Sign In Forgot Password

Executive Director - February 2019

I speak to the women reading this article.  I want to share my frustration with women’s sizing.  So, what’s with this One Size Fits All?  Are we supposed to be happy that now the clothing industry has become politically correct and have it as One Size Fits Most?  Really?  So what’s most?  If you’re a size 2 will it fit you?  If you’re a 16 will it fit?  Give us a break! Then there’s vanity sizing and real sizing.  Did you even know there was something called vanity sizing? 

Apparently years ago, the industry determined that women couldn’t handle the actual size we were, so they created “vanity sizing”.  Did you know that Lucille Ball was a size 12?  That’s the size she was while filming I Love Lucy.  That meant that Ethel was a size 14.  In vanity size, Lucy would have been a 6 and Ethel an 8…maybe even smaller. So I guess the industry decided that as we got larger, we couldn’t handle being a size 20 (which would be a 12) or size 24 (which would be a 16).  But here’s the kicker…vanity sizing only comes into play for regular clothing.  Try shopping for a formal gown!  For some reason, vanity sizing doesn’t come into play here.  So if you wear a size 12, be prepared to try on an 18 or even a 20! OMG! The stress alone would make you want to storm out of the store!  I suggest putting on blinders and threatening the store dressers with death if they even attempt to tell you the sizes they are getting for you! I do think, however that this may be slowly changing.

Men don’t have this issue.  Their size is actually listed on the clothing…slacks have waist and length. Shirts have neck and arm length and although it isn’t perfect, it is certainly easier.  Yes there are different fits such as an athletic fit or “husky” but the sizing is what it’s always been.

Can you imagine if women’s clothing was sized by waist, hips and length?  That’s right…women have hips and a tush.  Men, for the most part don’t.  What women would go into the store and say… give me those cute jeans in a 33” waist, 45” hip and 30” length?  Not too many.  When I was much younger, my first job was with Avis Car Leasing in Manhattan and I remember the man I worked for, Thomas Powell, going crazy He just couldn’t understand it.  He dreaded having to buy his wife clothing.  Jewelry usually won out!

That brings me back to synagogues.  One size does not fit all or most.  Let’s look at East Brunswick township… we have a reform synagogue, a conservative synagogue, an orthodox synagogue, a Torah Links and a Chabad.  Wow, talk about your choices!  We’re always on the search for the perfect synagogue.  I don’t know if that exists.  Synagogues have to work hard to make all of their members happy. Leadership and Clergy have to compromise and accommodate while keeping within the framework of their religious beliefs. It is not easy. It’s a fine line trying to keep your current membership happy while trying to attract new families. One is not more important than the other…like the song goes… make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.  Same goes for members.

Choosing a synagogue is a big decision.  It has to feel comfortable. It has to feel like home.  You have to connect with the Rabbi and leadership.  The bottom line is that when a new family calls or comes to services, we don’t pounce on them to join.  We welcome them. We invite them to events and Kiddush. We make room for them at our table.  I always tell new families that choosing a synagogue is a personal decision.  I would like to think they appreciate not being “pushed” to join.

Synagogues are created and made by people.  People are flawed and imperfect.  We may share the same goals and desire for the success of the synagogue, but perhaps perceive differently how this should be accomplished.  It’s human to have a difference of opinion. So the next time you don’t agree with something or you feel slighted by a member or leadership, say something, but say it with kindness.  I can share with you that although there are those that disagree with me and have done so quite verbally, I do not believe there is a vicious or malicious person in this synagogue. It’s because we care so deeply…and ultimately that really isn’t a bad thing.

Thank you all for caring,

Ellen

Wed, October 21 2020 3 Cheshvan 5781