Guest Post: Story of Orthodox Teen Pregnancy

pregnancy test in account of pregnant Jewish teen

The author of today's guest post wishes to remain anonymous:  This story has a happy ending, mostly. It almost didn't. I grew up in a religious household, and I knew what the expectations were, yet when I was eighteen, I became sexually active. When I was twenty, a condom tore. Ten days later, I … [Read more...]

Surrogate Mothering by Religious Women

test tubes used for

Rika Koren, 32, divorced and the mother of two, served as a surrogate mother for an infertile couple and plans to do so again. In an interview with the newspaper Makor Rishon, Koren expanded on the reasons for her decision. She grew up in the Gur community of Ashdod, but her mother was from a … [Read more...]

Modesty, Mikveh and the Female Convert

Help wanted: Men to serve on the rabbinic court to supervise immersion of conversion candidates. Producer Nirit Yaakovs-Yinon, a religious Jewish woman, got interested in the concerns of female conversion candidates after hearing about the job description above from a friend who worked in the … [Read more...]

Kotel Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich: Expanded Space for Women at Western Wall

Photo by Rahel Jaskow

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, the rabbi in charge of the Kotel (Western Wall), said last week that he intends to enlarge the women's section of the Western Wall. Photographer Rahel Jaskow documented the poor conditions for women in two photo essays, Separate and Unequal at the Western Wall and Return … [Read more...]

Revisiting the Misgeret, or Is Preschool Necessary

This post was originally published in 2008, but is still relevant for many parents. Sadly two readers who commented here, Helene and RivkA, passed away within the last few years. It's bound to happen at one time or another when you are out with your toddler. Your neighbor asks you the question … [Read more...]

Breastfeeding in the Hospital after a C-Section

A reader writes: Hi Hannah, I had a question in response to your last post about the formula options promoted by the Ministry of Health.  I'm due to give birth to my third child in the next few weeks (in Jerusalem, G-d willing) by elective c-section. I exclusively breastfed both of my older … [Read more...]

New Mothers Get Choice — Between Two Brands of Breastmilk Substitutes

Choosing formula in the store

I once heard a bit of sales advice, let's say for shoes. After a potential customer has tried on two pairs, you shouldn't ask if he likes one or the other. Instead say, "Which pair of shoes do you prefer?" With luck, the customer will accept your assumption that he has already decided to buy at … [Read more...]

Reader: Should We Make Aliyah in the Middle of the School Year?

girl doing geometry homework

Please check out my blog post at Times of Israel, in honor of Yom Haatzmaut: The Good, the Bad and the Fantastic: 65 Surprising Things about Parenting in Israel. The post below also makes use of crowd-sourcing via the Mother in Israel Facebook page. A reader writes: Hi! I'm wishing to remain … [Read more...]

Fallen Soldiers with No One to Remember Them: Esther Koifman

Connecting with Yom Hazikaron, Israel's  memorial day for fallen soldiers and terror victims, can be difficult for immigrants. Unlike most Israelis, immigrants may not know any families who have lost loved ones. So I was intrigued when my friend Deena Levenstein wrote about participating in a … [Read more...]

Return to the Western Wall, Passover 2013

Rahel Jaskow's photo essay on equality at the kotel, Separate and Unequal at the Western Wall, prompted much commentary. She decided to return with her camera over the Passover holiday to document any  differences. Here is her report. Return to the Western Wall: Passover 2013 by Rahel … [Read more...]