On Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011, 614 HBI eZine editor Michelle Cove headlined the local launch of 614 eZine in Tidewater (*now known as Jewish Women’s Salon) at a gathering at the Sandler Family Campus. Not just a talented writer and editor, Cove is also an award-winning documentary film maker. And to set the stage for the first of what we hope will be many conversations to come, Cove showed a “teaser” of her film Seeking Happily Ever After, which considers the questions: Why there are more single 30-something women in the US than ever before? Are women today truly redefining “happily ever after?”

Rabbi Jeffrey Arnowitz of Congregation Beth El joined Cove at the podium after the film. They explained to a diverse crowd of more than sixty women (not bad for a night of torrential storms!) that not only are American women in general waiting longer to get married and start families… but that Jewish women, in particular, are waiting even longer. And they asked the women in the room a simple question: Why?

In a room full of bright, articulate Jewish women, it was no surprise that many well-considered theories and opinions came out, and conversation flowed. Women of different ages brought different perspectives to the mix. Whether considering the question from a personal point of view or from the point of view of the mother of single 20- or 30-something, each woman was engaged in the conversation. And each saw merit to the theories of the others.

There were no hard and fast answers to the questions asked or to others which arose in the course of conversation, but these days… conversations doesn’t have to end when the lights go out and the building closes. The beauty of the Jewish Women’s Salon is that conversations can continue online through blogs and eventually moderated chat room discussions, which will allow busy young moms, tired working women, and even those who just don’t like to drive at night… the opportunity to be part of the conversation… part of the community… and really, what could be better.

The Jewish Women’s Salon, a program of 614 eZine in Tidewater, is being co-chaired by Babbi Bangel and Rachel Crockford. Annie Sandler serves on the board of Hadassah Brandeis Institute and was not only the driving force behind the national eZine, but also provided the encouragement for us to start our own uniquely Jewish conversations among women right here in Tidewater.

Want to know more about the Jewish Women’s Salon? Contact Amy Weinstein, YAD Director, at aweinstein@ujft.org or 965-6127 or Amy Zelenka, Women’s Campaign Director, at azelenka@ujft.org or 965-6139. Or go online to www.jewishwomenssalon.org and take a look around. We’ll be posting new articles, blogging regularly, and letting you know where and when the next live salon will take place.

The Jewish Women’s Salon, a program of 614 eZine in Tidewater, is a community-building initiative of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. All are welcome. There is no fee to participate. No solicitation.

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