing poetry. (even the irena klepfizs, who i read in a class once and seemed pretty good then. one wishes the adrienne rich essay were accompanied by poetry!) et cetera.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hal Schrieve

    I read one of the earlier editions of this book, from the 1970s. It's an incredible historical document, and--thrillingly --includes fairly early work by writers like Adrienne Rich and Elana Dykewomon that would become even more prominent in their circles over the coming generations. In the early edition I read many of the contributors were Holocaust survivors or people whose families had immigrated in the years immediately preceding ; there are also some contributors from Arab countries whose f I read one of the earlier editions of this book, from the 1970s. It's an incredible historical document, and--thrillingly --includes fairly early work by writers like Adrienne Rich and Elana Dykewomon that would become even more prominent in their circles over the coming generations. In the early edition I read many of the contributors were Holocaust survivors or people whose families had immigrated in the years immediately preceding ; there are also some contributors from Arab countries whose families fled in the wake of anti-Jewish measures their states enacted in the wake of Israel's founding. In addition, there are a couple contributions from black Jewish women. Because the volume I read was from the 1970s, its politics concerning Israel have a markedly different tone, which is useful for me, for context. It's an incredible book that tries to do a lot of things with itself . It doesn't cover all ground , and many of its contributors have been the subject of heated debate and scrutiny, many for good reason, but it was important when it was written and is equally vital now.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Elianna

    One of the best books I have ever read. If you want to learn more about the History of intersectionality, I highly suggest this book. It offers a wide variety of stories and personal anecdotes on the history of intersectionality before intersectionality was even a term.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dear

    Though dated, I absolutely loved this anthology. I loved reading about the history of my community and being able to relate to so much of it. A worthwhile read.

  9. 5 out of 5

    l.

    I skipped the part on Israel. Some really great essays.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Kaufman

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Leila B.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  14. 4 out of 5

    Just Me

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katsura Katsura

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clare Deborah

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Mishap

    Excellent. Read it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zach

  19. 5 out of 5

    Liobhan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Snodgrass

  21. 5 out of 5

    TheGabi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cris

  23. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meg

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Whisner

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  27. 4 out of 5

    Neelybat

  28. 4 out of 5

    Neo Caduceus

  29. 5 out of 5

    Isa

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth Grobman

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