Oh 2017, can’t say we’re sorry to say goodbye. Between the political turmoil, JCC bomb threats, and the hurricanes, it’s been a lot to handle. Despite it all, however, there were many inspiring moments — and a lot of them were thanks to Jewish moms who remained strong and stood up for their beliefs.
Here are some moments that resonated with us:
1. Mila Kunis gives her daughter wine, because Shabbat. She said:
Want me to make you feel better? We do Shabbat in our house. At Shabbat you have a sip of wine. My daughter has had a sip of wine since she was born.
Friday mornings [when she] wakes up and I’m like, “It’s Friday,’ she goes, ‘I can have wine?!”
2. Melissa Rauch gave birth to her first child, and wrote a compelling, poignant essay on miscarriage and pregnancy loss — and how to cope:
Many times in my life I’ve been able to get through difficult situations by reminding myself of the classic adage: “Everything happens for a reason.” But as it turns out—for me, anyway—miscarriage was more of a “this straight-up f*cking sucks” situation. Some things just are. The simple acceptance of this reality actually proved to be the most helpful course of action for me. This was a below sea-level moment amongst the proverbial peaks and valleys of life. There was something very healing about simply acknowledging where I was, rather than trying to completely make sense of it or wrap my head around some cookie-cutter rationale. We all process grief differently. If you are dealing with prenatal loss, I hope you find something, anything, to bring you comfort (whether it’s planting a tree, having a small ceremony, or giving a big double middle finger to the universe). The unknown is a scary place, but it’s also where hope and possibility live. I’m trying as much as I can to embrace the reality of that uncertainty.
3. Randi Zuckerberg stood up to a jerk who sexually harassed her on an airplane.
Trying to #BeFierce in front of a live studio audience, interviewing one of the most badass amazing women I know, @therealgretchencarlson for my @siriusxm show. Gretchen is an incredible advocate for women and has inspired millions to speak out against sexual harassment. I encourage you to follow her initiatives for 2018 and read her book, Be Fierce.
4. Gal Gadot starred in the highest performing superhero film — a film with a female lead to boot (hi, Wonder Woman). A win for women and Jewish moms everywhere.
Wonder Woman smashed the box office–making it the biggest opening by a woman director (Patty Jenkins) ever. It’s also one of the biggest openings for a superhero movie in history, which is saying a lot, considering we’re in a “Superhero Era.” The movie garnered $101.4 million in its opening weekend. That’s a heck of a lot of $$$.
5. Sheryl Sandberg spoke out in favor of paid national leave and against sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace — trying to help parents across the country. When it comes to sexual harassers and abusers, regardless of gender, Sandberg said it should not be tolerated or rewarded by being allowed to keep their jobs, stating:
I think it’s great when people lose their jobs when it happens, because I think that is what will get people to not do it in the future. And I think this is a leadership challenge. As a leader of a company, there needs to be no tolerance for it.
6. Joyce Azria, Orthodox mom and daughter of fashion designer Max Azria, started her own fashion line. The new line is called Avec les Filles (that’s French for “with the girls”). She spoke to us about her personal tricks in balancing being a mom and having a career:
My personal trick #1 is just do what you’re doing when you are doing it. When I’m at home, the phone is tucked away and I am a wife and a mother. When I am at work, I am CEO lady.
The personal trick #2 is the Sabbath. I am constantly “on” and creating things. That break in the week when I am not working, nor am I in action, is my personal balance. I refuel for the week ahead.
7. Zooey Deschanel worked to help get more than 2.5 million diapers donated to families in need:
I was really excited because Huggies is donating about 3 million diapers to families in need, and that’s so huge. It helps to understand how crucial diapers are. It’s an absolute bottom line basic need, and you shouldn’t have to choose between diapers and food or diapers and clothes. It should be something that’s a given.
— zooey deschanel (@ZooeyDeschanel) September 26, 2017
In those three minutes, Pink—who speaks her truth 24/7 and has been both praised and criticized for it— cites a poignant moment she shared with her daughter recently, when young Willow told her she feels “ugly” and had been called “a boy with long hair.” Upon first hearing it, Pink naturally wanted to “kick this 6-year old’s ass.” But though the mama bear instinct kicked in…Pink turned this heartbreaking moment with her daughter into a teachable moment, giving parents everywhere inspiration to encourage their children to love themselves exactly as they are— not to conform to societal norms about beauty or gender or anything else. Listing off some of the world’s most famous musicians who were androgynous and didn’t conform to what society told them to be—Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Annie Lennox, to name a few—she proved to her girl that she can be whoever she is so long as she is true to herself.
9. Blythe Danner stood up for her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow, in the wake of the Weinstein allegations
After New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd accused Gwyneth Paltrow of essentially letting her career ambitions get in the way of speaking up earlier against Harvey Weinstein, Danner wrote this in response:
After her initial shock, Gwyneth left the room immediately, and, despite the fact that Mr. Weinstein threatened her if she ever spoke of what happened, she reported it to her agent and to her boyfriend at the time, Brad Pitt, who confronted Mr. Weinstein.
Gwyneth did not “put aside her qualms to become ‘the first lady of Miramax’ ” back then, as Ms. Dowd would have it. She continued to hold her own and insist that Mr. Weinstein treat her with respect. She had learned from her father, the producer and director Bruce Paltrow, how to stand up for herself. Bruce received the first Diversity Award from the Directors Guild for helping women and minorities in our business. His daughter wasn’t the only woman he taught to fight for herself.
I suggest that the pundits stop casting aspersions on the women who have confronted unwanted sexual advances in the manner each sees fit and concentrate on the constructive ways to prevent this behavior in the future.