She Left the Haredi World. Here’s Why She Worries for Her Granddaughters Who Remain There

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One day last month, Judith Rotem attended the circumcision ceremony of one of her many great-grandchildren. The newborn is from the Haredi side of the family, the grandson of her only son, who chose to remain in the Haredi – ultra-Orthodox – world when she and her six daughters breached the wall and entered what Rotem calls the “free world.” She’s not fond of the term “secular.” The infant’s mother is one of her 10 Haredi grandchildren. Rotem brought one of her 15 non-Haredi grandchildren, a granddaughter who is a captain in an elite army unit, to the event. Rotem is thrilled and delighted at the encounter between these two worlds, but she’s also worried about the Haredi girls, because of their hard life and thankless toil – patterns of living she was well acquainted with before she walked out of that life, daring to slam the door behind her.

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