If you don't know who Rachel Freier is, you should. She's the first Hasidic woman elected to public office in the U.S. ever. Isn't that crazy to think about? In November, Freier won a contested…primary for a civil court judgeship in Brooklyn's 5th Judicial District. This week, she finally took her seat on the bench as a civil court judge--which is why Gothamist recently interviewed her about her unusual journey to becoming a judge--and the role of women in Jewish life. Besides being an attorney and judge, she's also… >> Read More
When you think of bikini designers, you probably don't think of two Hasidic men. But that's exactly who is designing the bikini swimsuit line Beach Gal. Both designers, 30-year-old Barry Glick and…34-year-old Saul Samet, work out of Boro Park, a prominently Hasidic neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. It's not just the designers that will surprise you either. The styles are also unprecedented--they contain detachable accessories like beads, seashells, and fringes. And you know, they don't follow tznius, the modesty rules that Hasidic Jews are known to observe. Glick, a… >> Read More
It was a hard week.
Not hard in terms of returning phone calls, planning events, and structuring classes. I am generally good at these things. It was hard finding balance between home and work;…but it was even harder finding the capacity to forgive myself in a way I never really have. I found myself alone with the kids on a weekday morning. Everyone was screaming. One child needed to be held, another needed to be fed, and the third was half dressed, clamoring for attention. And in the… >> Read More
To say Abby Stein is brave would be an understatement. She is transitioning into a woman, but coming out to her Hasidic family has meant she's not only outraged many, but is no longer welcome,…according to a feature in the NY Post. So while she is finally living her dream, it's coming with some pretty steep consequences. In her blog, Stein writes about the difficulty of her transition because of her family's reaction, but also insists the outcome has been "amazing": READ: This NYC School Changed Its Policy to Accommodate Transgender Kids "In… >> Read More
When my son was nearly 5, he and I moved to a new home. It was only 30 miles away, but those 30 miles changed everything. We left the insular Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel, and settled into a…Modern Orthodox community in Rockland County, New York. Although I was virtually alone, I was determined to remain connected to my past and remain observant. My commitment didn’t come from a particular religious belief, but from the strong resolve to stay connected--and help my son stay connected--to our network of Hasidic relatives. For my son,… >> Read More