Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Forward 50 2014

Temimah Zucker

Even though one in 10 Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives, many of the affected feel ashamed and isolated. Temimah Zucker was no different when she developed anorexia at the age of 18. “I didn’t want anyone to know,” she said.

It wasn’t until Zucker, now 23, who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, watched an Orthodox Union video about eating disorders that she learned she wasn’t alone — even in her own small, insular, Orthodox community. “I’ve been in this community all my life, and I thought no one had an eating disorder.”

From her recovery — which required inpatient treatment as well as supervised meals for several years — she learned that lifting the taboo was vital. In February 2013, she launched [her website, Tikvah V’Chizuk (Hope and Strength)][1], which provides resources for those affected by anorexia. It provides a Jewish angle on the disorder and its context, not least because Zucker said that her therapy made her understand how religion could help her. “I thought, ‘Why should I be blessing food? I don’t want to eat food,’” she said — until she shifted her perspective, and the blessing became an appreciation of being alive and healthy.

This past July, Zucker completed an online crowdfunding campaign, raising more than $6,000 to relaunch her website and establish TVC as a not-for-profit organization. Zucker is in her last year at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University, blogs for The Times of Israel and the Huffington Post, and gives speeches about eating disorder awareness. No one need feel the shame that she felt.

[1]: Hope and Strength

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

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.