Memory is Our Home: A Seed Planted in Childhood

By Suzanna Eibuszyc

roma

Roma Talasowicz-Eibuszyc

My most vivid memory after the war in Poland is of my mother, always watching the door, always hopeful, never giving up that a loved one would enter, back from the dead. Later, when I grasped the magnitude of the crimes against Jews in Europe, I questioned why my parents thought it was essential to stay in “their homeland.” With time, I accepted how important it was for them to restore their roots where their ancestors had lived for 1,000 years. My mother found courage and strength among the ashes of her family. She brought them back to life daily. But 20 years, after the war, Jews were targeted again with an anti-Semitic campaign, sponsored by the Communist government. Between 1968 and 1969, Polish Jews were forced to disappear from Poland.

It was in Elie Wiesel’s classes, at CCNY, that I gained the courage to understand what my mother had lived through. With time, I allowed myself to confront the ghosts of my childhood. Then, my family’s history started to make sense. When Professor Wiesel told us about his experiences in the concentration camps and when I read his book, The Accident, I realized that my parents, though survivors, lost their entire families and could not escape their past. When I told Elie Wiesel about my mother, he said, “Your mother must write her story. Future generations must know. You must help her to do it.”

My mother hesitated at first, but as I persevered, she agreed. I understand now that her re-entry into a world, she suppressed for so long, was a great risk to her safety and sanity. For the sake of truth, she relived terror, hunger and pain. She bravely remembered the family she abandoned in Warsaw and she brought them back to life by telling her story. She confronted the memory of impossible hardship, surviving in Russia, and added her voice to a generation silenced by Hitler.

I was born in communist Poland, after the war, where we lived until the late 1960s. I went to a Jewish high school, Szalom Alejchem, in Wroclaw before leaving for America. I graduated from CCNY with a B.A. in Jewish Studies, where I first met Professor Wiesel.  Later, when I received my M.A. from UCLA, I was awarded a grant, which allowed me to travel to Poland and Israel.

memoryisourhomeUltimately, I addressed the trauma of growing up in the shadows of Holocaust aftermath and how this trauma is transferred between generations. For me, the 2G, I had no way of knowing, but the seed for writing Memory is Our Home was planted in my childhood. Looking back in time, I know now that my entire life was a preparation to be “a memorial candle.” I assumed the burden of my parents’ emotional world and I became the link between the past and the future. This history is imbedded deep in my memory, in my soul. It is part of my DNA.

My book is a deeply moving illustration of a working class Jewish childhood and adolescence, my mother’s, with emphasis on class, gender, politics and religion. It pencils a vibrant and bleak portrait of a daily Jewish life during the interwar years in Warsaw. A difficult, impoverished upbringing after the first war, in Poland, gave birth to a generation of Jews who participated in Polish culture. During her youth in Warsaw, my mother, Roma Talasowicz-Eibuszyc, joined the Bund movement. She participated diligently to improve conditions for all workers, while preserving Jewish culture. Life for Jews in the 1930s deteriorated and life-changing disillusionment followed as Poland entered the pre-Holocaust and Holocaust periods.

I describe her richly textured accounts of Poland under the Nazi’s murderess grip and the faith of Jews surviving throughout Russia and Uzbekistan, during WWII. She survived the month-long bombing of Warsaw, the perilous escape to the east and six years of harsh exile — the single best chance for Polish Jews to escape the catastrophe that engulfed Eastern Europe. After all that, she survived the shocking repatriation to the “vast graveyard” of postwar Poland and Jewish life under communism that was to follow for the next 20 years. The vestiges of Polish Jewish citizens, who returned home to rebuild a new life, as it turned out, ended up being ruled by a different destruction, the oppressive Communist regime.

Interwoven with my mother’s diary are stories she shared with me throughout my life, as well as my own recollections as my family made a new life in Communist Poland after the war and into the late 1960s. I try to shed light on intergenerational transmission and the inheritance of the emotional burden. It is the price, we as a family paid, when we were forced to say goodbye to the old world and the challenges we faced in new world.


FullSizeRender(11)_Suzanna Eibuszyc received degrees from the City College of New York where she studied with Elie Wiesel and the University of California. She received a Research Award from HBI for this book. She lives in Los Angeles.

America’s Chosen Spirit: Field Report

By Janice W. Fernheimer and JT Waldman
Editor’s Note: This is part of an occasional series on research projects, supported by HBI Research Awards

Boozy Balabustas and Bourbon’s Zaftig Bootleggers?

Credit: Jim Ridolfo

Credit: Jim Ridolfo

In the summer of 2013, JT Waldman and I made some curious observations taking in the sites on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. JT noticed a lot of Jewish-sounding names, like Shapira and Boehm, while touring the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center and the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. When I went back to follow up, I discovered two Magen Davids in the gleaming silver planks of the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center’s tasting room as I sipped Kentucky’s favorite spirit (featured in the image to the right). We began to wonder, just how deep are the Jewish roots of Kentucky’s bourbon industry? Could America’s “native” spirit, really be its chosen one?  And, were there any mysterious mavens in the mix? The hunt was on to find out…

Sure enough, Heaven Hill, the largest, independent family-owned and operated bourbon makers in the spirits business was founded by the five Shapira brothers (David M., Gary, Ed, George, and Mose) in 1935 and has been led by three generations of Shapira family, since. Even that famous relative of Jim Beam, Jacob Boehm, may very well have been in the “tribe”.  Jacob Boehm, who later changed his name to Beam (after immigrating to the U.S.), founded Jim Beam. While “Jacob Boehm” sounds potentially Jewish, and London and Marmon recount the family history in their January 12, 2012 weekly L’Chaim column of the Washington Jewish Week, they, offer no explicit reference to Boehm’s Jewish heritage.  A July 12, 2009 Fine Books and Collections (FBC) blog post highlights the transformation of Jim to what they term “Judah” Beam in the 1920s, when the National Brokerage Company of Chicago became its “financial angel” and took over “control of the distillery’s plants and products and handled all sales and marketing,” leaving the Beams in control of daily operations and bourbon (as well as other alcohol) manufacturing.  As the FBC post points out, curiously, the Jim Beam official website mentions none of this history.

Inspired by our early discoveries and questions concerning bourbon’s Jewish roots, we set out to research and create an historical fiction-based graphic novel that highlights the role of Jewish women and minorities in the rise of the bourbon industry. Our imaginations began to conjure a zaftig bootlegger, toughing it out in the Kentucky hills, concocting some of the tastiest bourbon in her stills. But first, we had more research to do. Admitting the limits of what you already know is an important first step. It allows you to get more and more excited as you scratch beneath the surface, and fall into the seductive rabbit hole a new research question creates. It also shows how the research process is both inspirational and necessary. It is one of our favorite parts of any new project.

Our first goal was to mine extant archives for textual and visual references while gathering primary sources that would help inform the shape of a narrative. Then, try something new for our collaborative team –layering real-life oral histories into a graphic multimedia storyline to create a historically-based graphic narrative. And in the process, drink a lot of bourbon.

This blog post shares some findings from our first research trip to dig up the scoop on boozy balabustas. In March 2014, we entered the Filson Historical Society. It was our second day on the prowl, after a successful kick-off at the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections, home to the I. W. Bernheim files, among other high proof treasures, such as a wonderful cache of photographs documenting historic bars and saloons. The Filson, situated in a tree-lined Louisville neighborhood made of beautiful 18th century mansions, is home to one of the most comprehensive local history archives in Kentucky. There, we met bourbon historian, Mike Veach, author of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage, who shared stories that underscored the old boys’ club vibe that permeates bourbon culture. Polite and informative, he was cautious and curious about our intentions and questions about Jewish involvement in bourbon’s big history. His allusions to anti-Semitism in the industry justified our mission to find out more about what the Jewish Daily Forward has recently termed “Kentucky Bourbon’s Bluegrass Mishpocheh.

Although the Jewish origins of Kentucky Bourbon are unveiled matter-of-factly rather than in whispered hunches in Noah Rothbaum’s Forward article and Reid Mitenbuler’s piece in the digital Atlantic Monthly, “The Jewish Origins of Kentucky Bourbon,” we want to highlight the important but still under-recognized role of women, specifically Jewish women and other minorities such as Native and African Americans play in the industry. For example did you know that the stills used by Kentucky moonshiners date back to an early but an important Jewish female chemist, Maria Hebraea, otherwise known as Maria the Jewess? Among other things, Hebraea is famous for inventing a “still consisting of two gourd-shaped vessels connected by an alembic,” and since “Maria’s alembic carried a tube leading to the receiver” and was “the most important piece to her still designs,” it “became the common term for the still,” according to Fred Minnick.  

Minnick’s witty and well-written history, Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey led us to this exciting discovery while also pointing out the important role women have historically played in coopering (making bourbon barrels), bottling, and marketing. I had the opportunity to pick Fred’s brain about our project, and he pointed us to Kate Shapira Latts, VP of marketing for Heaven Hill Distillery. According to Minnick her “team developed the branding, packaging, and marketing for Larceny.” When we go back to Bardstown this fall to start collecting oral histories, she is at the top of our list to interview.

ACS_KentuckiansAsWeSeeThem

Credit: The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY

In the Louisville archives, we were sniffing around for specifically Jewish bourbon history, and the Filson did not let us down. In two delightful gems, a 1905 publication called Kentuckians as We See Them, which featured Louisville cartoonist’s representations and a 1912 publication by R.C. Ballard Thurston (pictured in the image to the right), entitled Club Men of Louisville in Caricature and Verse, we began to find visual ties linking Jewish bourbon big ACS_GrabfelderJewishHospitalshots to major events in Louisville’s and Reform Judaism’s histories. For example, Samuel Grabfelder who emigrated to the U.S. in 1856 and made his way to Louisville in 1857, worked his way up from traveling salesman for a large wholesale liquor business to eventually founding his own firm of S. Grabfelder and Company. Not only was he president of Louisville’s Temple Adath Israel for many years, but he also helped found Jewish Hospital. We were put on the trail by these caricatures (see image to the left, and to the right below; photo credit: The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY).

ACS_BernhardBernheimDistilling

Credit: The Filson Historical Society, Louisville, KY

Though the bourbon influence of I.W. and his brother Bernard Bernheim are well-documented in Marni Davis’s Jews and Booze and I.W. Bernheim’s prolific writings, the archival materials at the American Jewish Archives in Cincinnati and the Bernheim collection at University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections, underscore the strong connection between bourbon profits and the formation of Jewish Hospital in Louisville and Reform Judaism’s growth in the U.S. Through philanthropic giving, the Bernheim brothers were able to use their bourbon success to put their stamp on important institutions throughout the Ohio River Valley. Like Grabfelder, they helped make possible the success of Jewish ACS_BernheimNurseshomeHospital, contributing funds to support nurses’ on-site quarters–what became known as the Bernheim Nurses’ Home (see image to the left; photo credit: “A Legendary Vision: The History of Jewish Hospital,” p. 31).

And I.W. Bernheim also gave generously to Hebrew Union College, donating to support the creation of its library. Now the space that once contained the original library is home to the Barrows-Loebelson Family Reading Room and Jacob Rader Marcus Center of the the American Jewish Archives

At the end of our trip, we were still scratching our heads searching for the proverbial smoking gun–archival evidence of Jewish women’s historic involvement in the industry. But this fall we will begin the process of gathering oral histories and tracking the traces of bourbon’s Jewish women.

ACS_janheadshot_photocreditJimRidolfoJanice W. Fernheimer is Associate Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies and Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of Stepping Into Zion: Hatzaad Harishon, Black Jews, and the Remaking of Jewish Identity (University of Alabama Press 2014) and the co-editor of Jewish Rhetorics: History, Theory, Practice (Brandeis University Press 2014).

 

ACS_blog_JT_illustratorimageJT Waldman is a comic book creator and digital designer based in Philadelphia. He is best known for his graphic novel, Megillat Esther, published in 2005 by the Jewish Publication Society. In 2012, he produced the New York Times Best Selling graphic novel with the late Harvey Pekar, Not  the Israel My Parents Promised Me (Hill & Wang). He has contributed to two books that detail the intersection of comic books and Judaism, “From Krakow to Krypton” and “The Jewish Graphic Novel”, as well as the anthologies, “Colonial Comics” and “The Graphic Canon Vol I.” 

A Feminist Approach to the High Holy Days

by Amy Sessler Powell

Fresh Ideas, Editor, Amy Sessler Powell, interviewed Marcia Falk about her book, The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season and her journey into writing new liturgies.

Marcia Falk

Marcia Falk

Poet and scholar, Marcia Falk, acclaimed author of the groundbreaking Book of Blessings, last summer, published The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season. Why did she choose to focus on the High Holidays? For the same reason Willie Sutton robbed banks. That’s where the Jews are.

The High Holidays are the days when religious, as well as nonaffiliated Jews, attend synagogue services in unparalleled numbers. Yet much of what they find there can be unwelcoming in its patriarchal imagery, leaving many worshipers unsatisfied. For those seeking to connect more deeply with their Judaism, and for all readers in search of a contemplative approach to the themes of the season, Falk has re-created key prayers and rituals from an inclusive perspective.

But the story of Falk’s engagement with writing prayer began several decades earlier.

“The words of prayer have always mattered to me, “ said Falk. “As a Jewish feminist in the 1970s and ‘80s, I thought it was important not just where and how we participate in synagogue life, but what we actually pray there. I had been a regular davener for years; I belonged to synagogues and attended services every Shabbat. I participated, gave drashot (talks about the Torah portion). But in the early 1980s, the liturgy was becoming more and more disturbing to me as a Jew and a feminist trying to live with integrity.

“I was in crisis. The liturgy wasn’t speaking for me, and in many ways I found it hurtful. But I didn’t want to give up my relationship to my community; I was attached to being a Jew in the Jewish world. “

Falk started to silently change the language, sometimes while on her feet during the Amidah (the prayer recited silently, while standing). She was often the last one to sit back down, because she lost track of time as she struggled to adapt the Hebrew words, changing the patriarchal image of God as the Lord and King to other, gender-neutral metaphors. She was not yet writing her new prayers down or sharing them publicly.

thedaysbetween_MarciaFalk

The Days Between

A turning point came in 1983, while she was a teacher at the Havurah Institute in Princeton. Rabbi Arthur Waskow was in charge of the Havdalah service to take place on Saturday night, and on Friday afternoon he asked Falk to provide akavanah, meditation, for each of the blessings.

“I told Art I just couldn’t do that, and when he asked why, I blurted out that I didn’t say those blessings any more. That was the first time I said aloud that I no longer prayed with the traditional words. Without missing a beat, Art said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world, ‘So write your own blessings.’ I told him I thought they’d stone me. ‘Marcia,’ he said in a booming voice, ‘they won’t stone you.’

So I sat down that afternoon and wrote my first four blessings, and the next night, full of trepidation, I recited them before a community of 300 Jews, ranging in affiliation from atheist to Orthodox. I recited the new words without introduction, as though they had been written a couple of millennia ago by the rabbis, rather than the day before, by me. I offered no apology or explanation (I didn’t dare to), and, to my puzzlement and disbelief, the community said, Amen.”

In March of 1985, Falk published an essay in Moment Magazine, in which she presented some of her new blessings, which would eventually become part of her path-breaking Book of Blessings, published in 1996. The article engendered strong and voluminous reactions across the spectrum; Falk received fan mail as well as attack mail. While there were many Jews, especially Jewish women, who had been waiting for an alternative to the patriarchal imagery of the prayer book and who were thrilled that Falk had met the challenge, there were also people who insisted that she did not have the right to make changes, especially to the Hebrew. But, Falk says, Jewish liturgy has always changed over time. “If it doesn’t evolve, it ossifies.” And Falk believes it is not enough to change the English. Her work is unique in that it offers new prayer in Hebrew poetic language.

“Many Jews want a liturgy that expresses their values and concerns. Keeping it alive in a fresh way has always been part of Jewish tradition,” she says.

It has been eighteen years since the publication of The Book of Blessings, and Falk’s readers have waited long for its sequel. In The Days Between, Falk offers Hebrew and English blessings for festive meals, prayers for synagogue services, and poems and meditations for quiet reflection. The Rosh Hashanah section of the book includes a blessing for apples and honey, a re-creation of the Un’taneh Tokef prayer, and a new tashlikh (waterside ritual). Among the Yom Kippur prayers are a Viduy (confession) and a new Kol Nidrey. “Window, Bird, Sky,” a series of ten poems and meditations (one for each of the Ten Days of T’shuvah) bridges the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur sections.

Emphasizing introspection as well as relationship to others, Falk evokes her vision of the High Holidays as “ten days of striving to keep the heart open to change.” Her new book promises to open her readers’ hearts and minds.


Marcia Falk is the author of The Days Between: Blessings, Poems, and Directions of the Heart for the Jewish High Holiday Season. Amy Sessler Powell is HBI’s Communications Director. 

Intermarriage is an Opportunity, Not a Threat

By Keren R. McGinity

We can learn a lot from actor Michael Douglas about gender and intermarriage. “I am a Jew,” he said with pride when he accepted the Genesis Prize last month in Jerusalem. He admitted it was “a long journey” to making this statement. He is the son of a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother and has two children with his non-Jewish wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dylan and Carys. He elaborated how his son’s decision to have a bar mitzvah and his father’s reconnection to Judaism late in life influenced his own thoughts about being Jewish. Michael Douglas and his family, both of origin and by marriage, teach us that the experience and meaning of intermarriage are complex. Jewish identity is fluid and can deepen long after the wedding. Interest and participation in the Jewish community can also increase over time. Going forward, it shouldn’t take winning a million dollars to make clear that someone is counted as a full-fledged member of Klal Yisrael.

Men’s voices need to be included in the intermarriage discussion. When I spoke publicly about my previous research on intermarried Jewish women, in my first book Still Jewish: A History of Women and Intermarriage in America, people would often ask me: “What about my son? What about my brother?” Those questions motivated me to research the lives of intermarried Marrying Out CoverJewish men. In order to truly understand Jewish gender, I realized, both sides of the relational coin must be evaluated. My new book Marrying Out: Jewish Men, Intermarriage, and Fatherhood illustrates that, contrary to common assumption, they and their families are not “lost” to the Jewish people. It is, however, much harder to be an intermarried Jewish man than an intermarried Jewish woman. Ethnic gender ascription assigns descent to women while simultaneously distancing men from their own heritage. Patrilineal descent continues to be one of the most divisive issues among Jewish movements, with the Reform and Reconstructionist movements assenting and the Conservative and Orthodox dissenting. The lack of consensus is exacerbated by a lack of awareness in the general public about patrilineal descent and the formal actions it entails. Making things more difficult is the American construct of masculinity, which perpetuates the idea that “real men” put their careers first and suggests that being a “good guy” isn’t worth striving for because it lacks cultural currency. This junction between achievement and being a mensch is where American manhood clashes with Jewish values, creating what I call the Jewish masculine mystique. Men suffer from competing priorities and communal disenfranchisement like women suffered from overeducated and underutilized minds prior to second wave feminism. Men are struggling to prove themselves as men while onlookers question the depth of their Jewish identity and commitment after bar mitzvah.

Unlike intermarried Jewish women who maintain the affiliations in which they were raised, my research shows that intermarried Jewish men shift from one branch of Judaism to another in search of connection and community. Whether and where they affiliate is influenced by interactions with clergy and being sure that their wives would be welcomed and their children would be considered Jewish. Intermarried Jewish men’s investment in how their children are raised illustrates a particularly Jewish take on American gender. Personal testimonies about fathering Jewish offspring suggest that the process of becoming a parent can have a profound effect on a man’s Jewish identity. Yet, the men’s insistence that I speak to their wives also alludes to the fact that women continue to shoulder most of the labor associated with child rearing. Thus, even when a man insisted that his children be raised Jewish, it was often the woman of another faith background actually doing the work.

Equal parenting has yet to fully take hold in America, which creates both opportunity and challenge for interfaith families. Women who were not raised Jewish have the chance to learn about Judaism in order to teach their children and to potentially choose to become Jewish, as some do. Men, too, can learn more about being and doing Jewish. The challenge is in reconstructing Jewish gender to increase the social value of men’s roles as parents, not just professional providers, and to emphasize the acceptability of learning alongside their children rather than being expected to know.

Jewish institutions can better support intermarried Jewish men who want to create Jewish families and raise Jewish children by actively communicating: “we want you and your family.” Individual clergy and Jewish professionals can personally reach out, make explicit the invitation to actively join the Tribe, and apologize for any past exclusion or alienation, perceived or otherwise. Jewish day schools and supplemental education programs can invite applications from interfaith couples regardless of which parent is Jewish, as well they should. Organizations can collaborate to empower men as co-parents by calling on them to fulfill their roles as Jewish fathers and creating programming that fits their interests. It’s high time to emphasize the value of Jewish father-child relationships, events, activities, and learning opportunities.

In order to mobilize Jews of mixed parentage and intermarried Jews to take pride in their Jewish identities and actively engage in Jewish life, Jewish pluralism—regardless of observance level, Hebrew fluency, Judaic literacy, or skin tone—must be celebrated just as marriage equality has finally become the law of the land. Perhaps then it will become clear to doomsayers that the American Jewish future is bright because of intermarriage, not despite it. Love is indeed love.

Dr. Keren R. McGinity is a research associate at the Hadassah-Brandeis KRMInstitute and a research affiliate at the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies at Brandeis University. Learn more at www.loveandtradition.com.

 

What Do Rabbas Mean to Me?

By Rachel Putterman

rachel_puttermanWhy am I, a non-Orthodox female rabbinical student, brought to tears at the recent images of Modern Orthodox women being ordained as rabbis in both Israel and the U.S?  Why does this historic shift resonate so deeply with me, given that the liberal movements have been ordaining women for decades?

Part of the answer has to do with the fact that I have been advocating on behalf of women for most of my life, first, as a public interest attorney, and now as a rabbinical student.  Thus, on a basic level, I am incredibly moved by the fact that real concrete change is happening, and at such a rapid pace that it appears to constitute a paradigm shift.  I don’t think anyone could have predicted that two cohorts of Orthodox women–one in Israel and one in the U.S.–would be granted semikha in 2015.  Indeed, at the JOFA Un-Conference held a mere nine months ago, in response to participants’ urgent questions regarding when women would be ordained as rabbis, a prominent male leader of the Modern Orthodox establishment said that the structure of rabbinic leadership would look very different within one to two generations. The ground is literally shifting beneath our feet!

Another part of the answer has to do with me being a decidedly non-Orthodox rabbinical student.  Despite my utter freedom to pursue the rabbinate, and the multiple options I had regarding where to receive rabbinic training, I was never able to shake an awareness that the path that I was pursuing was essentially off limits to women within an entire branch of Judaism.   And, I experienced that exclusion of women as a type of Jewish glass ceiling. I felt stigmatized by the fact that being a female rabbinical student automatically signaled that I was not Orthodox.  [For purposes of this discussion, I am putting aside the issue that all non-Orthodox rabbis are not considered valid rabbis by most Orthodox].  Whereas a male non-Orthodox rabbinical student could “pass” as Orthodox, so long as he dressed appropriately, the minute I said I was a rabbinical student, it was a given that I was not Orthodox.  I find it extremely liberating that with the ordination of Orthodox women that is no longer the case.  I am elated that my Modern Orthodox sisters have gained the right to become rabbis if that is their hearts’ desire, albeit with much more risk attached to their endeavors than to mine.  These women and the men who are supporting them are truly heroic, given the extreme censure and backlash that they face from the ultra-Orthodox.  They are the trailblazers, while I am the beneficiary of courageous women who preceded me.

I have met or corresponded with two of the newly-ordained female Orthodox rabbis and they have been so happy to connect with me that I’ve realized that we have more in common than I originally thought.  I met both of these women in the context of working towards solutions to the plight of agunot (women whose husbands refuse to grant them a Jewish divorce).  Perhaps it was our shared journey, combined with our mutual goal of helping agunot that overrode our denominational differences.  And this is yet the last reason why I’m moved to tears. The nascent expansion of the tent of Jewish women clergy has the potential to lessen the painfully entrenched division between the Orthodox and non-Orthodox, which will in turn lead to the further empowerment of all Jewish women.

Rachel Putterman is a Helen Gartner Hammer scholar-in-residence at HBI and a rabbinical student at Hebrew College.