by Deborah Hertz

How the Blumenfelds Lost Their Women

A Family’s Roots Journey to Latvia

Last August I went to pray at the lavishly restored Riga synagogue in Latvia. But instead of thinking about Judaism or the Holocaust or my vanished ancestors, I found myself sitting in the upstairs women’s gallery feeling enraged. My neck hurt from craning to see the davvening downstairs, the men strutting around and chatting, while around me a quiet handful of women sat glued to their prayer books.

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