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Forward 50 2017

Emily Shire

Starting The Debate On Zionism And Feminism

Emily Shire’s Twitter bio says it all — combining pride in Israel, feminism and femininity, too: “My high school yearbook quotes were of Golda Meir and Carrie Bradshaw.”

Shire, a 27-year-old law school student and contributor to the Forward, became a voice for young feminist Zionists when she published an essay in The New York Times passionately opposing those feminist activists who excluded Zionists from marches taking place on International Women’s Day.

“As a proud and outspoken feminist who champions reproductive rights, equal pay, increased female representation in all levels of government and policies to combat violence against women, I would like to feel there is a place for me in the strike,” she wrote. “However, as someone who is also a Zionist, I am not certain there is.”

Her argument sparked a storm on social media.

“It got way more attention than I expected,” she said. “It felt like a niche issue, but I was surprised that people seemed to care enough. Many American Jewish women are icons of the feminist movement, and we think it’s a space that we’re comfortable in, and that it should go hand in hand with Jewish values.”

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