Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Life

When Women Wear Kippahs

This week the Forward delved into the world of yarmulkes or kippahs with “Show Me Your Yarmulke: Everything You Wanted To Know About Jewish Headgear.” Alas, the list concentrated on the style choices of men, mostly ignoring a whole subsection of the kippah wearing public: Women. From the classic doily to pink suede, here are some options for religious headgear for women and who wears each one.

Doily

1) I know I have to cover my head but I don’t want to wear a kippah- that is for men. Plus my grandmother wore a doily. It is lacy so everyone will know it is for women.

2) If I am too uncomfortable with pinning it directly on my head (with a bobby pin because kippah clips are for men), I will fold it in half and pin that on. Maybe part way down my hair so it looks like a hair bow and no one will think it is a kippah.

3) If I am under 20 I’ll fold it in quarters and pin it halfway down my head so it looks like a floating hair decoration.

Satin Kippah

1) I am late to arrive at a bar mitzvah and they are out of doilies. I will make sure to fold it in half and bobby pin it back.

2) I have to go up to the bimah for an honor and they made me wear a kippah from the basket. I will take it off as soon as I sit down.

3) I grew up Classical Reform. No one wore a kippah, not even the male Rabbi. I will fold this one.

4) I am at funeral and forgot to bring my own kippah.

Wire beaded kippah

I want to wear a kippah but worry it might seem masculine. I can pretend it is a big hair clip if I feel awkward.

Rainbow Kippah

1) I am a Renewal Jew

2) I am a member of the LGBT community or an ally

Knitted Kippah

1) I am Conservative, Reform or Reconstuctionist rabbi, cantor or lay leader.

2) I am under 50 and grew up in an egalitarian congregation.

Women of the Wall Kippah

I support Women of the Wall and making halachic Judaism as feminist as possible. But don’t worry I’m not one of “those radical feminists.”

Pink Suede Kippah

1) Today is my bat mitzvah

2) Today is my sibling’s bat mitzvah. I will never wear this again.

Aurora Mendelsohn blogs at rainbowtallitbaby.wordpress.com

Women: have your own yarmulkes to share? Tweet and instargram them @jdforward with hashtag: #ShowYourYarmulke

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.