Molly Tolsky is the editor of Kveller. She holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Her fiction has appeared in various literary magazines including Hayden's Ferry Review, Lumina, and The Collagist, and her non-fiction has appeared in Modern Loss, xoJane, and the Jewish Daily Forward. She lives in Brooklyn and is not a parent, but a very proud aunt.
Plenty has been written about how "Transparent," the Netflix original show created by Jill Soloway, is the most Jewish show on television. This past Friday, the third season was released, and guess…what? It got even Jewier. From a seder on a cruise ship to perfectly implemented Yiddish, here are the seven most Jewish moments from the (not surprisingly) fantastic third season of "Transparent." 1. Passover aplenty Literally the first words of this season are "Thoughts on Passover," spoken by a very lost and confused Rabbi Raquel working… >> Read More
It may be hard to believe, but Rosh Hashanah is coming sooner than you think (even though it is particularly late this year). If you've been to Rosh Hashanah services (and Yom Kippur services, for…that matter) you probably recognize the Unetanah Tokef prayer as one of the pinnacles of High Holiday liturgy--a dramatic, vivid description of the Day of Judgment meant to strike fear in us (yikes!). Well, if not fear, this new version of the Unetanah Tokef set to the tune of Sia's "Bird Set Free" definitely left me… >> Read More
Say what you will about beauty pageants, but it's hard not to be excited about the latest major step in inclusion: This weekend, the first openly gay contestant will compete in Miss…America. Last June, Erin O'Flaherty, 23, was crowned Miss Missouri, becoming the first openly gay woman to win a state pageant and move on to Miss America. O'Flaherty entered the pageant scene during her freshman year at the University of Central Florida. She told Cosmo that while she had always been out to her family and friends,… >> Read More
In completely bizarre, disturbing news, a 34-year-old yoga teacher is currently on trial for allegedly flashing boys at a bar mitzvah party and letting them fondle her breasts.
Talk about a shanda.…The incident happened last year in Arizona. Lindsey Ann Radomski faces 18 charges for lifting her shirt and flashing her newly enhanced breasts while there were boys in the room ages 11-15 on two occasions, according to local reports. She is also accused of performing a sex act on a 15-year-old boy at the party. And here… >> Read More
It's Labor Day weekend in here in the U.S., which means we have one thing on the mind: birth!
Yes, yes, we know Labor Day is about that *other* kind of labor, but it seems as good a time as any to…celebrate all of the wonderful, terrifying, magical, unexpected ways that our favorite little humans came into this world. Which is why we're asking you to send us your birth stories! Perhaps you were surrounded by your husband, midwife, and doula. Or maybe you gave birth at home... in the toilet. Whether it was a C-section or… >> Read More
Picture it: You're a mother waiting eagerly at the airport for your 5-year-old son to arrive home from his cross-country solo trip. Here come the airline employees escorting a little boy your way,…except, this is not your son. It is some other little boy, holding your son's passport. What. The. Hell. In what sounds like an actual, literal nightmare, JetBlue is responsible for an epic mix-up that sent one mom into a total panic. Maribel Martinez was waiting at JFK in New York for her 5-year-old son, Andy, to… >> Read More
We all know that there are double standards when it comes to how we talk to--and about--boys and girls. But sometimes it helps to have the ocular proof, and one photo that's going viral on Facebook…pinpoints exactly what the problem is. Shoshanna Keats-Jaskoll, a Jewish mom living in Israel, recently shared a photo of two magazine covers side-by-side--Girls' Life and Boys' Life. The cover of Boys' Life features in big bold letters, "Explore Your Future," with the tagline, "Astronaut? Artist? Firefighter? Chef? Here's how to be what you want to be." So far, so good.… >> Read More
Warning to hecklers: Do not mess with Amy Schumer. At a show in Stockholm, Sweden on Wednesday night, one young man learned this lesson the hard way after shouting, "Show us your tits!" two minutes…into Schumer's set. The Jewish comedian paused her joke to have a spotlight shown on the heckler, who was wearing a shirt that he confirmed said "I love pussies." Classy guy. Schumer then warned him that if he shouted out during her set again, he'd be removed from the building. And guess what? He did. And… >> Read More
It's hard to find the words to talk about Allison Goldstein. By all appearances, the 32-year-old was a typical new mother: balancing taking care of her newborn with her job as an elementary school…teacher, calling her sister every day to ask typical new mom questions, and seeming generally happy to her husband and supportive family. But one day this past June, after dropping her daughter off at daycare, Allison took her own life. What her family didn't know--and what she never told anyone until an email she sent before her… >> Read More
Now that summer is coming to a close and campers are returning from their "home away from home," I've been thinking about the kinds of life-shaping experiences that kids tend to have at Jewish…overnight camp. I left suburban Chicago for Camp Chi in Lake Delton, Wisconsin every summer for five years, from ages 12 to 16, and besides learning how to waterski and make stained glass mirrors (two skills I use all the time, let me tell you) there were more than a few moments that felt like significant steps on… >> Read More
Anyone who's scrolled through their Facebook feed during election season knows that the social media platform can get a bit divisive, to say the least. But every once in a while, a story comes along…to prove just how amazing Facebook can be when it comes to connecting people from disparate parts of the world for a greater good--in this case, to save the life of a child. In a story that had me crying on the subway this morning, the New York Times tells of Yehia, now 14 months old, who was… >> Read More
Whether you were cool enough to live in the city proper or are from the suburbs (but still tell people you're from Chicago), if you grew up Jewish in the Windy City, you'll probably relate to some…of the things below. 1. You're still mourning the passing of Best's Kosher Hot Dogs. Best's Kosher were, well, the best. The cries of thousands of Jews could be heard all across Chicagoland when Sara Lee bought out the company in 2009 and discontinued the brand. Sure, the non-kosher keepers among us still have Vienna… >> Read More
It's easy to feel jealous of celebrities and their impossibly polished looks on the red carpet--so when someone comes along to shatter the illusion, I'm all about it. The insanely talented and…hilarious Jewish actress Rachel Bloom, creator, writer, and star of the CW's musical comedy series "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," has done just that in a new episode of the sketch comedy show "Adam Ruins Everything." Bloom shows us what she really looks like when she wakes up (hint: she looks a lot like you. And me. And… >> Read More
Four years ago, 18-year-old Jewish gymnast Aly Raisman burst onto the Olympics scene in London, and into our hearts, with a floor routine set to "Hava Nagila." She took home gold medals for that…routine as well as one for the whole US women's gymnastic team--and a bronze medal on the balance beam to boot. Now at 22, the Needham, Massachusetts native is considered somewhat of an elder in the gymnastics world (oy) but her latest performance at the 2016 P&G Gymnastics Championships this past weekend proves that this girl… >> Read More
Need a refresher on that whole Passover story in time for this year's seder? The kindergarten students at Lander-Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, MA have you covered in this crazy cute video…released just in time for the holiday. In the video, well-informed cuties talk us through how the Israelites became slaves and what it was like under Pharaoh's rule--"Work and work and work" and "Don't sleep at all" (hmmm.... sounds oddly similar to parenting). They go on to talk about Moses' trip down the river in a basket,… >> Read More
Pregnant and looking for that special celebrity touch? There's a new doula on the block, none other than former talk show host turned natural birth advocate, Ricki Lake.
Lake, who made her mark on…the natural birthing scene with her 2008 documentary "The Business of Being Born," announced on Instagram that she just became a DONA certified doula through Bini Birth, a California-based childbirth education center. Lake shared that this was something she had "wanted to complete for years." Finally finished something I've wanted to complete for years. I… >> Read More
Entering a marathon is a worthy goal for anyone, whether you're a highly trained athlete or a more casual runner. But running a marathon is nothing short of a miracle if, like Peri Finklestein, you…were told you'd never walk. Born with a form of muscular dystrophy, Peri was told at an early age that she'd never walk, and no amount of physical therapy could help her. But Peri and her family were determined to prove her doctors wrong, which is how Peri wound up at the 2016 Miami Half Marathon with… >> Read More
When you think of the Purim story, Queen Esther probably comes to mind as the leading lady (on account of the whole saving-the-Jews-from-total-persecution thing) but there was another powerful woman…who played an important role in the story: Queen Vashti. And she's the subject of this beautiful song, and equally beautiful animated video, by Kveller contributor Alicia Jo Rabin's band Girls in Trouble. In case you need a reminder, Vashti was married to King Ahashverosh of Persia when he decided to have a fancy feast for all… >> Read More
On the music industry's biggest night of the year, the biggest star on the planet brought some Israeli high couture to the main stage. Beyoncé, who graced the stage to present Record of the Year,…wore a wedding gown (!) designed by Inbal Dror, an Israeli-born designer of bridal and evening gowns based out of Tel Aviv. This comes on the heels of an announcement that Queen Bey is scheduled to perform in Israel for the first time this August, at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park (which yes, activists are already urging… >> Read More
So, I did not watch the Grammys last night (because I don't have cable and also because it makes me feel too old when I don't recognize 95% of the musical acts nominated). But thanks to the internet,…I did happen to catch one of the most touching moments from the broadcast, featuring the one and only Stevie Wonder. After performing a beautiful tribute to Maurice White--the late founder of Earth, Wind & Fire--Wonder went on to announce the winner of Song of the Year, joined by the band Pentatonix. First he taunted his… >> Read More
Well here's some news that's bound to get a big "like": Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have welcomed their first child, a daughter, into the world. Mazel tov!
Now,…every single new baby is a call for celebration and wonder, but there are a few key takeaways from this particular birth that are worth calling out: 1. They named their daughter Max. It's classic, easy to pronounce, yet totally unexpected. And I have a sneaking suspicion that classrooms will soon be filled with lots… >> Read More
One of the first live musicals I ever saw was "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" in Chicago. In my memory, I am sitting very close to the stage, and I distinctly recall being mesmerized…by Donny Osmond's nipples while he crooned "Close Every Door to Me" behind bars. Soon after, the soundtrack became a well-worn, beloved CD in the Tolsky family household. My brother Max and I took it upon ourselves to learn every color of Joseph's coat in the order they were sung (sadly, I now only remember up to… >> Read More
The Jewish community has a lot to say about interfaith families--no doubt you've seen the surveys, statistics, and think pieces aplenty. But what often gets overlooked in these conversations are the…people themselves--you know, those living, breathing human beings trying to find the right balance for their family and where they fit within the larger Jewish community. These people exist, and too often, they are spurned. In a recent essay titled "Open Letter to Judaism" posted to Medium, Liz Polay-Wettengel chronicles the hardships she and her husband, "a kind mid-western man"… >> Read More
There's double the good news out of Silicon Valley today: Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has announced she and her husband are expecting twins, due in December. Identical twin girls, no less!
The…40-year-old executive made big waves three years ago when she first took her position at Yahoo and revealed that she was pregnant with her first child (the company even knew about it before hiring her, which felt like a huge win for working women). But those waves soon turned a bit turbulent when she also announced… >> Read More
Rachel Bilson and husband Hayden Christensen had their first child last October, but we're only now getting the full scoop on how they chose their daughter's name, Briar Rose.
In a recent…interview to promote his new Lifetime movie, "90 Minutes in Heaven," Christensen explained that the name Briar Rose came from Disney's original "Sleeping Beauty" movie released in 1959 (which in turn got the name from The Brothers Grimm tale, "Little Briar Rose," but hey, who's counting?). READ: Check Out Kveller's Ultimate Jewish Baby Name Finder Christensen explained,… >> Read More