Aya Baron is Wilderness Torah's Youth Programs Director. She joined the staff in 2015 after three years in serving as a lead field instructor. Previously, Aya worked as an educator and program designer at Urban Adamah and Eden Village Camp. She is passionate about cultivating a regenerative Jewish culture, developing rites of passage experiences for youth, and working with adolescent girls. Aya holds a degree in Contemplative Education from Brown University.
In Search of Eshet Chayil
By exploring the traditional Jewish prayer, Eshet Chayil, along with contemporary popular magazines that depict images of women, young girls find their footing in the face of popular culture in ways that ignite their confidence, creativity, and self-expression.
- Engaging in Jewish text and poetry can help us find our own beliefs, voices, and creative expression.
- Valor, beauty, and worth are subjective, and everyone’s personal interpretation and expression of them deserves celebration.
- What does the eshet chayil (woman of valor) prayer teach us about what Jewish tradition has to say about the value and role of women and girls?
- What do messages and images from the media have to say about mainstream America’s ideas of women and girls’ worth?
- What does it mean to be an eshet chayil today? How does the original text translate, and where does it fall short?
- How are you a modern day eshet chayil (woman or girl of valor)?
- Journals or paper and pens for personal reflection and writing
- Pop-culture magazines marketed towards adolescent girls (Seventeen, Teen Vogue, J-14, etc.)
- Fire pit or fireplace and supplies necessary for safely building and maintaining a fire:wood, matches, water/fire-extinguisher (optional), or other materials for closing ritual
Notes to Teacher
- This lesson is designed to help adolescent girls feel empowered, valorous, and strong in their sense of self, and aware of the messages sent to them by mainstream media and Jewish tradition, so that they can make wise choices about how they relate to them.
- The target audience is female-identified adolescents wishing to engage in pluralistic study of Jewish text. This lesson can be adapted to all ages. The central text, eshet chayil, is complex and rich and offers an opportunity for deep inquiry.
- Notice that there is a ritual proposed in part four of the lesson. Consider the proposed ritual, and imagine possible adaptations that fit your demographic
- If you will involve fire in your ritual in part four, as you prepare program materials, consider if you will build and tend the fire throughout the lesson, or do so when girls begin journaling in part 3.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Aya Baron." (Viewed on October 3, 2022) <https://jwa.org/twersky/baron-aya>.