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.
I often joke that being the editor of a parenting website before having any kids of my own has been the best possible form of free birth control. Throughout my six and a half years of working for…Kveller--first as an intern, then as an editorial assistant, and eventually as the editor--I've read more articles than I ever expected I would about parenting. I've read about four-day long labors and mastitis and vaginal tears. I've read about postpartum anxiety and losing your identity to motherhood and having to read the same five-page children's… >> Read More
Scarlett Johansson had a big night last night: She was honored at the AmFAR New York Gala for all her work contributing to the fight against AIDS and HIV. As for her date, the recently-divorced movie…star brought the most important person of all--her mother. When asked about her mom, Melanie Sloan, on the red carpet, ScarJo did a whole lot of gushing, saying: [She’s] been incredibly inspiring for me in many, many ways, but certainly as a young girl. She never shielded us from what was going on in the zeitgeist… >> Read More
The image of rabbis, draped in tallit (prayer shawls), being handcuffed and marched into police cars, is definitely not one you see every day. But that's exactly what happened this past Monday…night when 19 rabbis, who gathered in New York City from all over the country, were arrested as part of a protest against President Trump's refugee ban. Now, we're starting to hear the stories behind this powerful act. Rabbi, parenting expert, and Kveller contributor Danya Ruttenberg was one of the rabbis arrested, and today she… >> Read More
I must admit to doing something very shameful over the weekend: I discovered I could stream the new season of "The Bachelor" on my Roku, and stream it I did. All six hour-and-a-half-long…episodes. I used to love watching the show with friends, drinking wine and making fun of how preposterous it all was. Then I got tired of the whole "let's pit women against each other for entertainment's sake" thing and moved onto other brilliant, meaningful reality shows ("Dance Moms," anyone?). But I kept hearing intriguing tidbits about… >> Read More
It's been said before that "Crazy Ex-Girlfiend" is one of the best, Jewiest shows on TV right now--and the CW musical sitcom just upped the ante with an epic bar mitzvah episode titled "Will…Scarsdale Like Josh’s Shayna Punim?" (which, come on, is already pretty great). With guest appearances from (Jewish) Broadway stars Patti LuPone (who plays a rabbi!) and Tovah Feldshuh, the episode was destined to be a hit. But one particular song really took the cake. A joyful Hava Nagila-esque melody is paired with words that Jews know… >> Read More
Another day in December, another Hanukkah-Christmas parody video making the rounds on the internet. Today it's "The Jews and Don'ts of Christmas," a faux infomercial on how Jews can enjoy/get through…a Christmas party in one piece. And frankly, beyond a few clever moments and excellent production value, this video has me scratching my head more than laughing. "Christmas parties can be scary for Jewish boys and girls," the video begins, "but Christmas parties are just like Hanukkah parties... with quieter people." Let me stop you right… >> Read More
This ain't no joke: A rabbi and a priest (OK, a bishop) walked into a recording studio... and came out with a great Hanukkah/Christmas mash-up song for everyone to enjoy.
In a video shared…by World Jewish Congress last Friday, Rabbi Marcelo Polakoff and Bishop Pedro Torres teamed together to send their musical holiday blessings to people celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah. They parody both "Hava Nagila" and "Silent Night," making for an equal opportunity smash hit. It's so heartening to see leaders of different faiths coming together, and feels especially apt this… >> Read More
Zsa Zsa Gabor, the outspoken, glamorous Jewish actress who epitomized what we think of as "celebrity" today, has died at age 99. Gabor is known for her many husbands (nine, but who's counting), her…witty remarks ("I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.") and for films such as 1952's "Moulin Rouge." But there's a lot more to Zsa Zsa Gabor's story. Here are nine things you may not have known about her: 1. Both of her parents were Jewish. Born Sari… >> Read More
On Friday, Madonna accepted the Woman of the Year Award at the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event. And because Madonna is, well, Madonna, she didn't simply accept the award with a few thank…yous--she gave a powerful, brutally honest speech about the years of sexism and abuse she has faced being a prominent woman in the entertainment world. "I stand before you as a doormat. Oh, I mean, as a female entertainer," the speech began, and from there it was no holds barred when it came to recounting… >> Read More
Gender reveal parties have been a growing trend in our Pinterest-perfect world. For those not familiar with the term, a gender reveal party is when expectant parents come up with some cute, creative…way to find out the sex of their future baby in front of their closest family and friends. Ideas include slicing open a cake to see either pink or blue frosting inside, hiring a bartender to concoct either pink or blue cocktails, or any other variation of revealing the gender using--you guessed it--pink and blue. But… >> Read More
Sigh. Just when you think that only good old-fashioned fun can come from browsing Hanukkah sweaters online, you stumble upon one that makes you cringe with its gross, offensive stereotyping of Jewish…women. Is nothing sacred anymore? Tipsy Elves, the popular purveyor of "ugly" Christmas and Hanukkah sweaters, has really crossed a line with their women's Gelt Digger Hanukkah sweater, which brings up all those fun tropes of gold-digging "Japs," now with a bonus holiday twist! If the sweater alone doesn't get to you, the product description from the… >> Read More
It seems Donald won't be the only Trump moving to our nation's capital next year. According to CNN, Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner have been spotted house-hunting in the Washington area,…as the couple plans to move from New York City to DC with their three children to be closer to their dad's new gig. This will be a big move for the family, as both Ivanka and Jared have major business ties to New York City. Kushner, a real-estate developer, owns several valuable properties in… >> Read More
Hallelujah! IKEA's US division has announced plans to offer expanded paid parental leave to its 13,000 employees. Like Netflix and LinkedIn before it, it seems the furniture giant best known for its…confusing assembly instructions and Swedish meatballs has realized that employees are humans, and as such, deserve a healthy dose of paid parental leave. According to NBC News, effective January 1, the company will offer all its employees--mothers and fathers, salaried and hourly--up to four months of paid leave. The policy applies to birth, adoptive, and… >> Read More
Here's something I never thought I'd write: The Chicago Cubs just won the World Series. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, I've been waiting for this day my whole life, though I never thought it…would actually come. But here we are. I may have only gotten three hours of sleep last night, and I may be slightly hungover (it was a long game, OK?), but I can't help but see connections between these two big identities of mine--Cubs fan and Jew. Here they are: 1. L'dor v'dor. For many, like myself, being a Cubs… >> Read More
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