web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘professional’

A Hasidic Role Model

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

First let me congratulate Mrs. Rachel (Ruchie) Freier for her many great personal achievements and contributions to both Judaism and the world at large. I honor and respect both her life choices and her values, many of which I am sure we share – including the primacy in her life of motherhood. But I have to say that I think her article in the Forward is a bit misleading.

Here’s the beginning of the article:

On Monday on the Forward, Judy Brown shared her perspective on motherhood, based on her experience in the Hasidic community that she left. Now, I’d like to share my perspective on motherhood from within the Hasidic community of Boro Park. Having children was always important to me and I chose to remain steadfast to Haredi ideology while pursuing a law degree and then maintaining a law practice without compromising my role as a yidishe momme to my children.

Would that her lifestyle was that of the typical Hasidic woman in enclaves such as Williamsburg. My guess is that this is far from the case.

I am not God forbid saying that the lives of these Hasidic women have no value. Quite the contrary. I believe they have great value in being mothers to their children and wives to their husbands. And I am equally sure that many of them have jobs. Some may even be professionals – like Mrs. Freier – but that would by far be the exception.

College is in most cases forbidden to Satmar and like minded Hasidim. I don’t know what kind of Hasidus Mrs. Freier belongs to, but I am all but certain it is not hard-core Satmar or similar – which I believe comprise the vast majority of Hasidim in the world.

Mrs. Freier’s article was written in response to Judy Brown’s article expressing a different view of motherhood than that which is typical of the Hasidic world. As most people know, Mrs. Brown is the author of Hush – a devastating indictment of Hasidic community in which she was raised with respect to the way they treat sex in general, sex abuse, and its victims. Although she is still observant – she has long since left that community to find herself. And she has written a series of critical articles about the world of her upbringing. That was the case with her latest article in the Forward.

Mrs. Brown wrote about the pain and anguish of having an unwanted pregnancy in a world where such thoughts are verboten! Mrs. Brown actually had such an experience. As did a friend of hers that had some devastating results. But she also shares the regret she felt at the relief of that burden when she miscarried late into her own pregnancy. A regret she had after being shown a picture of the dead fetus she gave birth to.

She now says she now lives with that pain. The point made in that article is that her former community does not understand the damage they do with such extreme attitudes about pregnancies and birth control. At the same time she expressed her own maternal instincts as over-riding any such pain in her own life.

Mrs. Freir does not actually contradict what Mrs. Brown said. She just wanted to emphasize that the Hasidic upbringing she experienced and the values it taught her are the values she lives with and honors – even while being a professional. Despite her success, her profession does not define her. Motherhood does. That is the value she learned from her parents, grandparents, and teachers. It is her children that makes her life complete, not her profession.

I have absolutely no problem with that. In fact I agree that the institution of motherhood that Judaism places primary focus upon for a woman is the most important thing a woman can do. But as is obvious from Mrs. Freier herself, it is not the only thing a woman can do. Just like men, they can walk and chew gum at the same time. Having a career and being a full time mother is not a contradiction in terms. One can do both quite successfully.

My problem with this article is that it presents a false image of the majority of Hasidic women. One might conclude from this article that many woman in Williamsburg have professional degrees… or at least have attended college. And that Mrs. Freier is but one example of that.

Israeli Haredim Becoming Black Hat Professionals

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Besides becoming more like their “Agudah” counterparts in the United States, thousands of Israeli Haredim also have enlisted in special fields in the IDF, belying accusations that they are “draft dodgers.”

“The move from the yeshiva to the university is based on economics, not ideology,” explains Israeli journalist Yisrael Gellis.

He told The Jewish Press, “Young married yeshiva students reached the conclusion they have to work to support their families.

“Approximately 25,000 Haredim have been learning as far back as five years ago, but the media always disparage them and do not report the new trend.”

The “Open University,” which allows students to learn at home, has attracted more than 600 Haredim, according to Gellis. Significantly, 150 of them are from what Gellis calls one of the most “fanatic” Haredi sects. Yeshiva rabbis have encouraged the new trend  but “without force,” Gellis said.

He added that many Haredim have found themselves without work after receiving university degrees because some secular employers are prejudiced against them.

A study by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor, cited by the Globes business newspaper, sheds light on the “new Haredim.”

The students include more than 2,000 Haredim, approximately half of whom said their choice of a profession to study was personal and not based on market demand or the potential for career promotion.

The students are attending universities and colleges to learn professional skills through the Kemach Foundation for Promoting Haredi Employment. The organization, heavily financed by the Wolfson Foundation and other philanthropic contributors, offers scholarships to 6,000 Haredi students, almost all of whom are married with children. Women account for 20 percent of the students.

The Ministry of Industry has a long-term plan to being Haredim as well as Arabs into the work force.

An overwhelming majority of the Haredi students’ families have support from their families and spouses, according to the study.

However, a sizable minority of 30 percent said they are studying despite lack or support or outright opposition towards a new lifestyle.

The government report unintentionally noted the center-left and secular bias against Haredim, stating that the growth in the number of Haredi students studying contradicts “pessimistic assessments.”

Gellis also told The Jewish Press that despite the popular secular claim that Haredim avoid the military draft, an increasing number of Haredi youth have opted for the IDF’s special programs that trains them for technical skills.

More than 5,000 Haredi youth have enlisted in the IDF’ Shakhar KaKhol (Blue Dawn) program that offer Israeli youth an 18-month study program to acquire technical skills that are then used in the Air Force and which give them employment opportunities after completing military service.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israeli-haredim-becoming-black-hat-professionals/2013/01/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: