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Keywords:

  • family;
  • Jewish;
  • religion;
  • South Africa;
  • teshuvah

Using the example of South African Jewish families in which the daughters became Ultra-Orthodox, this article examines the reactions and adaptations of mothers to their daughters' religious intensification. A qualitative study in which 15 mothers and 15 daughters were interviewed found that the mothers' initial reactions were primarily positive and ambivalent, with some negative reactions, but over time the mothers became increasingly ambivalent. Overall, mothers and newly observant adult daughters made serious efforts to maintain family cohesion and relationships of mutual respect. The results are explained by the South African context, stress theory, the concept of family resilience, and intergenerational theory.