To Write Or Not To Write

by: Esther Bernstein My first semester in graduate school was almost over. I had become ever more aware of “shuttling between two worlds,” and I’d begun to mark the exact moment when the D train emerged from the tunnel to cross the bridge between Brooklyn and Manhattan. I spent time with classmates in the lounge, but I still mostly followed the advice my mother gave me when I started college: “Make sure your classmates know you’ll be friends with them in school, but not...

And The Skirt Comes Off

By: Lea I wanted to help others and be a good jewish wife. At age 20 I was in graduate school to become a social worker, and this career was considered very “kosher”. Some rabbis approved my choice, and all I needed was a husband. A rabbi set me up with a young man at a friends’ wedding. After 2 weeks, my date asked me if I was ready to get engaged. I said I needed more time. A week after that conversation, he proposed. I said yes.   6 weeks later, he drove halfway across the country to...

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby

By: Esther We covered up everything. Our knees. Our Elbows. The collarbone. Our body shape. The female form was simply forbidden, and we had to wear loose clothing to make sure no one knew…I’m not even sure what. Oh, and toes. Do Not  Have Toes.  I mean, don’t show them. Thick socks at all times. I remember growing up and knowing that these were the rules and I did not question them.  Modesty was the cornerstone of our faith and survival as a nation. Whenever anything happened in the...