Archive by Author

Remembrances of Larry Kaufman



Dear Larry, As a regular reader—and writer of comments—on my blog (and plenty of others, too), you know all too well that I have a penchant for writing to people who are unlikely to answer by way of the USPS, Gmail or AOL. No doubt you’ve read many a note to my late mother and […]

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Text Me Something Jewish… and Hope I Can Read It!



In our super-connected, I-can’t-be-without-my-cell-phone world, we’ve all experienced technology woes. One day, it’s the battery in your phone. The next day, your laptop won’t boot up and all you get is the blue screen of death. A few months ago, I started collecting examples of a different kind of technology trouble: Jewish autocorrect. As I […]

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Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer: What Every Jew Needs to Know



A little more than two years ago, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved House Resolution 1522, designating the last week in September as National Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) Week and the last Wednesday of the month as National Previvor Day. Ironically, when Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) first introduced the resolution in […]

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Reciprocal Tickets: Establishing a New Tradition



Early last week, I called my congregation in New York City to request a reciprocal ticket for my father. He, likewise, called his temple in New Jersey to request one for me. By the end of the week, we had them in hand—our own High Holy Day tickets along with the extra we’d each requested […]

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A Facebook Shabbat



Earlier today, this article, “Facebook and Religion Don’t Mix,” crossed my desk, telling me that “Americans seem to not mix their social networking and religious activities.” In spite of what it says, much of my own personal Facebook use focuses on the joys of being Jewish— something many of my Facebook friends and I share […]

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A Coney Island Shabbat



If Shabbat is all about taking a divinely commanded breather from the work-a-day routine to celebrate God’s rest following creation, then surely this past Shabbat was nearly as good as it gets for me and a few of my friends. We had longstanding plans for a visit to Coney Island (a first for all of […]

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What Might Have Been



Reading Rabbi Josh Strom’s recent blog post about the URJ’s Camp Harlam Institute for Living Judaism made me mad. No, I’m not mad at Rabbi Strom. I’m mad at the longtime rabbi of the congregation in which I grew up — where I was consecrated, became bat mitzvah, and was confirmed and married — and […]

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Jane Evans: A Renaissance Woman Remembered



Jane Evans wasn’t a rabbi.  Nonetheless, she was quite a force in Reform Judaism, perhaps even its matriarch.  Beginning in 1933, and for the next 43 years, she was the executive director of what is now the Women of Reform Judaism.  From 1976 to 1979 she served as administrator of the Union’s building at 838 […]

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#BlogExodus: A Personal Tale of Exodus



Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima‘s #BlogExodus initiative, this is the first in an occasional series of posts loosely tied to Passover. Once upon a time there was a beautiful wedding except that the bride walked down the aisle right into Mitzrayim.  Thankfully, she didn’t stay there quite as long as the Israelites, […]

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Amazing Jewish Women



Dear The Mums, I know that I just wrote to you a week ago, but this past Sunday — and again on Monday — I was surrounded by so many things that you would love that I need to give you a quick update. On Sunday — thanks to Donnie C. Cutler’s mother, who invited […]

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BRCA Awareness: It’s Good for the Jews



Two years ago—long before breast cancer touched my life in a truly significant way—if someone had told me that one day I’d stand in front of a crowd of 50 in a synagogue and talk calmly and candidly about the journey that led me to a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy, I’d have looked at her as […]

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A Potpourri of Jewish Music



If you attended the URJ’s recent Biennial convention, you were, as always, treated to an array of terrific Jewish music from the likes of David Broza, Josh Nelson, Julie Silver, Dan Nichols, Joe Black, Noah Aronson, Michelle Citrin, Peri Smilow, and a host of others.  These dedicated and talented musicians kept our toes tapping, our […]

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The Positive Power of Breast Cancer



by JanetheWriter Two years ago, I wrote about my wish to hear Michael Oren speak at the Toronto Biennial–and to have him inscribe a copy of his most recent book, Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present. Although my father did plow his way through the book, it remains, […]

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These Are the Ways We Remember



by JanetheWriter Earlier this week, I posted this status update on Facebook: It’s 21 Elul and the Rosh Hashana videos have begun. Here’s the first one that crossed my desk this morning: Temple Rodef Shalom, Falls Church, VA. Later the same day, a flyer from Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island landed on my […]

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