The Zionist Conspiracy
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
In the latest issue of The Jerusalem Report, Sara K. Eisen, reviewing a book, writes that:
"At age 22, [a main character] Tzippy, a good Brooklyn Beis Ya'akov girl, is already considered, in her haredi-lite circle (a group more worldly than the ultra-Orthodox and less liberal than the modern Orthodox, where men will attend sporting events, and women wear makeup, but neither will receive a liberal arts education), to be well on her way to old maidhood."
The idea that a 22 year old woman would already be considered an "old maid" in observant circles is itself highly doubtful, but Eisen's apparently self-invented term of "haredi-lite", along with her self-definition of the term, is an example of the ignorance toward Orthodox Jews among much of the media, including the Jewish media. The ignorance is especially pervasive among Israelis.
It's not clear what "ultra-Orthodox" means and how those who are "haredi-lite" are more worldly than them. But given that plenty of charedim in America attend college and graduate school, the idea that neither men nor women who are "haredi-lite" would "receive a liberal arts education" is nonsense.
One can go to various schools and find charedi (and, presumably, "haredi-lite") students who are receiving such an education.
The situation is different in Israel, where charedim are more likely to be cut off from much of secular society, though even there some charedi woman attend programs at Bar Ilan University and elsewhere. In any event, Eisen's assumptions that American charedim are identical to their Israeli counterparts are inaccurate and misleading.