Sunday, March 4, 2012
Haredi divorcées form unique support group
Haredi women in Jerusalem launch support group to help each other deal with common stigma plaguing divorced women in religious society
A unique support group intended to assist recently divorced Haredi women has begun operating in Jerusalem. The support group is designed to help women deal with the negative stigma that follows a divorce in the Haredi community.
"The community is very helpful when it comes to death, but it's important to understand that separation is a particular form of death," said Gila, a participant in "Em Habanim" (the Center for families without a father).
She said that after her divorce she went through a "rough patch", especially when her close friends turned their backs on her. When explaining her decision to stay in the Haredi community after her divorce she said: "It wasn't a simple decision but I believed that the community was where I would receive the spiritual support I needed," she said.
In the Haredi community, the prevalent stigma is that the women are to blame for the separation.
Shulamit, another divorcee participating in the support group said that when she shares her experiences with the group she tends to receive nods of agreement and empathy from the fellow women.