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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 23, 2011 / 12 Iyar, 5771

Girl Scouts don't got what some need

By Kathryn Lopez




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Chances are, if you're naming your blog after a Taylor Swift album, your judgment's already suspect."

That's Salon dismissing two teen girls, in a piece on the Girl Scouts and its liberal feminist tendencies. And, as it happens, the line itself actually speaks to the heart of the problem.

Think about what the young country star's songs often embody: A rooted goodness, and higher expectations than instant gratification -- for herself and for those she loves. Are those things that should be so scornfully patronized by the liberal chattering class?

Sydney and Tess Volanski, about to be a rising sophomore and high-school freshman, respectively, started the aforementioned Taylor-named website, Speak Now, when they left the Girl Scouts after eight years because of the group's values clash with their own -- namely, its ties to Planned Parenthood.

The rude awakening for the sisters was the reported distribution of a Planned Parenthood brochure, entitled "Healthy, Happy and Hot" -- which dealt with satisfying sexual urges and procuring a "safe abortion" while living with HIV-- at the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts meeting last year. But Volanskis' concerns go beyond that -- to the worldview of the Girl Scouts as a whole.

These girls are bent on reform, rather than destruction, however.

"We were part of a great troop," Sydney says. "We had our Bronze Award and were in the process of planning for our Silver Award. It was a great experience, only marred when we found out that GSUSA is not who they say they are. We were saddened by the fact that we were representing a group in name and financially that had moral viewpoints in direct opposition to ours."

Sydney tells me: "Many Girl Scouts are good, wholesome girls. The problem lies within the national organization's leadership's lack of adherence to their promise of neutrality," on abortion. Further, she adds, girls often need and "should get help, but Planned Parenthood and abortion -- what GSUSA is directing them to -- are not help. Abortion has serious risks for women, including breast cancer, infertility, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide. Does this sound like help?"

"If we had a say," Sydney continues, "we would make it so they were truly neutral about a girl's health and sexuality, abortion and birth control and political affiliations, as they promise to be. We would put the focus where it should be, on character-building and leadership activities."

When I asked them if they were just doing the bidding of their pro-life mom, as Salon accused, Sydney told me: "We have passion for the pro-life cause on our own. We are old enough so that we can form our own opinions. Teenagers are not all as apathetic as society seems to think; we can care enough about something to take action. This is something that we cared about, so we took action and made this website because we wanted to."

Sydney and Tess are finding their voices at a time when they're far from alone among young people, and young women. Tess points to Lila Rose, the 22-year-old who has made an early name for herself doing independent pro-life undercover work: "I am inspired by the many amazing women who fight for life in our culture today. One who stands out is Lila Rose. Her commitment and courage are very motivating. We found in person that Lila is not only bold and courageous, but also very kind and compassionate."

The Volanski sisters' new attitude to the Girl Scouts puts them in a growing crowd. Patti Garibay is the national executive director of American Heritage Girls, which has grown in the years since its 1995 founding from simply an alternative to the Girl Scouts to the more fitting sister group to the Boy Scouts. Just this year, the Boy Scouts joined American Heritage in a joint "memorandum of mutual support." Garibay explains some commonalities between the two groups, "AHG and BSA are both centered on a duty to G0d, we are 'owned' by our charter partners, thus allowing our programs to serve as a ministry of the church, we are structured the same, AHG leaders use the BSA youth protection and outdoor skills training to name a few."

And, she adds, in response to some of the critics of those concerned about GS mission creep: "Yes, girls need to know about sexuality but why not within a moral framework of faith, family, and church." You can't build character without a moral barometer, Garibay argues.

Anna Halpine, who founded the World Youth Alliance adds: "A lot of good organizations affiliate with (Planned Parenthood) both nationally, (locally) and internationally, since they are the big banner organization that is promoting women and girls, and claiming to advocate their health and healthy lifestyles. I think that many of these groups would find their local and national chapters agitating to form alliances with other groups if those were available to them. In essence; we need an alternative to the current options."

It can be hard to be a good girl in our often over-sexualized culture. But it looks like the girls -- bolstered by parents or church or other prevailing bastions of sanity -- might just blaze the paths themselves.

You go, girls! And like in a Taylor Swift song or two, the guys might just follow -- and appreciate it more than you know.

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