Have you ever had this happen: you know a mom from your neighborhood, or from shul, or from the park, and you have no idea what she does besides being a mom and then you find out she has a really neat job?
This happened to me recently. A woman I know from a shul I go to once in a while–a very funky egalitarian but very religiously and spiritually committed community–approached me about a book she wrote and asked if the Kveller audience might be interested in hearing about it.
“She wrote a book?” I’m thinking. “I had no idea she was a writer.”
Turns out this nice quiet mom of three girls is a professor of Contemporary Jewish Studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion! (These are all neat things!)
Her specialty, it turns out, is sociolinguistics (a field I am extremely interested in), Jewish languages (also something I am super interested in), and Orthodox Jews (also interesting since I like halacha (Jewish law) and observe Judaism in a way many Modern Orthodox people do). This woman is neat, right? Read the rest of this entry →