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

Purim Prep: Turning Son into King


March 7, 2012

Beaming, our 3-year-old son marched in our temple Purim parade last year in his homemade Halloween costume – a cow. This year, I could have once again grabbed his latest Halloween garb, a store bought Superman costume. But a 20th century super hero and Purim seemed like a dissonant combination.

So my son, now 4, and I talked about it. What could he dress as for Purim? It was a quick decision. We talked about and settled on King Ahaseuras, a name I butchered as my husband tried … Continue reading

Scheduling Remembrance: Sometimes Life Gets in Way

I grew up ignorant of the structure my religion offers mourners. Singing in temple choirs and attending Shabbat services gave me my first lessons about Jewish remembrance. I noticed the people who stood to hear the names of those they had lost – spouses, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. Today, I am no longer so ignorant of my faith’s rituals. But, I confess, it’s not always easy to stop life and remember. Continue reading

Finding Courage to Write about Faith

Religion is a touchy subject in America. It’s a touchy topic within families. It’s just plain touchy to talk about religion whether you’re a Jew, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or atheist. I look back at 2011 and realize that it was the year when I found the courage to write more deeply and publicly than ever before about my own Jewish faith. 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

Getting into a High Holy Day State of Mind


September 28, 2011

Rush, rush, rush. Husband has a new job. I have a new job. Our toddler goes to day-care three instead of two days a week. To top it all off, the High Holy Days are upon us.

I’m trying, really, really trying to get into a High Holy Day state of mind.

Rosh Hashanah was not an automatic day off at either mine or my husband’s workplaces. He began his new job less than two weeks ago. I started mine, a part-time teaching gig, three weeks ago. … Continue reading