Out of Town

We moved 1000 miles away from our friends and family and just had a new baby....

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Grown up Cliques?

In the city we live in, there are between 400 and 450 shomer shabbos families, divided between three communities, We live in the largest area, with about 250 families. There are five Orthodox shuls here (2 chabad, 2 standard MO and one "traditional" that does not have a mechitza but has a second mechitza minyan). It is a friendly, welcoming place and people, at least in our part of town get along ok.

There is, however, one problem in our community: Cliques. I am not talking about groups of friends. Everyone has their friends that they are closer to and I have not problem with that. I would hope that everyone would have a core group of friends. The problem I see is that people are getting mean to each other. There are dirty looks going around shul, people don't talk to other people. I feel like there is a lot of judging going on about what you are wearing, both in terms of fashion and in terms of what is on your head.

We have a diverse community. There are women here who cover their hair all the time and some who never do. There are women who wear pants and tank tops and some who always wear stockings. There are men in kippa sruga, velvet and even a few streimels. The diversity of thought, dress, and custom is one of the things that we really loved about this community. But I am afraid that is starting to change.

The old timers here (people who came here 10 or more years ago) feel that the newbies are trying to change their community and make it too frum. The people who are more traditionally observant are trying to make policies about kashrut and other things that are excluding people who were traditionally the leaders of the community. But I don't' think that is the whole story. I think the cliquiness is from a different place. I don't feel like it is new vs. old or frum vs. modern. But I do think it is hurting our community. It makes me sad to go to shul....


Blogger SephardiLady said...

Somehow I was under the impression that cliques died the longer you lived adulthood. Unfortunately, I've found that middle school lives on in adulthood and it just stinks.

Sorry to hear this.

October 22, 2006 8:46 AM  
Blogger Ezzie said...

Sadly, SL is right. It seems like every community is torn asunder by them at some point.

October 23, 2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Cliques, unfortunately, do not die as people mature. Children's cliques are often their way of emulating their parents. In fact, one of my girls said that a classmate openly invited some girls to her birthday party while leaving out others in the class. To one of them (it may have been my own daughter) she offered the reason, "My mother doesn't know your mother."
It is this type of thinking that shapes not only social groups but even carpools.

October 25, 2006 8:10 AM  
Anonymous hilahoney said...


Hmm, sounds like Mean Girls & Desperate Housewives have found a place in the frum world...Too bad, I thought *frum* Jews were above that sort of behavior. Guess it goes to show you that we're all human. But I wonder why we feel the need to exclude others because of it.

Keep the good posts coming! I hope these issues are resolved positively quite soon!


October 30, 2006 3:16 PM  
Blogger FrumWithQuestions said...

You can never escape these things. I try real hard not to be that way. That can be accomplished by being talkative and introducing yourself to new people all the time and always making sure during Kiddush there is no one standing by themselves.

October 31, 2006 4:58 PM  
Blogger cool yiddishe mama said...

It's ridiculous, really...to be judged based on how you dress and where you go to school. B'H, I have found a group of friends that can all agree on "the biggies": kashrut, Shabbat, tzniut. Just don't get us started on hashgafah...unless you want hair-pulling.

November 13, 2006 8:59 PM  

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