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 … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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

Veteran journalist Linda K. Wertheimer, who’s writing a memoir about the loss of her brother and her journey closer to faith, chronicles how being the only Jews in public school bonded her and her brother closer in this excerpt. It was published in March 2012 in Tiferet Journal’s Fifth Bridge edition, a collection of winning essays from the publication’s 2011 contest. Continue reading

A Jewish Mom’s Dilemma: Does Hanukkah Have to Compete with Christmas?


Summary: I’m not the first Jewish parent to face this conundrum. How do I make sure that my young son’s fascination with the Christmas spectacle doesn’t diminish his enthusiasm for his family’s religion? In a Dec. 18, 2011 column for The Boston Globe Magazine, I write about dealing with this dilemma and attempting to keep Hanukkah, a minor Jewish holiday, in its proper perspective.

Reaction: The article drew more than a dozen reader letters and prompted discussion as well on the Globe’s website. … Continue reading

Concerto of Words: Ostracism, Music, and Faith

Growing up as one of few Jews in a small Ohio town drew my brother and me closer. It also much later became part of what drew me closer to my own faith. This essay, a winner in the 2010 Moment Magazine Memoir Contest, is an excerpt from my memoir, Two Trees for Kevin, A Woman’s Journey from Grief to Faith. Continue reading

Are Mitzvah Days an Excuse to Stay Away?

Playing the flute with my temple klezmer band for a one-day community service event gave me pause. Was I giving myself an easy out from regular volunteering by jumping to participate in a one-day event? It’s a dilemma for those of us who want to volunteer regularly, but struggle to find the time. Continue reading

Finding love, having baby in my 40s


Summary: In 2003, I am a 39-year-old single newspaper reporter in Dallas. I refuse to consider becoming a mother on my own. Instead, I wish for what seems out of reach. Love, marriage, then baby. I wrote a post a few years ago by request for the website for a book called Three Wishes: A True Story of Good Friends, Crushing Heartbreak, and Astonishing Luck on Our Way to Love and Motherhood. Below is a link to the piece.