50 Years After Abington v. Schempp, a Dissenter Looks Back on School Prayer

Summary: The Abington v. Schempp Supreme Court ruling in 1963 kicked state-mandated prayer and Bible readings out of public schools. The person who started it all was a 16-year-old teen named Ellery Schempp. I wrote about Ellery Schempp’s famous case and where he is today in an article for The Atlantic. The story attracted comments and was picked up by several news sites and blogs around the country. Below is a link.

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Son Teaches Mom How to Be a Jew at Christmas

Summary: The New York Times Motherlode blog posted an essay of mine on Dec. 7, 2012, about a common dilemma for Jewish parents or parents of any children who are not in the Christian majority. How do we teach our children to be proud of their religious identity and customs, yet still respect the traditions of the majority in our country?

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Reader reaction: The piece drew more than 200 comments on the Motherlode blog and stirred debate about many aspects of the so-called December dilemma that many Jewish parents face.

 

Naming a Son for a Brother Who Died Young

Summary: Choosing a name for our unborn son stirred up the past for my husband and me. I wrote an essay about that struggle for The New York Times Motherlode blog. The piece was published on July 29, 2012, and stems partly from a chapter in the memoir I’m writing about journeying through grief and finding faith after the loss of my brother. Click on link below to read the piece.


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Reaction: The story drew more than 60 comments online and sparked discussion about the wisdom of naming a child after someone who has died.

AP Classes: A Problem for Massachusetts High Schoolers?

Summary: I wrote a piece for the Oct. 7, 2012, Boston Globe magazine about the rise in enrollment in Advanced Placement classes and how that has led to a troubling trend in competitive high schools. The highest-achieving students compete to see just how many AP classes they can pack into their schedule, a move they think will impress college admissions officers. But does it? Click on the link below to read the article, the cover story that week.

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Reaction: The article drew extensive reader reaction, including dozens of comments on the Boston.com version and letters emailed to the editor.

Yearning to Hear My Brother’s Voice

Summary: The Boston Globe Magazine on May 27, 2012, published my essay about how it was so hard to remember my brother’s voice, though I could remember so much more. musings about whether to keep or toss my Mel Gibson DVDS, given the actor’s continued anti-Semitic rants. It ran as a Connections column.

Reaction: The story prompted several letters to the editor, and many readers responded by writing about their own experiences with loss and memory.

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Jew Girl

Summary: This excerpt from my memoir, TWO TREES FOR KEVIN, A WOMAN’S JOURNEY FROM GRIEF TO FAITH, won an honorable mention in Tiferet’s 2011 writing contest. Josip Novakovich, an author, was the judge for my category, nonfiction. My memoir is about how the loss of my brother drew me closer to my Jewish faith. This excerpt was published alongside other winning essays in March 2012 in a digital version, Fifth Gate, of Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature.

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