Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews will constitute the majority of America Jewry before the end of the 21st century. Many Haredi women are responsible not only for raising children but for supporting their families while their husbands study full time. Yet Haredi men always have the public persona and are placed in positions of authority; in the working world, women’s roles are private. In the non-Orthodox community, this is often seen as misogynistic, but in the framework in which these women live, the situation is perceived differently. Few have been able to investigate this cultural reality, because the Haredi world is insular and does not invite others in. The authors of A Parallel Universe were able to meet the challenges of obtaining subjects for their study, overcoming concerns regarding privacy, modesty, and identifiability, because one of them is "of" the community and can relate personally and professionally to the administrators whose portraits constitute the narrative. A Parallel Universe identifies the key leadership characteristics of five extraordinary female school principals in Haredi girls' schools, using the research approach of portraiture.
Dr. Zipora Schorr has served as Director of Education of Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School in Baltimore for over three decades. She received the 2003 Covenant Foundation Award for Exceptional Jewish Educators and writes and lectures widely on best practices in education. Dr. Barbara Davis headed the Syracuse Hebrew Day School for over 25 years.
Barbara Sheklin Davis
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Haredi, Women, leadership, Jewish, education
RELIGION / Judaism / General