The first questions any girls asked were simple ones about how Jews and Muslims practice. Questions were asked about how is prayer conducted, the different obligations for women and men in regards to prayer, the differences between various religious texts and religious sects. As the night progressed, we arrived at the role of women in our religious communities, the norms of marriage and our own views of modesty and the perceptions of modesty in society. One woman who commented that as women of faith, we are always trying to “balance an inner modesty with the desire to feel beautiful.” I remember looking around the room and seeing girls adorned with headscarves, full-length skirts, jeans, loose clothing, and wigs. As we looked at each other, it was surprising to realize just how similarly we dealt with our physicality, and how we don’t often see how much we share. It was great topic to end our event as it summarized our enlightened view of our common struggles and experiences as women of faith.
We couldn't stop talking, and so the event ran an hour past its intended end time! Afterwards, many of the women stayed behind to meet one another and share their enthusiasm for the event. Due to such positive feedback and the great bonding experience that we had, we plan to continue the Women’s Dialogue as a series that will resume next fall. We hope to see all of you ladies there!