How it all began…

As we celebrate the blog’s third anniversary, it seems an appropriate time to stop and reflect on where it began and where it has taken us.

We were having a silly conversation online (as we are apt to do) when Jessica showed Melissa a happy little image of a bird and a giraffe – the animals that we each have a particular affinity for respectively. It was so cute that it was determined that we had to do something with it. We threw around a few ideas and decided a blog would be fun – we both like writing and had some time on our hands. Ok, so that would be the project, but what would we write about? Well, both of our husbands were seriously looking at options for rabbinical school and neither of us felt like we  knew what that path was going to look like – for them or us, and so – we had a topic. We wanted a catchy name that didn’t seem to be in use… Thus Redefining Rebbetzin was born.

We had some inspirations in a few other fabulous Jewish female bloggers at the start, and many more we met along the way. We have formed connections with Rabbis, Rebbetzins, and a host of other amazing people. We have shared our ups and downs, twists and turns, musings and challenges – and have so much more to experience! We wondered if anyone would read our blog and how long it would last. We had no idea what the path was going to look like, but we thought it would be fun to explore. And if nothing else, it has definitely been fun.

At this point, we still have a long way to go, but isn’t the journey the fun part? Thanks for sharing our journey with us.

A Call for Guest Posts

We have realized lately that we let something slide that we really wanted to incorporate as a regular part of the blog, and so today we are brining it back up: Guest posts!

We are particularly interested in hearing stories from people who are married to rabbis who feel like they have something interesting to contribute to the collective redefinition of the term “rebbetzin.” Whether it is because of how you embrace your role, your fit into your movement, or any other reason – shoot us an email! We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Additionally, if you a Jewish woman with an interesting interaction with mikvah or hair covering, we’d love to hear that too. Those are topics which our readership has shown to respond to and we’d love to give them more!

If you have something else to say that you think fits with what we are doing, feel free to tell us about that and we’ll see if we can incorporate it. If not, we may be able to make some suggestions of other places to share those insights.

Chag Sameach v’Kasher!

Just wanted to take a break from our cooking frenzies to wish you all a happy, healthy, and kosher Passover.

As you think about our ancestors leaving Mitrayim, and trying to identify that you too went out of Egypt, take a moment to think about difficult experiences in your own life which you have grown from in the past and where you have opportunity to free yourselves in your life now.

May this week be filled with growth as we truly embrace our freedoms.

 

 

Oh, and just in case you missed it, Passover Rhapsody – one of the best holiday viral videos ever.

We’re Two Today!


Just a quick note to mark the occasion of Redefining Rebbetzin’s second year! When Melissa & I started this blog two years ago, we were both in dramatically different places in our lives and our Judaism. It is both hard to believe that it has already been two years and that it has only been two years! Thank you for sharing that journey with us and for being so supportive of us!

As we celebrate our second year with you, I wanted to also bring attention to a lovely little girl who, after a long struggle with a rare bone marrow disorder, only had two years on Earth – Ayelet Galena. You can read her full story here – Eye on Ayelet, but in her memory, her parents are asking for donations to two specific organizations.

Donations in Ayelet’s memory can be made to:

1. Gift of Life 

2.Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Bone Marrow Transplant Unit 

We love sharing our lives with you and look forward to many more years of blogging!

Stop SOPA – Prevent PIPA

As I am sure you have noticed, the internet is a little odd today.

Many websites have essentially shut-down in protest to SOPA and PIPA – two congressional bills which would censor the internet.  They are designed to fight piracy, but wind up fighting freedom of speech and I would be remiss in my blogista-ness to not share with you all about it.

To learn more and to sign the petition please visit: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

Also, write your congress people! http://sopastrike.com/strike

 

Have more links where people can get involved?  Please post them in the comments!

2011 in review

For some reason, these things really amuse me so I wanted to share it with you all! :) Here is WordPress’ official year in review of Redefining Rebbetzin.  My own personal one will come later.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

i AM beautiful

A friend of ours recently shared the “I am beautiful” project with us.  After we both decided to participate, we also decided to post them together with some reflections here.  We invite you to also join in the project and proudly declare your beauty!

Jess’s experience:

Jessica

I loved the idea of the project, even as I was unclear about when I would have time to take a picture and post it. Graduate school is not for the weak, nor the time-management challenged! I wanted it to be a real reflection of the way I look – and as it turned out, even the location is reflective. In the background, you’ll notice the lovely interior of a cafe on the campus of NYU. The group for my management class paper meets here once a week. Seizing the time between that meeting and class, here is a real picture of what I really look like about 90% of the time. It’s a new sweater I got on sale at Old Navy, and my hat that I made last year, and no make up and a little disheveled. But I still feel good in my skin and like the way I look. And that’s really important!

Also, my PSA for today – ladies, go get your annual checkup with your gynecologist. Don’t let it be an emergency that gets you there. You have to take care of yourselves and that means regular checkups. You’d want every family member you love to be checked – so do it for yourself! I did mine today. A little uncomfortable? Yes. Important? Yes! Okay, I’m done with my soapbox now!

Mel’s experience:

Melissa

I was a bit apprehensive about actually posting this, but alas, here we are.  When I first heard about the project, I was all in – then as I realized it meant embracing who I am I rethought how I was going to approach the project.  I realized that I needed to do it without changing how I looked.  To me, it was about my inner beauty and the beauty in who I am naturally, not just when I’m dressed well and wearing makeup, but who I am after walking to and from a long and busy day at work, when I got ready in hurry and lots more excuses.  It was about embracing who I am and where I come from and where I’m going. Life is a journey, and gosh darn it, I am beautiful while I travel through it!

Slach Lanu and Gmar Chatima Tova

As the beginning of Yom Kippur draws near, we just want to take one final moment to connect with you all.

We are so grateful for this journey and hope you will all continue to join us as the year ahead just takes us to more new places – religiously, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

We would like to ask your forgiveness for anything we may have said (either written or verbal) or done (intentionally or unintentionally) which has negatively affected your life in any way this past year. While a mass post is hardly the way to truly convey this message, we hope it will suffice and we can all forgive one another and enter the new year with no lingering qualms or regrets.  Slach lanu.

We hope and pray that you will all be written and sealed for a year of life.  But not just of life, but of truly living. Gmar chatima tova.

May you have an easy and (more importantly) meaningful fast.  Tzom kal.

 

 

Shana Tova!

We are busy getting ready to celebrate Rosh Hashana with friends and family, but wanted to take a moment to share the holiday with our blog family too.  We want to wish you all a year of health, happiness, prosperity, love and fulfillment.

May you all be written and sealed in the book of life.

We also wanted to do a quick Rosh Hashana Video Roundup, so without further ado the new videos for this year!

The Maccabeats – Book of Good Life (Mel’s favorite)

Fountainheads – Dip Your Apple (Jess’s favorite)

Aish – Rosh Hashana Rock Anthem

JewInTheCity - The Apple iDip (Happy New Year!)

G-dcast -Shofar Callin’: The Rosh Hashanah song

Global Shofar Flashmob

Ok, this one is so not new, but it makes us laugh every time, so we couldn’t resist!
  L’Shana Tova u’Metukah!
  To a good and sweet new year!
  Jessica (& R) and Melissa (& D)