Letters September 29, 2016


Looking at perspective
I am writing in response to the article, “Can a Man Tell Women’s Stories? Filmmaker previews his documentary-in-progress about Orthodoxy” (Aug. 18). I wish to discuss the origins and purpose of the film.

“Kol Hanashim” (Voices of Women) was created out of my own experience with the conflict that occurs when young adults choose to define their own lives by a value system that differs from their families’ and the broader community.  This problem has led to enormous challenges, sometimes escalating into situations where teenagers leave home. In the past decade, support groups have developed to assist young adults in this situation. Our goal is to prevent this conflict from escalating to that point.

We tell this story from a solely female perspective. We chose to focus on their stories as while we know that the issue of cultural integration plays out across genders, we believe that it is amplified for women in Orthodoxy.

Unlike other forms of communication, the power of video allows individuals to see and better understand the feelings of one another. While a parent will never agree with his or her child rejecting (parental) values, if they understood why, that it wasn’t rebellion or spite perhaps it could be dealt with in a more constructive manner. Ideally, this would work in both directions, when teenagers see parents other their own, they may have the distance to better understand their perspective.


To facilitate our goals, we intend to take the film to synagogues, yeshivot and community groups for screenings and Q-and-A (sessions). In addition, we are in the process of developing a website where participants will be able to film their own stories and share them, creating an ongoing means for dialogue in the community. For more information, see our website, Kolhanashim.com.

Director/Producer, “Kol Hanashim”

J Street has it right
Your editorial, “J Street Crosses the Line” (Sept.15) badly misses the mark.

The proliferation of settlements on the West Bank not only incites the Palestinians, but is a major barrier to a two-state solution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by depriving the Palestinians of land they would need to create a viable state. The fact that J Street is fighting this process by condemning Jewish organizations that abet the settlement process does not put the organization outside of “the big tent of the Jewish community” as (the editorial) asserts, but squarely in the center of it because the majority of American Jews oppose settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

It is organizations such as Regavim, Eldad and the Hebron Fund that put themselves outside “the big tent of the Jewish community” by supporting the expansion of settlements.

Visiting professor of
political science,
Johns Hopkins University

Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here