Federation’s first ‘Engaging Interfaith Families Forum’ reinforces the truism that women drive a family’s Jewish life.
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In my household, I’m the Jewish Life Coordinator: I decide which Jewish holidays we’re going to celebrate as a family, whether to keep our daughters in the temple religious school or try an alternative program — and I handle all the logistics, like getting the girls to Hebrew school, filling out the registration forms, paying the bills and supervising Hebrew-reading practice.
Growing up always with a female figure as the breadwinner and head of the household, the concept of female inequality was never anywhere in my mind. To me truly that did not exist. Having strong female role models shaped my life and made me the person I am today, a strong and ultra- independent female. I never really saw much that glass ceiling as much of an obstacle because of the examples in my life, but being in the workplace for the past seven years has taught me a lot about how the world works.
Last Wednesday, for my first time, I baked two loaves of challah for Shabbat. I participated in an enjoyable event held regularly at my campus Chabad. Baking challah and its accompanying mitzvah, our instructor helpfully explained, is traditionally a “woman’s mitzvah.”
Did I just witness gender formation? Was female identity constructed just there before my eyes and is it really so simple?