Imaginary Homeland

Visiting Poland—the country where my mother was born—upended the black-and-white fantasy I had created in my mind

Coming of Age

Writing a song for my synagogue, hearing it sung at Lincoln Center, and finally finding the right words to tell my kids why Judaism is important

Reprise

My father would chant Torah on Rosh Hashanah’s second day—the binding of Isaac. The holiday reminds me of him and his beloved Mahler symphonies.

Censors and Sensibility

Under pressure, a Bay Area children’s museum canceled a show of art by children from Gaza. That’s shameful, but so was scheduling the one-sided show.

Missing

An Ezra Jack Keats exhibit at the Jewish Museum underscores the children’s book author and illustrator’s striking ambivalence about his Jewishness

Mother’s Helper

Lucette Lagnado’s first memoir was dominated by her colorful father. In The Arrogant Years, she plumbs the heartbreaking life of her mother.

Standard and Poor

Standardized testing has destroyed public education. It’s the responsibility of us Jews, who benefited more than anyone from the system, to fix it.

Going Golem

Forget vampires and zombies. For meaningful meditations on attraction, power, and body, young readers should turn to that ancient Jewish monster, the golem.

Pioneer Women

There are many stereotypes of Jewish women, and mail-order bride isn’t one of them. But in the 19th century, some left Eastern Europe for the American frontier, where they married men they’d never met.

Two Strikes

Here’s my proposed constitutional amendment: Every adult should be allowed to murder two people without punishment. Harsh, you say? The world would be a better place.

In the Middle

In the recent tent-city protests, middle-class Israelis took to the streets to protest a political system that ignores them. Without a clear message, will these demonstrations have any effect?

Dynamic Duo

Phineas and Ferb, a smart and fantastically frenetic Disney animated show, features two kids who are curious, inventive, polite, community-minded—everything Jewish parents want their kids to be

Magic Keys

Promised a prized object, an aspiring writer and family friend helped Isaac Bashevis Singer’s widow sort through his possessions. But some things will always remain out of reach.

Southwest Passage

Leaving the Soviet Union in 1989, my mother and I took the so-called Passage of Guilt through Italy, waiting for permission to enter America. Surviving a Southern European winter was the hard part.

Pit Stop

For kids growing up in Israel in the 1970s and 1980s, before cable TV and video games, summer meant apricots and the apricot-pit game called gogoim, mindless child’s play with political overtones

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