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Digest: Virtual Plastic Surgery and a Bar Refaeli Boycott

The Sisterhood Digest:

• The recently released results of an Orthodox Union survey seem to indicate that Orthodox Jewish women have happier marriages than married women in the general U.S. population. Some 74% of women responding to the O.U.’s online poll characterized their marriages as “excellent/very good.” Compare that to the National Marriage Project 2009 poll, in which 60% of American women reported that their marriages to be “very happy.”

• Over at DoubleX, Melissa Meltzer reports on two new iPhone apps that offer virtual plastic surgery. Don’t like your nose or ears or cheeks, but afraid to go under the knife? No problem. The applications iSurgeon ($2.99) or NewBeauty ($4.99) can test drive the new you — no anesthesia required. “After giving myself a rhinoplasty, chin implants, an eyebrow lift, and cheek implants,” Meltzer writes, “I looked like a cross between a cat and an elf.”

• When you’re done squinting at your elf-self, check out Mae Singerman’s blog post over at, in which she writes about Matzah Ball organizers giving out her contact information to clinic that performs cosmetic surgery.

• On the 37th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, legalizing abortion, the Jewish Women’s Archive’s Judith Rosenbaum — taking part in NARAL’s Blog for Choice Day — writes about the Jewish women of Brownsville, Brooklyn, who were among the first to visit Margaret Sanger’s inaugural birth control clinic. The blog’s Leah Berkenwald also has an interview with women’s and reproductive rights advocate Gloria Feldt.

• In Saudi Arabia, 100 lashings are scheduled for the victim of a rape. A Filipino woman, raped by a coworker in August, was “caught” by government officials, when they discovered she was pregnant. She’s been incarcerated since September and miscarried in December. Middle East blogger Neal Ungerleider writes: “The Saudi interpretation of Sharia law does not allow pregnant women to be lashed. However, now that Camille is no longer pregnant, she may be lashed at any time by the government. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs reports that the sentence will be carried out this month.”

• Illinois state representative Julie Hamos, the Budapest-born daughter of Holocaust survivors, is running to represent Illinois’ 10th District — comprising Chicago’s northern suburbs — in the U.S. House of Representatives. She faces marketing consultant Dan Seals in the February 2 Democratic primary.

• Rabbi Naamah Kelman, who has served since the summer as the Dean of Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem, in a lengthy interview with the Jerusalem Post, said that the Israeli press has all-but-ignored the recent Women of the Wall arrests. Kelman, who made history in 1992 when she was the first woman ever to be ordained in Israel, said: “I’m bewildered that the Israeli press has pretty much ignored the Women of the Wall story, including [the January 5] fingerprinting of [executive director of the Israel Religious Action Center] Anat Hoffman. I’m not even talking about the opinion; I don’t care. But just cover the story, OK? Whereas changing Jay Leno’s TV time slot has got much more coverage in Israel in the press.”

• An Israeli Army General has turned his wrath on one of his own: supermodel Bar Refaeli. Major General Avi Zamir is reportedly accusing Refaeli — a cover girl for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and the on-again off-again girlfriend of actor Leonardo DiCaprio — of dodging her military service by marrying (and then quickly divorcing) an older family friend when she turned 18. (Israeli law exempts married women from service.) Zamir called on Israelis to boycott any products that Refaeli endorses. As Carrie Goldberg writes at Jewcy: “C’mon Maj. Gen. Zamir – don’t hate Bar cause she’s beautiful.”


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