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Dec 19 2014

Love & Challah: How I Found My Place in Judaism

By at 12:00 pm

Love & Challah: How I Found My Place in Judaism

Years ago I told my husband that if he expected me to give up cheeseburgers and shrimp cocktail for bagel brunches and heavily salted meats, I was going to need some backup. Though I was raised in a conservative Jewish home in Allentown, PA, my ideas of Judaism were mixed up with my ideas of a social life, which is to say that the boys I liked were decidedly not Jewish.

I made Christmas cookies one year with a junior high school boyfriend’s mother, flinging the dough around his dressed-up-for-the-holiday home when I accidentally lifted the hand mixer out of the bowl, probably gesturing in some handsy Jewish way. Read the rest of this entry →

On Observing Hanukkah Miracles, Big and Small

By at 9:15 am

On Observing Hanukkah Miracles, Big and Small

“MOMMY! MOMMY! THE CANDLES BURNT OUT!” My 6-year-old daughter’s voice came wailing up the stairs while I was getting dressed this morning. “That’s not how it’s supposed to go! The miracle is that they stayed lit for eight nights! What happened to our miracle?”

“Well, sweetie, that’s not our miracle. That was the miracle in the Temple so long ago, but today we have different miracles. The candles of Hanukkah remind us to notice the miracles that happen for us, now, in our lives.”

I’ve been trying to notice those miracles. I really have. But with everything that’s been happening in our nation and our world this past year, it can be hard to find them. Even during Hanukkah.

Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 18 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow Made a ‘Secret’ Appearance at the White House Hanukkah Party

By at 3:45 pm

Gwyneth Paltrow Made a 'Secret' Appearance at the White House Hanukkah Party

So this is interesting. According to the Washington Post, actress and lifestyle mogul Gwyneth Paltrow was spotted at the White House’s Hanukkah reception last night. However, she didn’t really want anyone to know about it, considering her assistant physically blocked people from taking photos (or at least tried to). Read the rest of this entry →

I Don’t Celebrate Christmas, Deal With It

By at 2:26 pm

I Don't Celebrate Christmas, Get Over It

“I bet you’re looking forward to your first Christmas with the baby!”

Some variation of this has been said to me repeatedly since my wife and I welcomed our daughter in October. I could reply with a simple, “Yes, thanks,” but it seems more useful, more educational, to challenge people’s assumptions instead.

So I usually smile and say, “My family is Jewish and we don’t celebrate Christmas.”

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I Married a Man Named Christmas

By at 9:24 am

I Married a Man Named Christmas

I would have liked to marry a Jewish man, but obviously not enough to make sure it happened. But why, out of all the men I could have picked in this great big world, why did I have to fall in love with a man with a preposterously non-Jewish name? As my mother said, “If you had to marry a non-Jew, couldn’t you at least have found one with a last name like Smith or Harris? Did it have to be Christmas?”

I ask myself the same thing.   Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 17 2014

‘Clifford’ Author Norman Bridwell Will Posthumously Release a Hanukkah Book

By at 4:16 pm

'Clifford," Author Norman Bridwell was About to Release a Hanukkah Book

Sad news in the world of children’s literature. News broke today that Norman Bridwell, celebrated author of the “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” series, died on Friday, Dec. 12 at the age of 86.

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Kveller Readers Share Their Hanukkah Photos–and They are Adorable

By at 2:23 pm
Kveller Readers Share Their Hanukkah Photos

 

We asked our Facebook followers to share photos of their first night of Hanukkah with us. What we got was incredible. From touching family moments to incredibly creative menorahs, we loved these photos and we think you will too.

Chag Hanukkah Sameach !  Read the rest of this entry →

How an Unlikely Friendship Formed at Jewish Summer Camp

By at 12:13 pm

How an Unlikely Friendship Formed at Jewish Summer Camp

Liran Bromberg (right) is an 18-year-old junior counselor at Ramah New England. Yishai Barth (left) is a high school senior who became friends with Liran at age 11, when Yishai was a camper in the inclusion program at Ramah. Here, they each share about their unique bond formed at Jewish camp. 

Liran:

I was 11 years old and in my second year of summer camp when I met this kid with super powers. A nearly perfect memory, super hearing, and a brain that could solve complex problems of anything from theoretical physics to philosophy. The only problem was that I was the only one who seemed to have met him. Everyone else just met this oddball kid named Yishai who had trouble walking.

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Please Stop Telling My Kids (and Me) to ‘Chill’

By at 9:17 am

Please Stop Telling My Kids (and Me) to 'Chill'

“Why are people constantly telling me to chill?” my 15-year-old dramatically demands of me. “Who says I’m not chill? I am very chill. I am the epitome of chill-ness!”

Then he heads off to the most selective public school in NYC, where he is a sophomore taking eight classes, including AP History, and participates in Model UN, sews costumes for the play, draws cartoons for the newspaper, and fills out paperwork for college grants. When he’s not volunteering at the Jewish Museum. Or constructing balloon art.  Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 16 2014

Check Out These 8 Viral Videos to Get in the Hanukkah Spirit

By at 2:00 pm

Check Out These 5 Viral Videos to Get in the Hanukkah Spirit

Tonight marks the first night of Hanukkah, and we wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday! To kick off our celebration, we’re sharing our favorite new Hanukkah videos–one for every night–that are sure to put a smile on your face. Most of them have a musical kick, so make sure you’re ready to shamelessly bop at your desk.  Read the rest of this entry →

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