Choices in Religious High Schools for Girls in Israel

Four years ago, when my younger daughter was in 6th grade, I looked for an alternative to the standard ulpana (high school for girls in the national religious sector). After enrolling her in a new program in Tel Aviv, I became interested in innovations in other schools. This ultimately led an … [Read more...]

From ‘Pasuk’ to ‘Pilpul’ to ‘Pesak’: Evolution of Women’s Leadership in Orthodoxy

This article appeared in the "In Jerusalem" supplement of the Jerusalem Post on June 10, 2016. Reprinted with permission. From ‘Pasuk’ to ‘Pilpul’ to ‘Pesak’: The Evolution of Women's Leadership in Orthodoxy By Hannah Katsman Discrepancies between men’s and women’s education disturbed Rabbanit … [Read more...]

Modern Orthodox Education: Cholent, YouTube, and Girls Jumping over the Line

A few weeks ago, I covered an event sponsored by Yeshiva University in Israel for the Jerusalem Post's In Jerusalem. The report appeared on Friday, February 2, and is reprinted with permission.  Click here to see my interview with President Joel. Yeshiva University Tackles the Modern Questions By … [Read more...]

Separate-Sex Sidewalks and Civil Rights

This year, like last year, the neighborhood of Meah Shearim posted signs indicating that during the Sukkot celebrations, men and women would be directed to separate sidewalks. Civil rights or anti-haredi activists, depending on your perspective, petitioned the court, which ruled that the sidewalks … [Read more...]

Does Tzipi Hotovely Represent Religious Zionist Women?

32-year-old Likud member Tzipi Hotovely is Chairwoman of the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women. In honor of International Women's Day, Haaretz asked Hotovely whether Women's Day was a happy day for Israeli women. Here is part of the interview, but I recommend reading the whole … [Read more...]

Empathy, Mother-Guilt, Shabbat, Career Skills, Anger, and Idleness

RaggedyMom showed me this CNN story about developing children's social maturity. In a  fourteen-year study, the preschool children of mothers who described a picture using emotional language showed more empathy and better social skills when they got older. It is important to encourage children to … [Read more...]

Rabbi Ovadia’s Surprising Ruling: Women Can Read Megillah for Men

The secular newspapers like to report on the weekly talks of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the leading rabbinic arbiter of the Sephardi/Mizrachi community in Israel. Occasionally he says outrageous things, but this time he made a ruling likely to please a more liberal readership. On the upcoming holiday of … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Jewish Girls and Prayer

See below for background information and glossary. Commenter Abbi sent me her response to a discussion about prayer for girls in a mixed school. Should girls pray in the minyan alongside the boys, or as a separate group? What should be our goals for educating girls about tefilla and minyan, … [Read more...]

Thoughts on Face-Covering from Resident of Arab Emirates

"Autumn" left the following comment on the "Burka Wedding" post, in response to a comment by Ora:Ora wrote:"I think there's a big problem with covering the face. It's dehumanizing. I don't know what research, if any, has been done on the subject, but I would think that not seeing a someone's face … [Read more...]

A Light for Greytowers: Movie Review

Yesterday I did three things that I almost never do: Drive to Jerusalem, take my teenage daughter alone on an outing, and watch a movie from beginning to end. But this was a special occasion--we went to see "A Light for Greytowers" produced by Robin Garbose.The Israeli screenings received extra … [Read more...]