Kollel Milhamta Shel Torah of Queens A Spiritual Home for Torah and Tefillah

Past Articles:
LIVES IN THE BALANCE, THE STORIES OF WOMEN

By: Alissa Shams And Randi Eisenstein



Meet Rachel, a psychotherapist in our community...

Rachel’s story is inspiring to all women, who can easily relate to her.  Rachel attended Columbia University. Although she was interested in pursuing a graduate degree in medicine, Rachel’s parents encouraged her to go the traditional route and marry upon graduation. For the next ten years, Rachel put her career on hold while raising four children and becoming immersed in communal life. She actively volunteered at her children’s schools and became very involved at Sephardic Bikur Holim (“SBH”).

When Rachel’s youngest child turned two and was enrolled in a three-day-a-week preschool program, with the support of her husband, Rachel decided to re-focus on her career. Inspired by her volunteer role at SBH, Rachel enrolled in a social work program at New York University. Very mindful of her personal commitments to her husband and children, she attended school on a part-time basis over a three year period.

After graduating with a master’s degree in social work, Rachel opened her own private practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. She gets a lot of gratification helping clients work through life’s issues. Rachel describes the signing of her office lease as a pivotal moment in her professional life – it was momentous to see her name on the document. She was 35 years old.

As Rachel’s children grew and were spending more time in school, Rachel devoted more time to her practice, and embarked on a four-year fellowship program in intensive psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

When asked if this choice has been a deterrent to family life, Rachel acknowledges that some days are difficult. However, she asserts that integrating a professional role and maintaining a family life are definitely worth it. Rachel emphasizes that she sees herself as a positive role model to her children, especially to her two daughters.

Rachel points out that a working woman’s life is a balancing act. Rachel confides that being a working mom will lead to some feelings of guilt, but the satisfaction of having a career and contributing to the household income far outweigh the drawbacks.

“Women leading this integrated life are actually benefitting their children by teaching them to be responsible and independent, which will bode well for them when they embark on their own journeys into adulthood,” notes Rachel.

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