Celebrity Baalas Tshuva Mayim Bialik Announces Divorce
Multitalented star of the television series “The Big Bang Theory”, Jewish parenting blogger and Baalas Tshuva Mayim Bialik has publicly announced her pending divorce from husband Michael Stone. The soon-to-be-exes have two sons, Miles Roosevelt, 7 and Frederick Heschel, 4.
Famous for her vocal advocacy for maintaining Jewish family values, as well as her attachment parenting approach, which is based on maintaining strong bonds between parents and children –she homeschools her kids and brings them with her each day to the set of her show- the announcement came as both a shock and disappointment to many of Bialik’s fans. The reason for the split, according to statement, was “irreconcilable differences”. Her representative said that Bialik is seeking joint legal and physical custody of her sons.
Born in San Diego and raised with a Reform Jewish background, Mayim (Hebrew for ‘water) rose to fame in the 90’s as the title character of the popular series “Blossom”. After the series ended, she left Hollywood to pursue her degree at UCLA (turning down both Harvard and Yale) in Neuroscience, Jewish Studies and Hebrew. During her course of study, Bialik met Mormon-raised Michael Stone, who converted to Judaism in order to marry her on August 31, 2003 (Bialik’s mother-in-law later converted, as well). The first of their two children were born upon Bialik’s completion of a PHD program in Neuroscience.
Becoming a mother was a shift for Bialik, who became a vocal proponent of Attachment parenting, penning a book called “Beyond the Sling”, which elaborates on the child-rearing philosophy. She also became a featured blogger on the Kveller.com, the popular Jewish parenting website, and a spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network.
Another marked change for Bialik was in her religious and spiritual life. In the mid-2000’s, Bialik began learning about Judaism with study partner Allison Josephs, creator of Jewinthecity.com, through Partners in Torah. As her learning continued, Bialik became a “face” of the baalei tshuva movement, speaking openly about her choice to start dressing modestly, to practice Taharas Hamishpacha and lauding the value of raising a family by Torah principles. She has appeared in cameos on a few web films that Allison Josephs has produced, some for Joseph’s site, as well as with Amy Sarah Fowler, with whom she presents questions about Judaism. Bialik also founded the Shamayim V’Aretz Institute, a “spiritual center intertwining learning and leadership around the intersecting issues of preventive health, kosher veganism, animal welfare, activism, preservation of the environment, and Jewish spirituality for those anywhere on their journey towards compassionate eating and living within Judaism.” In a recent interview, Bialik referred to herself as “Modern Orthodox”, a significant departure from her reform upbringing.
Now it seems that Bialik is to embark on a new chapter in her life: single Jewish mother. She, however, remains hopeful about the future. “The main priority for us now is to make the transition to two loving homes as smooth and painless as possible,” Bialik wrote on her blog. “Our sons deserve parents committed to their growth and health and that’s what we are focusing on….We will be ok.”
About the Author: Rea Bochner is a professional writer who has written for dozens of web and print publications, including Chabad.org and Aish.com. When not crafting copy on her laptop, Rea is a full-time mother, laundrywoman, chef, chauffeur, art director, housekeeper and referee. She lives in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband and two sons. See more of Rea's work by visiting www.writtenbyrea.com