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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.


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

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


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