I almost can’t find the words to introduce this woman… she is just so full of light and love! What an inspiration!
Hello Wrapunzel Ladies!
My name is Yael, and I am originally from Chicago. My husband Effie and I live in Atlanta where we are involved in an incredible Jewish community and synagogue, The Kehilla (http://thekehilla.org/). My husband and I met there, and it is just a beautiful and supportive group of people from all walks of life committed to Judaism. Professionally, I am a Director of Teaching and Learning for Teach For America in Metro Atlanta, and I absolutely love my job! When I first joined Teach For America back in 2008, I taught third grade in Miami. I am very passionate about and devoted to working towards educational equity in this country. Through my current role with Teach For America I plan professional development for our elementary teachers and support them in the classroom. I also design many of our large events and some of our diversity and inclusiveness programming. I work in a variety of settings, such as the Teach For America office, coffee shops, and public schools spanning four districts. No matter where my job takes me, I go with a smile and a hair covering.
Covering my hair in many contexts has allowed me to explore and share a totally new part of my Jewish identity with teachers and co-workers. This has been the springboard for deeper conversations with colleagues about my Jewish identity and its relationship to the social justice work that we do. When I wrap my hair I feel elegant, beautiful, creative, and proud. It becomes a medium for me to express who I am. Wrapping gives me a sense of connection to Jewish women throughout history. My tichel is my crown and, in a way, my wedding ring. It signifies my commitment to building a Jewish home. Further, it serves as a way to outwardly show my Judaism and demonstrate the beauty in our Jewish culture.
I have been covering to some extent since I got married just over a year ago in November 2012. Before I got married, I was not quite sure how I was going to cover my hair and if I was going to cover my hair full time. The day after our wedding I decided to try it out by wearing a hat. That night for sheva brachos, I wore a scarf. I decided after that day that I could do this! I wore mainly hats and some scarves covering my head for the first couple of months. Over time, I transitioned to pretty much covering all of my hair with scarves. And I do have fun mixing it up! I have a fabulous collection of scarves and hats (and of course accessories like headbands!). I also have worn a sheitel a couple of times, but wrapping is my absolute favorite way of covering. When I wrap my hair, I feel like the best version of myself.
My twin sister Ilana is one of my wrapping role models. She has been covering her hair since she got married in 2010. Being a twin is AWESOME because you share everything, and now we get to share tichels and hair wrapping techniques. We live in different cities, but when we visit each other we always do a mini tichel swap. We also regularly send pictures to one another to share our daily looks. Having a twin along for this hair covering ride has been special for both of us.
My friends and family have been incredibly supportive of my decision to cover my hair. Before getting married, my friends in Atlanta threw me a meaningful tichel party with demonstrations and beautiful divrei torah about the significance of hair covering. A couple of weeks later in Chicago, my friends and family also threw me a tichel party. At this party, everyone, Jewish and non-Jewish, those who cover their hair and those who do not, all tried on hats and tichels with me. Insignificant as this might seem, the participation of my friends and family in this way affirmed their support and gave me the strength that would eventually allow me to cover my hair the way I do today.
Wow! Check out Yael’s rockin’ tichels! This girl can wrap!