Teshuvah among French Jewish women
Publication Date: November 1999
Author(s): Laurence Podselver
Series: Working Paper Series no. 6, November 1999. pp. 161-167
Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive
Keywords: Women; Generational Issues; Orthodox Judaism; Culture
The majority of Lubavitchers now in France come from the families of North African Jews. In becoming baÂ’alei teshuvah, they managed to remain Jews while breaking away from the culture of their parents. In so doing, they also adopted a form of ashkenazi culture in its most socially visible form. The women Â“returningÂ” were typically at the end of their adolescence and contemplating the question of breaking away from their parents to forge families of their own or else they were still students deciding whether or not to stop their studies to get married. They often wanted to escape the strictness of their fathers and the old-fashioned ideas those fathers held about womenÂ’s lives. Not yet adults, they were having the same conflict with their parents as other children of North African immigrants, trying to honor family tradition as well as wishing to integrate into French society.