Meet this Week’s JewishMOM: Maaleh Michmas’ Rachael Masri

Meet this Week’s JewishMOM: Maaleh Michmas’ Rachael Masri

The Masri family of Maaleh Michmas


Where did you grow up? Newton, MA (suburb of Boston)

Where do you live? In the settlement Maale Michmas, about 20 minutes north of Jerusalem.

The gorgeous view from Maaleh Michmas. Photo by Esther Rosenblum.


How old are you? 27

How old are your kids? 2 1/2, 1 1/2, and one on the way B’ezrat Hashem, this Succot

If you are a WM, what do you do? I am an office manager for a Sephardic Seminary in the Old City called Midreshet Eshel

Outside of mothering, what do you most love to do?
Baking, and working out. I especially love zumba …it’s what keeps me sane!

What school/university did you attend? UMASS Amherst, class of 2005

How do you define yourself hashkafically? National Religious, Sephardi

Are you FFB or Baalat Teshuva? Baalat Teshuva!

How did you become religious? I was really affected by an Aish Hatorah Israel trip after college, and also by Matisyahu. When I was a DJ in college, a Chabad rabbi came to me with Matisyahu’s demo CD before it was released. The words got to me…and slowly I started trying to figure out the meaning behind my Jewish identity. After my Israel trip I started law school, but dropped out. I eventually moved to Miami to work for a Jewish non-profit, then came to Israel to learn seriously. (I met my husband here and then made Aliya!)

What’s your favorite part of being a mom? I know that I am really blessed – I started having kids right after my marriage. And that’s not always easy, but I know that I am doing Hashem’s will raising my own part of Am Yisrael. It’s sometimes not so clear what is your purpose in life until you become a mother and you have little kids who NEED you. Even though I barely daven anymore like I used to, and barely go to shiurim, now that I am a mom I feel more connected to Hashem and am constantly praying for the well-being of my children. Since I became a mother, I also feel more connected to my own mother as I (almost) understand the struggles she went through.

What’s the toughest part, for you, of being a mom?
I need personal time on my own, and that’s been the biggest challenge for me since I became a mother. I just cannot be at home all day with the kids. When I first became a mom, it was especially difficult for me to make the adjustment from living near a city to living in a small settlement in a caravan with only a few buses a day and a non-functional makolet (corner store). I felt like I was losing my mind!

That’s why I prefer to be a working mom (part time at least) since that means I get out of the house. The kids go to a wonderful day care at the settlement, and I come back from work ready to spend quality time with them.

What’s the best advice for moms you’ve ever received? It’s important to put down what you’re doing and give your kid attention. Even if I’m cooking or working on the computer at home, if one of my kids comes to me with a book or a toy, I learned that it’s worth it to stop what I’m doing and give them my full attention for a few minutes. My kids really appreciate it when I sit down on the floor with them and a toy, and it only takes a little bit of time, and then they are fine playing on their own.

I also learned that picking up my babies whenever they want it makes them so much more independent in the long run. I actually see a big difference with my firstborn and my second, who was always attached to me for the first year!

How did you hear about JewishMOM.com? I started watching the Mini-mom videos on the website right after my first son was born- I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon them. I was by myself all day, in a dingy caravan in the middle of nowhere, with a newborn, still trying to adjust to my recent marriage/Aliya/move to a settlement (I got married a month after my Aliya, and got pregnant immediately).

The videos helped me a lot, because I didn’t feel so alone- I realized motherhood is not easy, but I can do it too!

What’s your favorite part of JewishMOM.com? I really enjoy reading other mothers’ inspiring stories…and reading how women have overcome so many different hardships. It’s not easy being a religious Jewish woman- it’s so important that we connect to each other to give support and advice!

Meet the previous JewishMOMs of the Week:
Jerusalem’s Yehudit Levy
Seattle’s Sara Gallor

Related posts:

Believe in Your Child: A Comedian's Guide to Jewish Parenting
Being a SAHM vs. Working Mom*
Is Winnie the Pooh Endangering your Children?

6 comments

  1. You sound very inspiring! Hope you have much nachas from your beautiful children:)

  2. Kol HaKavod Rachael, you are so inspiring. xoxo

  3. I am always amazed at these women who go through so many changes at once and still come out smiling: teshuva/aliyah/marriage/pregnancy….!!! You give Hashem a lot of nachas.

  4. love your mothering insights – thanks! You sound like such a wonderful mother and person!

  5. Nechama Dina

    Was the Chabad Rabbi that gave you the CD Rabbi Levenberg? 🙂

  6. GO ZUMBA!!!! KEEPS EVERYONE SANE ESPECIALLY MOMS..THE CHEAPEST MOST EFFECTIVE THERAPY AROUND, WHETHER ONE IS IN THE 20’S thru 60’S AND BEYOND..WHEN THOSE ENDORPHINS ARE MOVING TO THE MAX,IT IS POSSIBLE TO DO ALMOST ANYTHING…SCREAMING, NAGGING, CHUTZPA FROM THE KINDER BECOME ALMOST MANAGEABLE!!!!!…

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