Quotes by Irena Klepfisz

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Most Jewish feminists and gays that I know remain angry and frustrated by Jewish progressives. Deeply committed to progressive causes, frequently in the vanguard of political action, Jewish feminist and gays find ourselves fighting for the rights of others without the secure knowledge that others will fight for us. more...

...I've stopped wanting to do any work at all. All work is bullshit. Everyone knows that. No matter how many telephones and extensions, no matter how many secretaries, no matter how many names in the rolodex. It's all bullshit. more...

How do we work together? For if we want liberation for women, then we're committed to building a society in which these distances-of class and economics-dissolve, and all our authentic differences-cultures, personalities, sexualities, talents, and aspirations-emerge and are equally nourished. more...

What we grieve for is not the loss of a grand vision, but rather the loss of common things, events and gestures.... ordinariness is the most precious thing we struggle for, what the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto fought for. Not noble causes or abstract theories. But the right to go on living with a sense of purpose and a sense of self-worth-an ordinary life. more...

...Jews must learn to say without excuse, without equivocation: despite our history and our powerlessness in the past, despite allthe injustices that we have endured-today, now, the Palestinians are the victims of oppression, and their oppressors are the Israelis. more...

Poland remains undzer heym, our home, no matter how bitter the memories, how filled with disappointment and betrayal. Amerike iz goles, America is exile, a foreign land in which I speak a foreign tongue. But I will never live in Poland. I do not want to, though I do not see an end to the mourning. more...

...Iknow the bitter fact that most lives are incredibly wasted, that opportunities for developing identity, for receiving pleasure, for achieving a sense of self-worth are limited and, not only underdeveloped, but in most cases not developed at all-because no one thinks that a housewife, or a mother, or a typist has anything to develop. more...

...I am an outsider, a lesbian, a shikse. The Jewish community is not my community. But as a Jew-as a Jew in a Christian, anti-Semitic society-the Jewish community is, and will always remain, my community. Enemy and ally. more...

The aspirations of most people-security, pleasure, leisure, meaningful work, creative and intellectual pursuits-are to be supported. These desires and dreams are not shameful. In supporting them, we are showing solidarity with working people, for whom these are luxuries and not givens. more...

I have never heard of a tradition among Jews that encourages us to support each others' differences. Quite the contrary. What I've always been taught is that Jews forever see each other as bitter enemies whose differences are irreconcilable. more...

To most middle-class feminists, as to most middle-class non-feminists, working-class women remain mysterious creatures to be "reached out to" in some abstract way. No connection. No solidarity. more...


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