On International Women’s Day or better known in Russian as “день восьмого марта” 20 women mixed between mothers, daughters, and sisters came together to initially delve intellectually into one of the greatest female characters in Jewish history: Queen Esther.
They learned about her strength in speech and in action, an inspirational class led by Nalini Ibragimov the educational director for Souled. She shared with them most importantly Esther’s true heroism which led to her saving the Jewish people in the story of Purim coming up. Many of these 21st century women standing there that evening had that graciousness of Queen Esther herself. Combining this with the strength of the generations of women from the Soviet Union preceding them.
Thanks to the kindness of the Hershs for opening up their home once more for RAJEOn and giving many woman the necessary place to connect with each other and allow both their Russian and Jewish identities to flow freely and proudly.
After this discussion, eggs were cracked, flour was poured, sugar was mixed and the beautiful hamentashen were on the way! Adding many different types of jams to complete the delicious recipe with a sprinkle of laughter and conversation. Similar to the enchanted matryoshka dolls – when you open them up, more come out, when these women opened themselves up, a stronger generations came forth. A stronger generation that holds strongly not only their Russian identity, but re-embracing their Jewishness one more time.