Thursday, May 29, 2014

How we think about things

I escorted a JDC Board member recently to see a "Chen" (Career Alternatives) program. Chen teaches Ultra-Orthodox young women to gain skills and employable assets - as well as "soft" skills - that will help them get good paying jobs.

And if they get good-paying jobs, they lift their families out of poverty and out of the welfare system.
They go from being dependent to independent.

But my colleague Amos Levi, who escorted us in the visit, gave a brilliant example of how we sometimes think in stereotypes about the Ultra-Orthodox world, and women in particular. Go to google and type in "Ultra-Orthodox women" and click on "images." What you'll get, he said, will be some version of Taliban-looking women, anger and violence, and anti-democracy/anti-public-order imagery.

So I did ... and he was right.

It's not just what we do. It's also how we think.
And the barriers to communication are on a two-way street.

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