Meet this Week’s JewishMOM: Michigan’s Ariella Rubin

Meet this Week’s JewishMOM: Michigan’s Ariella Rubin

Ariella with her children


Where did you grow up?
Toronto, Canada.
Where do you live?
I live in a suburb outside of Detroit, Michigan called Southfield.
How old are you?
I am 30 years old and am finally feeling my age!
How old are your kids?
Yosef Betzalel is 5 yrs old, Bina Freyda is 3 yrs old, and Ezra Moshe is 20 months old.
If you are a WM, what do you do?
I am a social worker and community organizer at Jewish Family Services of Metropolitan Detroit. I also teach art classes from my home and work as a doula.
Outside of mothering, what do you most love to do?
This is a hard one. I like connecting with people. I like spending time with my husband and partner in everything, Baruch Meir. I like creating art when I have the time. I like spending time on improving my mothering skills. I like talking with women about birthing. I like having Shabbos guests. I’m actually trying to figure out what I most LOVE to do so that I can do that more. I’m taking suggestions:)
What school/university did you attend?
I received a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Canada and I received my MSW from the University of Michigan.
How do you define yourself hashkafically?
We are currently choosing to raise our children in a mainstream Yeshivish (or Chareidi) community in America.

Ariella with her husband, Baruch Meir


Are you FFB or Baalat Teshuva? If you are a Baalat Teshuva, briefly explain how you become religious.
I am a BT. A brief explanation is hard! When my husband and I decided to get married we were in searching mode. We were both raised Jewish but did not identify with the Jews we knew and the “American dream’ lifestyle. We became slowly (very slowly) interested in exploring our own heritage after looking into other spiritual paths and finding “something” lacking. A turning point came when a Rabbi convinced my husband NOT to go on a planned yoga retreat and to go to a Jewish Retreat instead. My husband (then fiance) came home from that retreat saying Shma and wrapping Tefillin.

Slowly, over a period of years, we grew in our observance. It was a pretty hard road. But through meeting many very inspiring “Emes”-filled people and after spending almost two years in Israel learning at a yeshiva/seminary AFTER my first child was born, we decided to move into a ‘normal’ Torah observant community and keep growing. It’s been an 11-year path from that first retreat until today.

Ariella and her daughter picking Michigan apples


What’s your favorite part of being a mom?

I enjoy figuring out ways to help my kids reach their potential. Not that I know how to do this consistently, but I try to have enough self control to be present with them in their “aha” moments, and respond in a way that helps them to learn and grow.

What’s the toughest part, for you, of being a mom?

Being patient and selfless and putting my children’s needs above my own. Or rather, finding the right balance so that I still feel emotionally/spiritually/ practically taken care while still enabling my kids to get their needs met- in particular each of their unique emotional needs. I have a hard time not losing my patience and getting angry. That’s a particular challenge for me, mostly because its hard for me to find the time to take care of myself in the old ways I’m used to.
What’s the best advice for moms you’ve ever received?
To relax- which is so so hard. But keeping the big picture in mind helps me to stay relaxed. To remember that what we are trying to create in our home (and in our relationships with our children) is a space of safety, comfort, support and growth. A Mikdash Me’at.

We as Jewish mothers are trying to create a place of holiness. It’s not holy because it’s “perfect.” It’s holy because it’s a place where everyone in our family is striving to be his or her best selves.

Practically speaking, the best advice I have received is that your emotions follow your words and actions so if you lower your voice and make your actions gentle, your anger will go away. If our outsides can be calm, our insides will follow.
How did you hear about JewishMOM.com?
I think I was really struggling with one of my babies and my very dear friend Amy introduced me to the 2-minute mommy films. I found the newsletter after that.
How long have you been reading JewishMOM.com?
About 2 years.
What’s your favorite part of JewishMOM.com?
It’s very real. I really like that it allows me to be moved and cry- very therapeutic and rejuvenating for my Thursday evening Shabbos preparations! The voices of all the articles and postings and videos are real women sharing their real struggles, all with the same goal of succeeding at the challenge of being a mom. Recognizing that we all mother in different ways, but that in essence we’re all doing the same thing- we struggle, we get lost, we re-learn, we grow, we try again.

It helps to see how all of us moms do this together.

Ariella can be contacted at ariella.kaufman@gmail.com

Meet the previous JewishMOMs of the Week:
Jerusalem’s Yehudit Levy
Seattle’s Sara Gallor
Maaleh Michmas’ Rachael Masri
Baltimore’s Sheva Givre
Hevron’s Leah Hochbaum
London’s Vicki Belovski
Michigan’s Ariella Rubin

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2 comments

  1. You’re an inspiration!

  2. I found it telling that you said you now live in a “normal” community… As a fellow BT I empathize with that. It’s something I think we all yearn for and strive to maintain: a sense of normalcy despite the enormous changes in our lives and outlooks: even more so where our kids are concerned…. How do we strike the perfect balance for them, to keep them away from the dangers but close to Torah and our families and what we know to be good of this world… Let me know when you got the formula! I’m working on it too…

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