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My Surrogate Jewish Grandmas

You know those heartwarming chick flicks where women with seemingly little in common are forced together by circumstance, bond over something like quilting, beekeeping, small-town politics or a Jane Austen novel, and end up teaching each other a thing or two about life?

That actually happened to me, but it didn’t take place in a goyishe beauty parlor or a nursing home. No, this group formed at the austere Yiddish class of my local Workmen’s Circle.

One night after work, I decided to attend a class in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles so that I could continue studies I had begun several years earlier in college. I was looking for a hobby while my husband worked long hours, and though I knew Yiddish was a quirky pastime for a 26-year old woman, spin class held no appeal. What I found inside the haimish, dilapidated building was nothing like the university class I’d taken years before. The teacher, an old-school, erudite litvak named Yakov Basner, got down to brass tacks with the alef-beys, avoided using a text book and gave lengthy dictations. I liked him immediately.

The beginner class was small, composed entirely of retired women of different ages. . .

>>>Read more at The Sisterhood

 

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Rachel Rosmarin on Workmen's Circle
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Workmen's Circle.
Courtesy of Rachel Rosmarin
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How to cite this page

Rosmarin, Rachel. "My Surrogate Jewish Grandmas." 5 October 2012. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on October 23, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/my-surrogate-jewish-grandmas>.

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A great call to action to celebrate . Let's keep pushing for inclusion come Nov. 1 too! https://t.co/jPHtHJaUBC