How Christmas Helped Me Discover—and Eventually Reclaim—My Jewish Roots

When I was a child, my family’s history was hidden from me. Now I’ve made sure that my own child will always know where she came from.

Throwing Out the Ten Commandments—the Ones That Once Sat Atop My Cake

I found a memento from my bar mitzvah in my parents’ house. Was it finally time to let go of the past, or was it worth keeping?

A Pilgrimage to the Vanishing Streets of My Grandmother’s Lower East Side

My family’s history gave me a pedigree as a Jewish New Yorker—until a visit revealed how quickly the past disappeared

Why I Didn’t Want To Visit a Concentration Camp—and Why I Changed My Mind

In Latvia, visiting a site where thousands were killed seemed too much to bear, until I saw a place where the living still gather

Phil the Kosher Butcher Survived Auschwitz but Was Murdered in My Hometown

The strange way I learned the story of a man who died defending his trade, his honor, and working-class Jews

Finding My Grandfather, and Myself, on the Battlefields of the Spanish Civil War

He joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in 1936, as a Jewish teenager from Brooklyn. This year, I retraced his steps.

Surviving My Parents: A Golem’s Painful Memories of Childhood Abuse

In her new memoir, Donna Minkowitz recalls being torn between her mother’s overbearing fantasies and her father’s cruel games

Sukkot and the Single Woman: A Holiday of Thankfulness and Self-Invention

I never felt comfortable in my Orthodox neighborhood on Sukkot until I made a sukkah of my own—from the most unlikely materials

Discovering My Connection to Einstein, and Why I Have Maimonides’ Nose

In his new memoir ‘Free Spirit,’ Joshua Safran turns to the library to understand the Jewish heritage his mother can’t explain

Portrait of the Author as a Young Man—Serving in the Israeli Army

My brother was the first to read one of my stories. His unexpected reaction helped me understand the magic of writing.

When Life Wasn’t Going Well, I Knew One Person Wouldn’t Sugarcoat Things

In this excerpt from her new memoir ‘On My Knees,’ Periel Aschenbrand finds comfort in a visit from her blunt Israeli cousin

I Reconciled My Gay Identity With My Orthodox Upbringing—Through a Tattoo

The mark on this yeshiva boy’s arm is a symbol of how I ultimately held on to my religious background after I came out

Examining Life After a Crash

Two decades after a car accident in Jerusalem broke Joshua Prager’s neck, he looks at how it changed him

A Congregation of One

When I met the last Jew in Afghanistan, I rediscovered the Jewish identity I’d rejected years before

The Boy in the Orthodox Bubble: Missing Out on a ‘Typical’ Childhood

Growing up religious, I missed out on a lot that other kids enjoyed. But looking back, I wouldn’t change it.

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