Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Newsletter: April 6, 2006

“I was ahead in the slalom. But in the second run, everyone fell on a dangerous spot. I was beaten by a woman who got up faster than I did. I learned that people fall down, winners get up and Gold Medal winners just get up faster.” ~Bonnie St. John

(*see story below)


Thank all of you who have sent me dangly earring stories. Please keep sending them to In case you missed the metaphor, I revealed in a previous newsletter that one of my declarations of independence a year ago was to get my ears pierced for the first time in my life so I can wear beautiful dangly earrings. Many readers responded with their own stories. I’m going to share some stories with you, starting with this one from David Nova:

I don't have any dangling earring stories for you, but I do have an excerpt from a speech I gave for AAUW regarding violence against women. The speech began with the following:
When I was a junior at
Vassar College, a student was raped on the campus grounds. A few days later …(click for more)

No Temple in Temple

I am very excited about my next two speeches (see column on right) because I get to talk about something near and dear to my heart. I will tell my personal story of growing up, yes, in Temple TX, where there was no temple, and later farther west in the "Last Picture Show"-like town of Stamford TX.

My sometimes painful and sometimes funny experiences as one of a small minority and sometimes the only Jewish family in town, was the impetus for my commitment to social justice and led me to my life's work for civil rights, including women's reproductive rights.

My desire to be an all-American girl (just like everybody else I knew) coupled with a minimally observant family life led me away from Judaism at first. But when my children were told by neighbors that they had black hearts because they hadn't been saved, I studied world religions, decided to embrace my own Jewish religion, became active in the small synagogue serving a 100-mile radius in West Texas, and began to truly value the source of my passion for repairing the world, Tikkun Olam.

There’s a new blog in town. Check out

Upcoming speeches

Special Conference Guest Speaker. “Civil Rights/Women’s Rights”

Hadassah Southern Region Spring Conference

April 23, Chattanooga TN

Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel (can you believe that?)

Keynote speaker: “There was No Temple in Temple: What Growing up Jewish in Small-Town Texas Taught Me About Leadership and Tikkun Olam”

Jewish Federation of Valley Alliance. Followed by book signing.

El Caballero Country Club

April 28, Tarzana CA

Bang Those Pots and Keep This Movement Moving
On International Women's Day, Gloria Feldt looks back to a recent high-tide of activism at the Beijing global conference on women just over 10 years ago. Now more than ever, she says, we need to tap that same spirit of conviction.

Click here to read my commentary on Women’s e-News

The Battle to Ban Birth Control
Click here to read a great article exposing the attacks on birth control

*Bonnie St. John was the overall second fastest woman skier in the world on one leg in 1984 and the first African-American to win Olympic medals in skiing.

The quote at the top of this newsletter will be featured on Starbucks cups this fall. For more information click here.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006