An Outsider in the Woods

At Jews in the Woods, a spiritual retreat for college students, I tried to see how I’d fit in if I converted to Judaism

Grandpa’s Secret Shoah

My grandfather never talked about his time in a concentration camp. Five years after his death, I finally heard his story.

What My Nanny Left Me

How did a Jewish boy from New Jersey end up speaking with a Jamaican accent? It’s an enduring inheritance from a woman who raised me.

Back to My Roots

After my grandparents came to America, they changed our name. Decades later, I changed it back—and rediscovered a lost history.

Frank Talk

Although Rabbi Helga Newmark survived the horrors of the Holocaust, a childhood slight—from Anne Frank—stayed with her for the rest of her life

New Republic

I grew up in a world of observance, separate from secular America, but soon realized that the borders are more porous than they seem

Land of Enchantment

As New Mexico marks 100 years of statehood, one woman looks back on her great-aunt and -uncle, who helped spur a century of Jewish life there

Easy Access

Having decided not to get Internet in his new apartment, a graduate student winds up stealing it from the Chabadniks next door

Grim Anniversary

Today would have been Yitzhak Rabin’s 90th birthday—as good a time as any to remember, and repent for, the time I considered assassinating him.

Davening for Doughnuts

Most soldiers in Basic Training attend services just for the snacks. The lemonade was good, but it was the Torah that kept me coming back.

Registered

A small temple in Olean was just added to the National Register of Historic Places, but for one girl growing up there, it always had cultural significance

End of the Line

A lost German passport—and tenuous ties to citizenship—cause a bureaucratic nightmare and a revelation about place and belonging

Under a Spell

The road to marriage churns up an unusual conundrum: What happens when you fall for the matchmaker—not the match?

Turns of Praise

Accepting Central Synagogue’s annual Shofar Award for my lifetime of activism, I found myself intrigued and perplexed by the language of adulation

‘Us’ and ‘Them’

At a preschool Hanukkah celebration—held in a nice liberal church—an atheistic Jew wonders where he fits in, and what to tell his daughter

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