Worlds apart: Daughters immigrate to Israel and leave their mothers behind

October 24, 2002

PHILADELPHIA -- Roberta Sands rarely sees her daughter and five grandchildren. Almost 10 years ago, her daughter, having growing up with a variety of Jewish influences, became Orthodox and moved to Israel.

Sands, an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pennsylvania, has recently completed a study based on others who have had similar experiences, "Divided Families: The Impact of Religious Difference and Geographic Distance on Intergenerational Family Continuity."

Teshuvah, the process of repenting and intensifying one's observance of Judaism, has been studied by other scholars, but few have focused on the effects this has on the relationship between mothers and daughters.

By examining in-depth interviews with 14 pairs of mothers and daughters across the country, Sands found that initially the mothers were generally negative about their daughter's religiosity but positive about their move to Israel. With time, however, these feelings changed.

Later, the mothers became more positive or ambivalent about their daughters' religiosity but more negative or ambivalent about their emigration. Sands believes this is because long-term separation wears away at the mothers, especially if grandchildren are involved. In order to strengthen ties between them, the mothers became more knowledgeable about Judaism and Israel and made visits there.

"American mothers became more Zionistic but they felt bitter about seeing their grandchildren infrequently," Sands said. The relationships between the mothers and daughters, however, were perceived as improved. Separation seemed to help the daughters mature and establish themselves as different from their mothers.

University of Pennsylvania

Related Mothers Articles from Brightsurf:

Mothers ensure their offspring's success through epigenetics
Parents pass genes along to their offspring which equip them for their future life.

Should infants be separated from COVID-19-positive mothers?
In a new commentary, Alison Stuebe, MD, President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, addresses the risks and benefits of separating infants from COVID-19-positive mothers following birth.

Children of abused mothers 50% more likely to have low IQ
Children of women who reported domestic violence in pregnancy or during the first six years of the child's life are almost 50% more likely to have a low IQ at age 8, research finds.

When do alcohol-dependent mothers parent harshly?
While parents with substance use disorders are more likely to treat their children harshly, they don't do so all the time.

Children of anxious mothers twice as likely to have hyperactivity in adolescence
A large study has shown that children of mothers who are anxious during pregnancy and in the first few years of the child's life have twice the risk of having hyperactivity symptoms at age 16.

Bonobo mothers help their sons to have more offspring
In many social animal species individuals share child-rearing duties, but new research from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, finds that bonobo mothers go the extra step and actually take action to ensure their sons will become fathers.

Stressed mothers -- overweight children
Every tenth child is overweight, every twentieth even obese. Scientists at the Berlin Institute of Health / Berlin Institute of Health, together with colleagues at the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, have now elucidated a relationship that has not extensively been studied so far.

Children whose mothers use marijuana may try it at a younger age
Children whose mothers use marijuana are more likely to start their own marijuana use an average of two years earlier than children whose mothers don't use the drug, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.

Children whose mothers use marijuana are more likely to try it at younger age
When mothers use marijuana during the first 12 years of their child's life, their cannabis-using children are more likely to start at an earlier age than children of non-using mothers, according to a new study from the Harvard T.H.

Breastfeeding may help protect mothers against stroke
Breastfeeding was associated with a lower risk of stroke in post-menopausal women who reported breastfeeding at least one child.

Read More: Mothers News and Mothers Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to