The Dynam­ics of Becom­ing Ortho­dox: Dutch Jew­ish Women Return­ing to Judaism and How Their Moth­ers Felt about It

Min­ny E. Mock-Degen
  • Review
By – September 24, 2013

Dur­ing the 1960s, many young peo­ple became ba’alei teshu­vah, return­ing to Ortho­dox Jew­ish obser­vance. Min­ny E. Mock-Degen, a Dutch soci­ol­o­gist who grew up in the Nether­lands and lat­er immi­grat­ed to Israel, has stud­ied Dutch women who became ba’a lot teshu­vah. She want­ed to know how the increased reli­gious obser­vance had affect­ed their rela­tion­ships with their moth­ers. How did the moth­ers expe­ri­ence, per­ceive, and inter­pret their daugh­ters’ return to Ortho­doxy? How do the moth­ers and daugh­ters feel about it now? She also want­ed to find out how the young women became involved in Ortho­dox Judaism and how they found places with­in that com­mu­ni­ty. Issues such as kashrut and Sab­bath obser­vance can be points of con­flict for non-obser­vant fam­i­ly mem­bers. Some par­ents are more accept­ing and more will­ing to com­pro­mise than oth­ers. The author includes a glos­sary of Jew­ish terms, a bib­li­og­ra­phy, and details of her research pro­to­cols in the book. This work is for aca­d­e­m­ic collections.

Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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