From Eva to Amy

Women in Judaism

Jewish Week Dresden 2023

The role of women in cultural Judaism has changed dramatically. While their tasks were still limited to the family sphere from antiquity, there were exceptions such as the prophetess Miriam, who was known as a musician and dancer and played an important role in the exodus of the Jewish people.

In 19. and In the 20th century, more and more Jewish women emerged as artists and intellectuals. Well-known examples are the Austrian composer, musician and writer Alma Mahler-Werfel, the political theorist and philosopher Hannah Arendt, the English writer Grace Aguilar or the Israeli singer and songwriter Chava Alberstein. Their contributions have enriched cultural Judaism, but challenges remain in terms of women’s visibility and recognition. Equality and equal opportunities are of essential importance today in the development of modern Jewish identities.

Managing Director Cornelia Vranceanu explains: “However, the women of the festival are not only active on stage, but also in the organization of the Jewish Week. From the association’s board of directors to the management of the business to our many volunteers, it is the women who give Jewish Week a distinctly female orientation.”

The Jewish Week Dresden therefore takes up this theme and opens the festival with the Ensemble Canelle, which interprets hits and chansons of the 1920s. Female identities, such as those of mother, daughter, sister, lover, muse, femme fatale and even the babushka, are musically celebrated by the great singer Karolina Trybała. These songs have already inspired audiences between the two world wars from Odessa, Krakow, Berlin, Paris to New York and show the role of women in the context of the social and political change of this time.

We are also looking forward to the Jewish-Spanish vocal artist Yael Badash, who reinterprets classical Ladino works and translates migration from the Middle East, Spain and Africa intensively and with an unadulterated, moving voice into a magical world of sound. A special highlight is the award-winning one-person play “Living the dream with grandma” by the Hungarian artist László Göndör. His unique multimedia work shows him and his beloved grandmother as they are forced to move in together during the Corona lockdown in Budapest and together they overcome his modern identity crisis and her Holocoust trauma.

Other highlights of the festival will be the Jewish Ball with the British star ensemble She’Koyokh, as well as the concert of the Israeli rapper Sharon at the Old Betting Shop. A documentary film about (sexual) oppression using the example of five women who break through the patriarchal system in their own way, as well as a lecture on the world’s first female rabbi and her work in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.

We are looking forward to an exciting festival

Cornelia Vranceanu and the entire festival team