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

Dynamic New Leader Puts Oomph Back in Brandeis


Summary: To many students and faculty, new Brandeis President Fred Lawrence has practically achieved rock star status. A former dean of The George Washington University Law School, he became president in January 2011 of a university that had been hamstrung by financial difficulties and embroiled in controversy. My article about Lawrence and the challenges he will face is now online in The Forward, a national Jewish newspaper, and will appear in its print editions on Sept. 30, 2011.

Read the article.



Summary: During the latter half of the 2010-11 school year, I shadowed a sixth-grade Wellesley Middle School class as students learned about world religions. The class had been under scrutiny because of a past field trip to a mosque, where a handful of boys ended up praying. Click on the link below to read my Aug. 28, 2011 article in The Boston Globe Magazine about the school’s experiences teaching about religion.

Reaction: The article drew extensive reader reaction. Dozens of readers wrote letters to the editor, and at least 100 … Continue reading