What to Wear: Four Weddings

Wedding season is in full swing and you might be getting bored of your go to looks. This week we put together four outfit inspirations from classic to trendy, cocktail or black tie. Below are some of our favorites from H&M's summer collection, and you'll find even more on our Pinterest!

All Items Available at H&M

Dress: $129

Earrings: $9

Clutch: $49

Pumps: $59

China, Through the Looking Glass: A Far East Inspired Shavuot

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Chinese Galleries, Douglas Dillon Galleries, Chinoiserie Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

The Jewish people have long been drawn to the beauty and opportunity of the Far East. This year, with a little influence from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, we decided to honor these communities with holiday looks and treats from China, Japan, India, and more. Check out our Pinterest for delicious, easy to make recipes and our favorite Ready-to Wear looks with Asian flair that fit your budget.

Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Anna Wintour Costume Center, Imperial China Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For more on Jewish communities in the Far East pick up a copy of Pepper, Silk, and Ivory: Amazing Stories about Jews and the Far East by Rabbi Marvin Tokayer & Ellen Rodman, PhD, an engaging Yom Tov read. China: Through the Looking Glass is open at the Metropolitan Museum of Art until August 15th, 2015, when you check it out let us know what you think!

Chag Sameach,
The Hadar Magazine Team

Source: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listi...

Healthy Body, Healthy Soul

Special guest post by Shira Sheps, Director of Outreach, Maayan Halev

In today’s world, there is tremendous pressure placed on the young women in our community. She must exhibit total tzniut, have impeccable character, be a perfect student, helpful daughter, responsible sister, get a good shidduch, be beautiful, thin, get married young, have many children, get an education, be successful in work and support their families, be a supportive wife, and a baalat chesed in the community. There are so many roles to fill, and limited physical, spiritual, and emotional energy to fill them all to the high standards expected by the community. Just one of these roles alone can be pressure enough to cause a young woman to have her distress manifest itself into an eating disorder to deal with her stress, her need to be perfect, or her need to maintain control.

It is also important to note, that the young women in our community are not immune to the influences of the greater world culture, where impossible body images are idealized. This issue of unattainable and unrealistic body images has infiltrated our world and the pressure to be thin in order to fit a "community standard of beauty" is unfair and dangerous. The general idealizing of the thin physique can be extreme; we look for new mothers to be back to their normal body at their son's bris, we expect young kallahs to lose weight for their weddings, and the dress size of a young woman will determine the type of shidduchim she is suggested.

Eating disorders in the Orthodox community have affected a devastating number of our young women. We recognized this issue, and are proud to announce the opening of Maayan Halev, a residential eating disorder treatment program specifically designed for English speaking Orthodox women from around the world, located in Tzfat, Israel.

Unlike most residential programs which are located in a cold Spartan hospital setting, Maayan Halev is located in a home setting, and the women live together under medical and clinical supervision in a Bayit. We have room for five to ten women over the age of 18. Maayan Halev has Chassideshe hashgacha, and our dieticians keep strict kashrut themselves and so they understand the needs of our unique demographic. We provide the very best clinical care; this includes individual therapy, group therapy, nutrition support, expressive therapy, and psychiatric supervision. We integrate Torah and tefilah into the recovery process, because we believe that by relinquishing control of our lives to HaKadosh Baruch Hu, and acknowledging that He is in control of everything, we can achieve true long lasting recovery.

For Orthodox women, there are many things that are missing from the traditional American treatment programs for eating disorders. Firstly, in many locations kosher food is not an option. In others where kosher food is available, the fact that the food is going differ from what all the other women in treatment are eating in the program is almost always an additional source of stress. (Very often it is airline-like food.) When others are learning to cook healthy meals for themselves, religious women cannot partake because the facility and the food is not kosher. When they are working with dieticians at a secular facility, the dietician is not always cognizant of the specific needs of an Orthodox woman from the type of food we eat culturally, how we prepare things, and kashrut.

In a secular environment, many therapeutic moments are lost; Orthodox participants will not be given advice on how to handle frequent chagim at home with their large families and how to eat at the table with everyone else without restricting, bingeing, or purging. Most importantly, the discussions about "a Higher Power" or "a godlike presence" are vague and unhelpful and not culturally relevant.

We believe that for an Orthodox woman to achieve real long-lasting recovery, she needs to have access to her value system from within her culture and community. This means she needs to have healthy kosher food and learn to prepare it for herself in an environment where the fact that it isn't kosher is not an added barrier to her success in creating healthy eating habits. Strengthening a relationship with Hashem and Torah values needs to be integrated into her program alongside her medical and therapeutic treatment. If she needs to be in a residential treatment facility, she should be in an environment that caters to Torah values, and has all the amenities and environment of a frum life along with the top clinical and medical care.

The issue of eating disorders in the Orthodox community is very prevalent, but is under-reported. We suppose that stigma and lack of education are some reasons for this. When someone in our community (chas v’shalom) has a life threatening illness, the community reaches out to the family to support them with all forms of chessed and tzedakah. When it comes to an issue in a family like eating disorders, people approach the issue from a stigmatized position, and, like other mental health issues in our community, families are afraid of the ramifications of being open about the fact that their family member is suffering, and are concerned about how it will affect what people will think about the parents and other siblings when it comes to issues such as shidduchim. The problem is, when a mental health issue like eating disorders is stigmatized, typically people keep the topic quiet, and so we end up with individuals and families suffering alone in silence, as opposed to being embraced with love and support by their friends and neighbors.

Since this issue is kept quiet, entire communities are rendered uneducated on the very serious, pikuach nefeseh issue of eating disorders. If the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or overeating go unrecognized by someone's family, teachers, and friends, tragic consequences may occur. The longer an eating disorder goes unattended, the harder it is to treat! It is of incredible importance that our community begin to educate ourselves on the issues, signs, and symptoms, and how to help our loved ones who are suffering and slowly killing themselves with this terrible illness of both body and soul.

For more information about Maayan Halev, please visit their website at www.MaayanHalev.com, and contact Shira Sheps, Director of Outreach at MaayanHalev@gmail.com or 732 406 3844. 

No Yoga Mat Required

Vinahapoch-hu. For kids and even teenagers, the whole concept of being able to dress up on Purim is arguably the most exciting aspect of their whole year. They get to finally be the firefighter that they dream of being when they grow up, the biblical character that they’d been eyeing throughout Tanach, or even the most original costume yet: a princess. When wearing the firefighter/biblical character/princess costume, children take this facade extremely seriously and insist on being called by that name and mimicking the way their alter ego would talk. They embody their new persona and truly embrace the meaning of Vinahapoch-hu.  

Fast forward a couple of years and now you’re an adult and dressing up just got a lot less fun. If you do indeed dress up, it becomes more of a statement of showing that you can still be fun in your old age rather than a sign of some religious tradition. How then can you attempt to maintain the Purim motif of Vinahapoch-hu if costumes have become passé?  

Yoga is often practiced to center the mind, body and soul. You perfect your breathing and stretch your body while your yoga instructor (or the YouTube video tutorial you’re watching) guides you through the poses and promises that at the end of the routine you’ll feel more in control of your life. Ironically, to do this, you twist your limbs into uncomfortable positions and into yoga poses that are named after animals or objects: cobra, pigeon, tree and warrior to name a few. And in the midst of this practice, guess what? Metaphorically, you have just embraced the essence of Vinahapoch-hu by becoming, if only for a second, some aspect of that animal or object. On a literal level as well, the poses that require you to balance on your head or bend upside down represent an actual manifestation of Vinahapoch-hu : you have physically turned matters (in this case, your body) upside down. With both of these arenas working together, the result is a complete centering. In other words, by embodying the opposite of what we normally are we reach utter clarity.

This month of Adar, this Purim, try a mental yoga pose. For those of you who just can’t break away from your high intensity spinning class, this is the perfect chance to sample the lifestyle. Try out a new outlook on life without the obvious shove from contorting your body into an extended-side-angle-with-bind pose. Altering your usual perspective (i.e. putting on that princess costume) allows you to step away from your narrow-mindedness and achieve an inner calm.

When your friend says the one thing you didn’t want to hear, remind yourself that it isn’t all about you. When your brother doesn’t invite you for a Yom Tov meal, don’t jump to conclusions and work yourself into a frenzy by remembering all of the other times that you weren’t invited over. Instead, practice your new routine.

Sun Salutation. Maybe that friend forgot your sensitivities for a second, not out of neglect but out of a need to vent to you about her own pressing matters.

 Downward Dog. Maybe your brother committed to hosting his in-law family and didn’t invite your from fear of making you feel out of place at the meal.

 Crescent Pose.  Vinahapoch-hu. Find your center this Purim.

 

~A

The Parsha of NYFW

Whether you live for fashion or you couldn’t care less (if you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you do probably care about your attire), it’s hard to ignore that this week marked the initiation of Fashion Week. What’s a Jewish woman to make of this non-stop parade of clothes and how can we place ourselves in that sphere without allowing it to consume our existence?

Although Fashion Week is allotted a span of only one week, the Parsha gets to sit in the spotlight every single week. The Torah portion that’s assigned to a specific week gets the same attention as whichever designer is sending his/her models down the runway, placing his/her garments at the mercy of fashion critics everywhere to be criticized to the nth degree. We do the same thing when we read the Parsha, breaking down each word and analyzing why the designer of that sentence would think to place it there and in that manner. After all, an article of clothing is but a mere text on which the designer is an author who imparts his words, his ideas onto the blank slate; both clothing and the Torah are texts to be interpreted, texts which the reader must try to understand.

This past week’s Parsha was Tetzaveh which describes the attire of the Kohen Gadol. Attire of the Kohen Gadol: I mean, can it get any more apropos to Fashion Week? The detail that is attributed to the Kahon Gadol’s garments is astonishing: The hem of this garment was edged with small bells intended to announce the presence of the Kohen Gadol as he walked through the Bais Hamikdash; the engraved, golden forehead plate and the turban; all the garments being hand made from the finest white linen. Of course, no ensemble would be complete without some adornment, and here that position falls upon the Choshen Mishpat; the sister team Dannijo would be proud. It contained four rows of precious stones, each row containing three stones with the names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel upon these twelve stones.

Because Fashion Week continues until the 13th of February, next week’s Parsha comes into play as well: Ki Tisa. Ki Tisa marks the sin of the Egel Hazahav, the Golden Calf. While waiting for Moshe to return down from Har Sinai, Bnei Yisroel fear that he has abandoned them because they miscalculated the amount of time that his stay was supposed to last. Thinking he extended his stay, they feel abandoned and build this idol to worship. Bringing this in context to our time of the year, Fashion Week is imparted with a whole new meaning.

Watching the runway shows, keeping up to date with fashion bloggers, and wishing you could be sitting there front row is completely normal and expected. Where we all have to be cognizant however is turning our passion into our religion. The nation at the foot of the mountain decided to take the fabric they had and become their own designers, which caused Moshe to break the Luchot when he indeed does descend and see their work. That wasn’t just a case of Moshe being a tough fashion critic; that was the case of Moshe seeing a knockoff. Knockoffs, my friends, are in no way acceptable. We were given the highest quality fabric and the patterns to follow in the guise of the Torah. Hashem is our front row fashion critic and He can spot a knockoff, so when you walk down the runway you want to be flaunting couture; you want to be donning the real thing that you can vouch for.

The difference between a Jewish woman and Philip Lim is that like the designer, we are given fabrics and patterns in the guise of the Torah; the Torah is our very own Mood (the go-to fabric store in the city), but we tailor our lifestyle to fit the garment, unlike Lim who adjusts the measurements based on each model. What this means is that we can see a stunning blouse in a store, but if its Achilles’ heel is that it is sheer, we layer it with a liner underneath so as to adhere to the basic guidelines of modesty; sheer blouse, meet the more important fabric of our lives, the Torah.

The fact that both last week’s and this upcoming week’s Torah portions discuss fashion and creativity is, for the lack of a more eloquent way of putting it, simply awesome. If you could take away one lesson from all of this, it’s that I advise staying away from anything involving gold, but that’s just me…

 

~A

Spotlight On: Hadar's Publisher

At Hadar, we love giving credit to amazing and talented Orthodox women who live a full life, raising families, running their businesses, and trying to keep sane all the while. But sometimes, that table is turned and the attention falls on us. Our publisher, Bari Weizman, was recently profiled beautifully in the Yeshiva University Alumni News. Read on about Bari and the origins of Hadar Magazine.


Original post appeared in Yeshiva University Alumni News, reposted with permission.

Some women are known for their style, others for their business acumen. And for some, fashion and business merge as they have for Bari Weizman ’08SB, ’12SB the president and publisher of Hadar Magazine.

Weizman grew up in Wesley Hills, NY, always knowing she would attend Stern College for Women, as did her mother and sisters. (Weizman is one of ten children, seven of whom are girls.)

“I loved how simple life was then, before the pressures of being professionally successful and providing for a family kicked in,” says Weizman, reflecting on her time at Stern. “You had the structure of academics, but beyond my responsibility to do well in school, I was only responsible for enjoying college life. And I did: I made great friends, learned a lot, and loved living in New York City.”

Weizman was close with Professor Lisa Rosh, who taught leadership and organizational behavior. “I often apply the information we learned in her courses when making decisions or thinking about my career,” says Weizman, who interned at MTV during her senior year and graduated with a BA in marketing.

With a vision to found her own business one day, Weizman knew that she would need hands-on experience and capital before starting a successful venture. “I felt that the best place to gain the most experience in a short amount of time would be a startup or small business, where I could wear many different hats,” she explains. “But when I graduated, the economy collapsed and jobs were scarce, so I focused on the job I had at Telco Experts, LLC, a telecommunications company.”

Weizman advanced in the ranks at Telco to become director of provisioning. In 2011, she returned to YU to earn her Master’s in accounting at Syms, which she completed last January. Through it all, she kept the dream of starting her own business in mind, and it was during a random Shabbat afternoon hanging out with her sisters that she had the idea to found her own magazine for Jewish women.

“I have a good head for business but not for writing so I reached out to my friend Shevi Genuth, who I knew was looking to get into publishing and also deeply valued the concept of modest, stylish fashion for Jewish women,” explains Weizman. “Shevi had worked with me for a time at the telecommuting company, and I knew we had similar business ethics and worked well together. She came on board right away.”

Weizman serves as the president and publisher of Hadar magazine, while Shevi is the managing director. The magazine currently releases four issues per year, which can be purchased at select stores in the tri-state area and online (www.hadarmagazine.com), which Weizman says has allowed them to get some national and international sales. The magazine aims to mimic the look and feel of Vogue, but with a Jewish slant. “The content is unique to Jewish life, and the inspiration comes from our own everyday lives,” explains Weizman.

The eventual goal is to publish the magazine once a month and expand to different Jewish communities across the country. And, after that, who knows? “Shevi and I envision expanding our brand to include a Jewish women’s publishing firm with numerous periodicals,” says Weizman. “It may seem that print is going out of business in the secular world, but I don’t think it ever will in the Jewish community. You can’t use your Kindle or iPad on Shabbat.”

For Weizman, one of the biggest challenges is to remember that while passion and creative ideas are essential for a company to succeed, so is business acumen.

“Passion is necessary and is a big part of what drives the business, but at the same time it also makes it challenging to prioritize and really stay focused on growing the business so that you can  implement all of those great ideas,” says Weizman. “When you start a new business, you are pulled in 101 directions and you are so eager to make sure each part of the business is perfect. It’s important not to waste time on things that should be addressed at a different stage, no matter how excited you are about it initially.”

Weizman, a working mom of two, credits the help she receives from her hands-on husband, in-laws, and her own family with giving her the ability to balance her many interests.

“I am extremely blessed to have such an amazing family that is willing to help me reach my goals,” she states emphatically. “I would not be able to do it without them.”

Weizman is married to her high school sweetheart, Ilan, and they live in Monsey with their two daughters, Gabrielle, 2, and Noa, 2 months.

 

Think Beyond Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

Special guest post by Rebecca Schwartz, Director of Community Engagement, Sharsheret: Your Jewish Community Facing Breast Cancer

 

 

The first thought that comes to mind when I think about October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is pink.  It’s all about the pink – pink shoes, pink t-shirts, pink sports bras, pink watches, all sold to “raise breast cancer awareness.”  And that’s really what NBCAM is all about – raising awareness about breast cancer, encouraging women to take care of their health, and empowering women to make informed decisions. 

In the Jewish community, women play so many central roles - daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, volunteer, caregiver. The list goes on.  We are so busy taking care of others that we often neglect to take care of ourselves.  I have no problem remembering to schedule doctor’s appointments for my kids, but scheduling my own appointments somehow always slips my mind.  Taking care of my health is just as, if not more, important because my kids need me to be healthy so I can keep up with them.  

As Jewish women, safeguarding our health is of particular significance since 1 in 40 Ashkenazi Jews carries a breast cancer gene (BRCA) mutation, nearly 10 times the rate of the general population, making Jewish families significantly more susceptible to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.  Sharsheret: Your Jewish Community Facing Breast Cancer was founded to give Jewish women a voice in the cancer community.  Sharsheret provides free support for Jewish women and families facing breast cancer or at increased genetic risk and educates communities nationwide about the increased risk for hereditary cancer in Jewish families.  It’s a safe, confidential place where Jewish women can turn to discuss their concerns about breast cancer.  If you have questions about your family history, you can speak with Sharsheret’s certified genetic counselor free of charge.  If you are living with breast cancer, Sharsheret can connect you with another woman who has been on the same journey.  I encourage you to get involved in Sharsheret – as a participant in one of our 12 national programs, as a volunteer, or as a supporter.  It’s the perfect opportunity to connect with and empower Jewish women nationwide.

So, what does any of this have to do with pink?  When it comes to breast cancer awareness, pink is more than just a color.  It’s a reminder of our responsibility as women to take care of ourselves.  Before you click “add to cart” and buy that cute pink bracelet this October, take some time to learn your family history, schedule your annual check-up, and do a self-exam.  Look past the pink and think about what it represents - the power we have, as women, to take control of our health. 

For more information about Sharsheret’s free national programs and services, visit www.sharsheret.org, call 866.474.2774, or e-mail info@sharsheret.org

Behind The Scenes: Photo Shoots for Fall 2013 Issue

Not that I am biased, but the fashion spreads for Hadar’s fall issue are amazing. Each person who contributed to organizing and executing the photo shoots is super talented and a pleasure to work with. All the details came together beautifully, and being on set with everyone was such an experience! We learned to watch out for the random sprinkler that decided to say hello just as our model passed by fully clothed in designer samples, danced around to lots of Taylor Swift, and found out that when you use a real honeycomb as a prop, bees will follow. Shocking, right?

With lots of hard work, we were able to pull the most fantastic samples from up and coming designers to be featured on the pages of Hadar. But this task presented its own challenges. As a little-known-but-soon-to-be-extremely-popular magazine, we met many skeptically raised eyebrows and lots of questions about our publication. I can only imagine our stylist’s initial conversations with the fashion houses and PR firms went something like this:

“Hi, I’m calling from Hadar Magazine.”

“Which magazine?”

“Hadar Magazine.”

“Hodor?”

“No, Hadar.”

“Hagar?”

“No… Hadar.”

And then, of course, trying to explain to designers that the samples they send us need to be modest. No pants, no minis, no sleeveless. I think we had more than one fashion assistant scratching her head at our requests.

Ultimately, we are completely in love with the end results and cannot wait for you to see these amazing photo spreads in our fall issue! I’ll leave you with one sneak peek…

It's Wedding Season!

As we prepare for Shavuos with cheesecakes and floral arrangements, let us take a quick moment to think about the beauty inherent in the upcoming YomTov, Shavuos. On this day we commemorate receiving the Torah at Har Sinai, and remind ourselves that the Torah truly is a gift, hence the wording "Matan Torah," with matan stemming from the word matana, a gift.

Many times, we may covet the lives that others have and question our own religious commitments...Why do I have the hassle of bringing Kosher food on my vacation to Aruba? In today's world we are bombarded with the Non-Jewish culture all around us, making it very tempting to sometimes wish things were a little "easier" for us. 

Shavuos is a time to remember our gift. To remember that on this day, we stood at Har Sinai the way a bride and groom stand together under the Chuppah and said, "We do"..."Naaseh Venishma." We remind ourselves that our precious Torah is a gift to live by, not to confine us, but to give our souls freedom to become closer to Hashem, our Chatan. The Torah is the vehicle through which we can renew our commitment to Him, the tangible guide he provided us with and live by. It is a time to delve into the splendor of Torah and strengthen our Emunah, that although we face challenges in the world as Jews, we must stand proud knowing that what we have is divine, special, and most importantly a gift.

Recognizing the beauty in the Torah may help all of us face our challenges with increased joy, and see it as less of a burden. So let us renew the vows that each and every one of us took that day at Sinai with the giddy excitement of a bride on her wedding day, and once again say, "We do!"

Chag Sameach,

Ilana B.

I am [Orthodox] Woman

Wanna know a secret? The name on my birth certificate is vastly different from the name people call me, and I hate it. Growing up, each time I needed to fill out some legal form, I would complain to my mother why she gave me this legal name at all. Why didn't she just make my Hebrew name, which I go by, my legal name? Plenty of my friends had legal names that matched their everyday-names. Her response? "If you ever want to become president, you will need an English legal name." Huh.

While I was raised in a traditional Orthodox household, I never felt that my career path was limited due to the fact that I was female. I truly believed (and still do believe) that I could choose any major in college, achieve any level degree I work towards, and reach any career position I so desire. Again, I did not and do not feel limited as a woman. I am blessed to have had this instilled in me. My mother told me I could be President of the United States.

However, when I began to think in terms of being an Orthodox Jewish woman, things became more complicated. Between Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter, the conversation about women in the workplace appears in every medium. I have read numerous magazine articles and blog posts that address the perennial topic of having it all. Many people in today's culture seem to concur that yes, women can have it all. We have heard it said over and over how recent technology allows women to step away from the mesh-backed office chairs and blur the lines between what is designated as "work time" and what is reserved for "family time." Whether this is ultimately beneficial or not is a side debate for a different time. But my question is, can an Orthodox woman have it all? Can we obtain top positions in powerful companies and yet still make it home in time for Shabbat? Can we afford to take off thirteen days throughout the year for the yomim tovim (not including travel time to visit those far away cousins that you stay with EVERY Sukkot)? If Marissa Mayer was an Orthodox Jew, would she be able to hold the position she does? What happens when a leader of a company puts on her out of office and actually means it?

Don't get me wrong, I am enthralled by the work-life conversations in pop culture recently. It is empowering and exciting to read about the growing number of women in top positions. Yet when I turn the page of the magazine, that little voice in my head (in a surprising Eastern European accent) reminds me, "But they're not Orthodox. It's different for us." 

Well, Hadar Magazine wants to explore what Orthodox women have to say on this matter. It is time to create our own role models who carry a work-life-religion balance. In this 4G world, we need to learn how to keep up with the pace, yet still retain our integrity as Orthodox Jewish women. The suggestion box is now open.

Tell us your thoughts!

Much Love,