Whether it’s painting the city’s walls with Hollywood pinups and 3-D collages, exposing the well-oiled woman powered machinery behind Start Up Nation, or shaking up cocktails behind the bar, Israeli women–and women in general–are badasses, plain and simple. It’s time we give these women the recognition they deserve. After all, the future is female, and so is the present.
Progression in pink
The only constant is change: organizations across Israel that support LGBTQ awareness and acceptance
Browsing through this list of hubs empowering women, it becomes obvious that Israel has always been a safe place for women, whether it be within a religious or secular society. Our girls have always stood up for themselves–and for others who need support. God is Love Bat Kol is an organization for religious lesbians that was founded back in 2005 – mostly by women who wished not give up religion or their sexual identity. Once a home for struggling ladies, it is now a growing community that champions the same values: making it possible for women to live in loving relationships, raise children, and stay close to the traditions of Judaism. Orthodox rabbis, respected professors and important community members all support Bat Kol, and believe that education for tolerance and acceptance is the main tool for creating a bridge between spirituality and sexual orientation. (bat-kol.org) Proud and Palestinian ASWAT is the sole group of openly lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning and queer Palestinian women – an organization founded in 2002 by women who believe that a safe, supportive and empowering space is a must for all who struggle with identity issues, discrimination, or hatred. Social and political questions and answers are put on the table. As a minority living in Israel, as women in a patriarchal society, and as LBTQI women in a wider heteronormative culture, there is a lot that connects these special women. Their goal? Working towards promoting women's
Lady Sings The Blues
Empress of Empowerment: an interview with A-WA's Tair Haim
From the first time A-WA hit the stage, the three Yemenite sisters have been dropping jaws, raising eyebrows, and making people dance. Liron, Tagel, and Tair Haim are the bright faces and colorful garb behind the ultra-successful band that has been empowering women in Israel and abroad since the release of their debut album Habib Galbi in 2015. With a second album on the cusp, Time Out sat down with A-WA's eldest sister, Tair Haim, to find out more about being a female powerhouse in the music industry. Where do your Yemenite roots stem from? We did not personally grow up in a Yemenite community, but our grandparents are Yemeni. When we were younger, we understood that Grandma and Grandpa had a different accent, and we often visited them, and attended henna ceremonies and Yemenite weddings; we heard the Yemenite women drumming and singing their soulful songs, and we also heard our grandpa praying with beautiful trills. I read that in the Yemenite community, while men go to synagogue, women stay home and create their own folkore. In Yemen, gender roles have always been very divided. The women weren't educated so they never learned to read or write. Instead, they stayed in the house with their kids—cooking, cleaning—so they had a separate spiritual and culture world. While the Jewish men preserved the Torah, women had their own secular services where they created their own folklore through singing and dancing. This oral tradition was passed down from one woman t
Poking the bear: an interview with The Betty Bear's Ella Daniel (aka "Black Betty")
With InDnegev, the three-day magical music event down south, closing off the summer festival sandwich this October, we caught up with one of the festival's performers, Ella Daniel (aka "Black Betty"), vocal powerhouse behind Dixieland swing band "The Betty Bears." What sort of party are you planning to bring to the dessert? A good New Orleans, happy, stomp your feet in the dirt, African kind of party. It'll be swingin' for sure. How do you keep Dixieland alive and swingin' today? It's all contemporary really, nowadays we have better conditions to bring to life a 'vibe,' a feeling, an image (sound wise that is). In our album, we tried to cast a spell on the listeners, the same spell that was cast on us to transform us into blind followers of this incredible music. At the same time, we recorded the album live, just the way they did in the good old days, so we like to respect the old school methods, but bring something extra fresh from the future. If you could reincarnate one 20's swing musician to play with at InDnegev, who would it be? That's easy, Louis Armstrong for sure! He'd light the stage on fire and bring so much cheerful joy to us all. It would be a sin not to choose him, and I'm sure he'd be so happy to be in the Holy land. If Louis Armstrong were alive and kickin', what's one thing you'd want to ask him? I would probably ask him to stay and produce our next album. What surprises can audience members expect at the festival?
State of the art
The Mané-Katz Museum explores the female form in the exhibition: "Chana Orloff: Feminist Sculpture in Israel"
When strolling along Haifa's Louis Promenade, one cannot help but look out at the brilliant green aura emanating from the carefully maintained Baha'i gardens and imagine the Garden of Eden. What the Edenic scene lacked, however, was the strong, feminine presence of Eve...until now. The Mané-Katz Museum's newest fixture "Chana Orloff: Feminist Sculpture in Israel" completes the puzzle as it pays homage to women through a deep examination of the female body. For centuries, feminists have made great strides to change negative attitudes toward the female body–throwing conventional gender division of public and private spaces out the window. At the center of the exhibition, which explores the historical relationship of the female body, are the works of Chana Orloff. © Stas Korolov The young Ukraine modernist was among the first artists to use the female figure as her subject in the early 20th century. She rejected the tradition female role and painted portraits of independent women she believed to be role models instead, sculpting dozens of nude females in all shapes and forms, including: prominent Biblical heroines, dancers, pregnant women, pioneers, and mothers. Orloff's works do not shy away from blemishes and imperfections; they capture an element of realness in the female form, much like the other contemporary female Israeli artists who contribute to the exhibit. Noa Arad-Yairi, Sharon Balaban, Ronit Baranga, Meira Grossinger, Meirav Heiman, and other parti
"The Feminine Mystique": 3 up-and-coming female artists to know now
“Sof sof” – finally – female artists are receiving the recognition they deserve. Yet, after centuries of being grossly underrepresented in the art world, women could still do with a leg up. Here are three up-and-coming female artists to know now – while you can still afford to 1. The Alien Perspective © The Alien Perspective Elena C. Stein is a quirky painter and illustrator who was born in Milan, raised in London, and now lives in Tel Aviv, or, in her own words “on a crazy little planet called Earth.” For reference, Earth is “the blue one with the feisty hairless apes.” Working under the alias ‘The Alien Perspective,' Stein dives into a variety of mediums, from paper to street art, to pixels and poetry. The result is a motley crew of deeply emotional works. “I am not interested in empty trends…To make art you have to put the mask down, undress, and make yourself vulnerable. Allow yourself to be hurt, to be naked. It's not about fixing your holes. It's about making them beautiful.” thealienperspective.com 2. Murielle Street Art © Murielle Street Art Murielle Cohen was born in Canada and, after stints in Paris and New York, is now based in the White City. While it was Henri Matisse’s initial works that first inspired her to create—“I saw how a few strokes of charcoal made a face come to life” – Tel Aviv inspired her to take to the streets. Adorning the city’s walls with Hollywood pinups and 3-D collages addressing current topics like technology,
WonderWOMEN of the month
Merav Michaeli Member of Israeli Knesset and Chairwoman of the Zionist Faction © Ron Kedmi Merav Michaeli is used to asking hard questions. The Zionist Union MK has only been involved in Israeli politics since 2013, but that handful of years in public service has been more than enough time for her to earn the label of “feminist firebrand” from The New York Times and a devoted, at times ecstatic, following among women’s rights activists for her hardline stance against traditional matrimony. A former journalist and television documentary producer, Michaeli is perhaps the most visible and vocal of all feminists in modern-day Israel. While most well-known for her unabashed opinion that marriage should be absolved until the day that men and women have absolute equality, her track record in the Israeli Knesset is lined with dozens of smaller, tangible victories that have progressed the status of women in Israel. She helped pass the preliminary hearing of the law for criminalizing the act of purchasing prostitution (a major shift from traditional legislative tactics of criminalizing the prostitutes themselves), and – for the first time in Israeli history – she and her colleague Shuli Mualem (MK Jewish Home) pushed through legislation that guarantees free legal representation to Israeli victims of sexual assault. There is still a long road ahead, however. “We need equal representation – a minimum of 40% representation for each sex in parliament and in gov
Barr Yaron, the true woman behind the Women of Startup Nation (WOSN)
Despite interning at the White House and Wall Street, working in the Silicon Valley tech industry, and even conducting digital strategy for Beyonce’s team, Barr Yaron always dreamed of living in Israel. This year the Philadelphia born Israeli moved to the Startup Nation for a career at Facebook–and a little more shakshuka. When she’s not working, dancing, or watching beach sunsets, Yaron is interviewing incredible technologists for her Women of Startup Nation (WOSN). What prompted your interest in working in the high-tech industry? In college I studied what I loved without focusing too much on industry–mostly theoretical classes in math, computer science, and economics. Solving problems in these fields felt like cracking fun and challenging puzzles. Professionally, I knew I wanted to make an impact. The tech industry is unlike any other, and it touches every part of our lives. Technology requires interesting and challenging problem-solving, but its applications are broad and, when applied carefully, can improve the world. What was your inspiration for creating the Women of Startup Nation Facebook page? At my going away party in San Francisco, I was surprised to hear my friends’ questions: is there a tech scene in Israel? Will moving to Israel hurt your career? What’s the role of women there? I made a mental note when I moved here to learn as much as possible about Startup Nation and the gender dynamics within it, and so I founded this page, inspired by similar on
Limor Gott Ronen
When we are young, we look up to our mothers, aunts, and grandmothers watching all the tasks they carry out. Like figure skaters in a rink, they make their daily rituals seem seamless, graceful, and elegant; however, as we grow up and we face our own responsibilities, we begin to comprehend the extent of women’s roles in our society, and how those roles have never been as demanding as they are today. Many of the female figures prevalent in our media, culture, and society manage a slew of multi-tasking responsibilities, including being mothers, activists, artists, politicians, wives, businesswomen, and more. The pressures and the demands that society puts on women to carry out so many roles have never been greater. In honor of all the women of the world who are juggling all the moving parts in their lives – while still making time, effort, and energy to nurture themselves and the people around them – we’ve highlighted several local women who exemplify top achievements, inspiration, and strength. Here's our November wonderwoman: LIMOR GOTT RONEN Ever wonder who’s behind the massive upsurge in Israeli TV shows transplanted overseas? In recent years, Israel has made a name for itself as being one of the biggest marketers of TV formats all over the world. You’ve got Limor Gott Ronen to thank for award-winning shows like “Homeland,” based on the original Israeli series “Prisoners of War.” Perhaps the most crucial element of Ronen’s job as Keshet International’s Director of
NATASHA GUTMAN When Natasha Gutman looks back at her memories, she vividly pictures her mother and her aunt in the living room of their house in South Africa secretly meeting with black women as a part of a hidden organization called “Kontak” that helped to empower and bridge the gap between the two divided communities. She remembers the women singing together, laughing, and dancing. It became this page in history that inspired Gutman for the course of her life. Through the pursuit of studying art and later art therapy, she found a path in building a career doing the thing she loves and empowering disenfranchised communities through building a career with art. It was with this in mind that Gutman teamed up with Dr. Diddy Mymin to develop The African Refugee Development Centre which enabled the formation of Kuchinate (the word for crochet in the Eritrean language of Tigrinya). Kuchinate is a women’s collective in Tel Aviv that creates handmade crochet baskets and rugs. The women of this collective not only produce items that generate income, but they also have a physical space to come together and support one another in their unique journey. Gutman faced her own personal battle of pursuing a career and trying to build her family, and when struggles with infertility became an issue, she understood the power of art and community to overcome obstacles and face challenges. Today, pregnant with twin girls, she’s able to look at the work she’s doing to see how it has in
Bartender Tales: Odeya Yaron of Yavne
Odeya Yaron, bartender, Yavne Each week, we dive into the world of TLV bars and meet the drink-shaking players behind them. From the latest cocktailing trends to crazy stories on the job, these are the Bartender Tales of the White City. How did you get into bartending? I'm the type who likes to connect with people, and I’m very verbal. In addition, I've always had an interest and fair knowledge of alcohol. So being a bartender allowed me to bring all these qualities to life. What's your favorite thing about bartending? Alcohol is, at the end of the day, the key to pleasure. I've always liked seeing a couple sitting at the bar, and by offering them chasers, in the act of pouring, the "cheers," and that looking into each other's eyes, I get to witness a special connection being formed. That's what I love. Have you noticed any trends in the cocktail industry lately? Today, bar managers are constantly thinking about how to invent a drink that has yet to exist–in terms of ingredients, they use all kinds of homemade syrups. In our bar, Yavne, for example, we use beet or wheat syrup that we prepare in-house every week, and add to our signature cocktails. What's your biggest customer pet peeve? I like when customers come out of their comfort zones and taste new things when I offer them. I understand that everyone has "their drink," but it's not good to be fixed; it is always nice to discover new tastes and go with the flow of the offer. Have any crazy bar
The ultimate ladies' night in Tel Aviv
In Tel Aviv, there is absolutely no shortage of places to hang out and dine out. On the prowl for a place to take your girlfriends for drinks, celebrating, and having an all-around kick-ass time? Here are some of the top spots for a seriously fun night out–and there’s something for every mood–from hyper, to relaxed, to wild shenanigans.