Remembering RBG, A Jewish American Feminist Icon

As a Jewish woman living in America there are few female icons that compare to the inspiration that was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Growing up in a conservative Jewish family where my synagogue became my second home of sorts, Judaism has always been an integral part of my identity. I have constantly been surrounded by strong Jewish women who have taught me to have empathy, a strong will, and maintain my authenticity above all else.

Reading RBG's biography "My Own Words" on Memorial Glade last year
Reading RBG’s biography “My Own Words” on Memorial Glade last year

 It was my great grandmother, an integral part of my local Jewish community, who would always tell me how important it was to do a good deed, not for the purpose of recognition or something in return, but solely to be a good person. Having so many female role models both in my own Jewish community, and in the larger Jewish world, is not necessarily a coincidence, but highlights a fundamental aspect of Judaism that is widely appreciated by the mass amounts of Jews that identify as culturally Jewish rather than religiously so. In my adult life I have realized that I fall in this category myself and that the reason I have been drawn to so many Jewish spaces is the underlying value of tikkun olam or “repairing the world”. Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself expressed a very similar sentiment in her 2017 Rosh Hashanah visit to a historic synagogue in Washington D.C., “The Jewish religion is an ethical religion. That is, we are taught to do right, to love mercy, do justice, not because there’s gonna be any reward in heaven or punishment in hell. We live righteously because that’s how people should live and not anticipating any award in the hereafter.” Upon the passing of Justice Ginsburg the entire country lost an incredible feminist and progressive icon, and the Jewish community lost a woman who embodied Jewish values and used them to change the world. read more

Robert Reich’s Wealth and Poverty Class: COVID-19 Edition

Each time you ask a Berkeley student the golden question, why Berkeley? Or maybe just asking what they love most about the university, you’ll end up finding a different answer. To me, that might be one of my favorite things about this campus — the fact that there can be 40,000 students learning in a single environment and each individual can walk away with a unique Berkeley story. When I walked onto campus as a student for the first time I had never been a very politically active person and tended to shy away from politically charged discussions for fear I wasn’t educated enough or simply wishing to avoid conflict. Therefore, what drew me to Berkeley wasn’t necessarily the political history and progressiveness of our campus, but instead the academic environment and the opportunities I might find learning under experts in the fields of science and medicine that I was studying. Of course, I did end up finding myself in general chemistry lecture halls named after Berkeley professors who have paved the way for modern science and being taught by pioneers in the field; however, what solidified my Berkeley story and my own personal growth was something entirely different.  read more

Who are you

I think one of the most important questions in college is to figure out who you are. I’m personally from a very sexist region. When I was young, people constantly told me that because I’m a girl, I would never achieve great things. Even though I tried really hard during high school and got into Berkeley, I still don’t have a lot of confidence in myself.

During the first week of school, I saw so many people going to different social events. I was scared. I am not a very social person and I tend to be very shy when I meet people for the first time. However, I thought I was supposed to follow the crowds and pretend that I’m a social person in order to join as many events as possible. read more

Beautiful Minds

Beautiful Minds

When I came to Cal Day last year as an anxious senior in high school trying to decide on which school to commit to, I was waiting for that one wow factor to solidify my decision. Walking along Sproul and talking to Cal students from all parts of the world really opened my eyes. I knew right then that I could never pass up this opportunity to learn alongside such diverse people and take advantage of the wide range of perspectives.

In my time here at Cal, I have to say that the one thing I love most and eagerly look forward to everyday is meeting new people. I never would have imagined that my best friend would be a student from Southern California studying Integrative Biology but also actively seeking to understand the bridge between society and language, or that my roommate would be an international student from Turkey with more to say about feminism than your average American protestor. Just the other day I was at Golden Bear Cafe and I met someone in the line who had actually met with President Obama and Michelle Obama for a youth conference. We purchased our coffees and ended up talking outside for an hour about the major flaws in the American healthcare system. read more