From the Editor

by Susan Weidman Schneider

With “Jewish identity” on every agenda in the wake of recent intermarriage statistics, let’s look at those “first moments” where a girl is touched by experiences identifiably Jewish. Considering how pulpit preaching emphasizes the importance of “the home” and “the family” in inculcating and reinforcing Jewish identity, we need to begin giving equal time to institutions. I have subversive purposes here. First, to point out that parents may have as great an impact on daughters in selecting for them Jewish schools and youth groups, where girls and young women interact with their peers, as by what’s going on at home. Second, to praise the often unacknowledged women who touch the lives of girls and young women at three distinct stages in their identity formation.

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