A Jewish Parents’ Workshop

I had the pleasure of attending the first Jewish parents’ workshop. It was led by Marya Axner, the International Liberation Reference Person for Parents, and Cherie Brown, the International Liberation Reference Person for Jews. Marya Axner led as both a parent leader and a Jewish mom.

We had mini-sessions on how much we love our children, on being pleased with ourselves, and on where we can be harsh with our children. Marya reminded us that having regular sessions is key to parenting the way we want to. Our isolation as Jewish parents can leave us trying to figure out what to do rather than discharging and bringing others in as allies.

Cherie pointed out where anti-Jewish oppression and parents’ oppression overlap, noting that we have a double whammy [a situation that is hard in two ways] to battle through:

  • Anti-Jewish oppression and parents’ oppression are both invisible. They aren’t acknowledged or discussed in the wide world. Both leave us feeling like things are just our personal difficulties, not the result of an actual oppression.
  • Both oppressions blame us for the results of the oppression. As Jews we have been made terrified and then blamed for how we show our fear. As parents we are blamed for any visible imperfections in our parenting.
  • Isolation is a core piece of both oppressions.
  • In both oppressions we play a middle agent role. As parents our role is to train our children to fit into this society. We are constantly mediating between them and the oppressive society. We are both buffer and enforcer and have to navigate when and where to play each role and to what extent.

Tresa Elguera

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of parents

(Present Time 186, January 2017)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00