Making It Her Business

This interview was first published as “Teaching Haredi Women To Succeed in Business” in The Sisterhood blog of The Forward.

Batya Kenanie Bram

Batya Kenanie Bram, a former Israeli government spokeswoman, said she was looking for a new challenge. The working mother of three wanted to do something that she thought would have more direct social impact. Drawing on her natural business acumen and her formal academic training — she has a master’s degree in political science and public administration — she began teaching Haredi women in Jerusalem to start and maintain small businesses.

Kenanie Bram said it has been deeply fulfilling to help the women with whom she works understand that to be a good wife and mother and a productive and profitable entrepreneur are not mutually exclusive pursuits. She spoke recently with The Sisterhood.

Renee Ghert-Zand: What does your work with these Haredi women entail?

Batya Kenanie Bram: The program I am involved with is an initiative of the Ministry of Commerce. It involves courses on how to start a business from theoretical, legal and tax perspectives. We work on self-empowerment and we evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses using models from the business world. We also cover marketing, presentation skills, negotiation skills, and the basics of business planning. The women also require ongoing coaching, and sometimes just someone to talk to, because their regular environment doesn’t provide the support and stimulation they need to advance.

Click here to read more of the interview.

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One Response to “Making It Her Business”

  1. Martin Berman-Gorvine Says:

    It’s good that these women can earn money and be a little more independent, but it’s only so that their husbands can keep fathering more children and pretending to study Talmud while doing no work themselves and not serving in the army of the “heretical State” that protects and coddles them. Maybe being a little more indepedent will eventually give some of these women the courage to finally break this destructive cycle that is such a distortion of Jewish tradition.

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