by Andrea Lieber

Who’s Minding The Baby?

Two years ago, Neta Stahl and Yitzhak Melamed, Ph.D. candidates in Jewish Studies and the parents of Yonathan and Alma, then four years and six months respectively, spent the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies (AJS) conference “going up and down the escalator, staring at the closed doors of the auditoriums.” Last year, they didn’t even bother to attend. But, this year, thanks to a groundbreaking and powerful grass-roots initiative to provide child care during the conference, Stahl could nurse her baby, light Hanukkah candles with her toddler and still interview for jobs and present her research to her peers. And she and her husband could support one another as colleagues instead of trading childcare responsibilities in exchange for half-time participation at the meeting, which took place in Boston last December.

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