Writing for Change in Trump’s America

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Greetings to new and old subscribers,

When you don’t hear for me for quite a while, it’s usually because I’m busily writing this and that. Our country’s polarization has made me even more determined to write commentaries and articles that will provoke thought and ideally, prompt change in some way. That’s not that unusual, I guess, for a long-time journalist, but these times make the job of a writer more urgent.

In the past few weeks, I’ve published a few pieces. One continues the themes I wrote about in Faith Ed. While … Continue reading

December Dilemma v. Thinking Broadly about Religion in Schools

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As I write this, K-12 schools are wrapping up classes or may have already finished them for winter breaks. In elementary schools, no doubt, many teachers have felt compelled to mention Christmas and Hanukkah in some way.

Look at the photo above, though. First-grade teacher Debbie Fagg at the Minneha Core Knowledge Magnet Elementary School in Wichita, KS, is teaching about Hanukkah in early November as part of a multi-week unit on three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. She brought the menorah … Continue reading

Learning about Ramadan

It’s easy to know what to say to Christians when Christmas rolls around. “Merry Christmas,” of course.
But how many people know how to greet Muslims, Jews, or celebrants of other non-Christian faiths during their observances? This week marked the start of Ramadan for Muslims. Continue reading

Article on People Losing Religion Makes Me Glad I’ve Reconnected to Mine

Boston Magazine writer Katherine Ozment writes of a disturbing trend in a recent article — how a growing number of twenty-somethings identify with no religion at all. Why do I find this so disturbing? Because I once was one of those twenty-somethings. Judaism to me was a culture, not a religion, till I hit my late 30s. All religions have the power to give a community that can be there for joys and sorrows. Other things can, too, but religion seems to provide that community especially well. Continue reading

‘God is the Clouds’: Young Son Broaches Touchy Subject

How do you have the ‘God’ conversation with your child? Our son’s first pre-kindergarten Judaism class included the telling of the story of Noah. He came away believing a lot about God. Talking about God and its place in life is a challenge for any parent. Continue reading

Naming a Son for a Brother Who Died Young

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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.


Read the article.

Reaction: The story drew more than 60 … Continue reading

A Family’s Unintended Journey of Faith: At 4, Our Son Loves Going to Temple

My son treats our temple like a second home. He hugs the rabbis and the cantor. He exchanges high fives with other parents and children. He seems as comfortable in the children’s service as he is in the adult services. Seeing my son embrace his faith so early in life is beautiful and at times, astonishing. Both my husband and I grew up largely disconnected from our faith. We didn’t set out to make Judaism such an integral part of our son’s early childhood. It just happened.
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Does it Cross Line to Bring a Little Passover to Son’s Preschool?

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April 11, 2012

My son snuggled into my lap as his pre-school classmates clustered around me. I had offered to read a book to his class. No big deal, right? But this wasn’t just any book. It was the day before Passover, and I had brought in a Jewish children’s book.

When I mentioned my upcoming visit to my mother, she asked if I were worried about crossing that line separating church from state. I was not that worried. My son’s preschool is private. Besides, is it promoting Judaism to read a … Continue reading