The Signature

I am attempting to go to Israel for a year, a couple of months, a day, whatever I can get basically…

I filled out a long application (complete with “autobiographical sketch”) and a million other forms and began the wait. I was told by a lot of BT friends that as a girl you can almost show up in Israel and walk around to the nearest seminary, and if you really need help you can get it. I figured I would be fine–after all, financially I REALLY need help. And my application was pretty good.

The people over in Israel have been very helpful so far but one thing has really surprised me. SIGNATURES. My mom offered to get me a job working with her for the summer. I’d only have to work every OTHER Shabbos. My dad wants me to get an internship in Los Angeles. The last thing my parents want me to do is go to Israel for the summer. Of course they think I have lost my mind, and to an extent I can’t completely blame them. I never asked them if I could go to Israel. I just told them I was going.

This is the problem I faced when the seminary I want to go to asked for my mom or dad’s signature…two seperate times. The first time my mom said sure, whatever. The second time around, she asked how long I was going. “Maybe two months?” This started a huge freak out session.

All I’m trying to say is that, especially for seminaries that are known to have a lot of girls that are BT or converts, it is crazy to ask for parent signatures. I am twenty years old, independent from my parents in all aspects (don’t live at home, get money from parents, or even see them on a monthly basis…) but I still need to get my mom’s signature. 

I have friends that had to run away from home and go to Israel with only their purse and the clothe they were wearing. I realize that if someone is over 21 they do not need a signature. Still we all know that many girls in the frum world are MARRIED by this age. If I was 20, but married, would I still need my mother’s signature? I think a better cutoff age would be 18…when the girls are still living at home for sure, probably don’t have a job, aren’t dating, etc.

What would happen if my mom refused to sign the forms?  Would they not let me go to seminary? Does this make ANY sense? The girls whose moms won’t let them go are the ones who need to go the most.

-Tsivia

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