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About: Melissa Pheterson
Full Name Melissa Pheterson
Melissa Pheterson
Melissa Pheterson reports on health, wellness and lifestyle content for Gannett, and other media. Her work has appeared in the New York TimesJerusalem Post,, and in the anthology Have I Got a Guy For You. You can enjoy her collected stories of crazy Jewish family life, Under His Nose, on your Kindle or Kindle app.

Posts by Melissa Pheterson:

  • Feb 14 2014
    Turns Out Shabbat and Valentine’s Day Have a Lot in Common

    Tonight I’m planning dinner by candlelight. It will engage all five senses, with attention lavished on the tiniest details, including our wedding china instead of Corelle, and soup that requires a trip to the butcher instead of just a can … Continue reading


  • Jan 30 2014
    What Fakebooking Looked Like in the 1950s

    In the old video we just had restored to DVD, my grandmother wears bright red lipstick and a sparkly blue sweater as she undresses my mother for her bath. Her hair is perfectly coiffed. She smiles and bats her eyes. … Continue reading


  • Nov 4 2013
    Major Anxiety Meets Preschool Carpool

    What’s the worst that could happen? It’s my mother’s favorite hypothetical, though she means it literally. And while the answers remain unspoken, the preemptive nervous energy abounds. I’d remained oblivious to her anxiety in my coddled childhood, and dodged it … Continue reading


  • Sep 10 2013
    Getting Up Close & Personal with the Torah

    As a writer, I love words, but I’m pretty indifferent to the letters in the alphabet. When I’m typing, I don’t even glance at the keyboard. And of course, my children and my writing rarely mix, except when I send … Continue reading


  • Aug 6 2013
    Are Superhero T-Shirts Kosher for Jewish Kids?

    In the hallways of my kids’ Jewish camp I’ve seen “Crab Shack” tees and even shirts that say, “Hail Bacon!” With smugness, I told the preschool director I’d never dream of sending my kids wearing “those kinds” of tees to … Continue reading


  • Jun 3 2013
    Birthday Parties: Is Asking for Donations Instead of Gifts Too Preachy?

    “Partying all night” now means the yearly ritual where my husband, my son, and I open his birthday gifts after the last cranky guest has left for the evening. (This year, my night-owl daughter may well join us.) Hey, it’s … Continue reading


  • May 11 2013
    Trying to Make Nice with My Mother-in-Law

    We present this piece about that tricky mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship just in time for Mother(-in-law)’s Day. My mom and I are so close that we can finish each other’s sentences, or at least harmonize in what my husband calls the Parade … Continue reading


  • May 8 2013
    When Mom Loses Her Voice

    I admire those who can evolve on their own, shedding old bad habits through sheer mindfulness and mental discipline. For me, it takes acute laryngitis. “You’ll become a good listener real fast,” a friend joked. So true! Here’s what else … Continue reading


  • Apr 22 2013
    I Married an Atheist

    Weeks before I met my husband, I went to Israel on a Birthright trip and pranced down twisting streets belting out Hebrew songs, swept up in the fervor of the group. I shared my feelings in drum circles and slipped … Continue reading



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