foster parents

The Jewish Take on Becoming a Foster Parent

tamar fox

Tamar Fox via Lilith

We’re just going to come out and say it: We love Tamar Fox. And not just because she’s a Kveller writer. Recently, she wrote a piece on why she became a foster parent for Lilith, where she also boldly mentions why she’s calling for the Jewish community to step up to the plate when it comes to fostering.

Fox’s main premise for writing this piece is not just to explain why she is a foster parent, but why it’s an especially Jewish thing to do, as it’s a form of mitzvah:

READ: How Foster Parenting Made Me Love Formula

“I feel a pull—much stronger than toward any other mitzvah—to foster children who need homes. Yet for most Jews, this is an issue that has fallen off our radar.”

Jewish history is rife with tragedy, loss, and a sense of displacement–which is exactly why Fox believes Jews should give homes to children who temporarily need one. Who else but the Jewish community would understand this better? With her family’s own displacement because of the Holocaust, it’s literally in her blood–her grandfather was fostered by a family in England, and then later on, her own parents fostered Vietnamese refugees.

Providing a safe space for those around us, especially children in need, isn’t just about having a physical roof over your head, but a place to be loved and to love. Fox is only too aware of this, stating:

READ: Saying Goodbye to My Foster Child

“Fostering, to them, is a means of saving a body and a soul.

Part of the reason I want the Jewish community to take up this cause is because I’m certain that the Jewish women I know would not stand for the level of dysfunction I see every day. Jewish mothers are known for being overbearing, even demanding. These aren’t considered positive traits, I know, but I sometimes daydream about how great it would be for some of the children in the foster system to live with a mother who cared for them in the extreme ways Jewish women are known for.”

We couldn’t have said it any better.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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