From the Back of the Room: The Jewish Working Class

Do we as a community know the difference between helping someone and respecting them? Tova Stabin looks to the cases of the Mishkan and King Solomon’s temple. How do they serve as a Jewish model for how we treat our poor and working class Jews and as a example of a kind of inclusion that honors and respects the gifts of all of us.

Tova Stabin is an Ashkenazi lesbian feminist from a working-class family. She’s a writer, activist, educator and librarian. She’s been published in anthologies such as Best Jewish Writing, Award Winning Poems on the Jewish Experience, Queerly Classed, and many print and online publications. She was long time editor of Bridges: A Journal for Jewish Feminists and our Friends. She creates diversity trainings, and workshops and talks on topics ranging from Jewish Women Poets to Whose Class Is It? She has a Masters of Library and Information Science, a Master’s Certificate in Integrative Administration, and BA’s in English and Women’s Studies. Her awards include a Jewish Women’s Research Award from Brandeis; Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship; Rosenberg International Award for Poetry on the Jewish experience; and Eugene Human Rights award. She is an active member of Temple Beth Israel where she gives D’vrei Torah. Born and raised in Brooklyn in a multi-generational family with conservative Jews on one side and secular communists on the other, she now lives in Oregon with her partner (and now spouse) of thirty years. They are the proud parents of a son who is a professional ballet dancer.

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