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Aug 12 2014

I Tell My Daughter Looks Don’t Matter But I Know They Do

By at 12:04 pm

lip-gloss

My daughter sat on the floor watching me get dressed. She was wearing her brother’s ripped t-shirt and her hair was bunched into a knotty knob on her head.

“That’s a pretty dress, Mama.”

Her eyes shone when she looked at me, tiny mirrors that reflected my face back to me in rainbow colors. Read the rest of this entry →

The Risks of Being an Interracial Family

By at 11:20 am

ShadesofBrown

Less than a year ago, two blond children in Ireland were taken from their Roma parents because the police decided they didn’t look related, even though legal documents, including passports, were produced. Meanwhile, the same thing happened to a blond girl in Greece. Even though her DNA didn’t match anything on record in the Missing Child database, and even though her biological mother was found and insisted she had voluntarily left her daughter with a Roma couple, the State decided that little Maria should not be returned to her foster parents, but placed in an orphanage, instead.

I followed both cases closely because, in our house, my three kids are darker than I am, but lighter than my African-American husband. I’ve been asked in the past if I were their babysitter. And so has he. Even when I’m with them. The idea that the police or other authorities could just swoop in and take them away because, for instance, my oldest son has blue eyes and his father doesn’t, or my middle child is coffee-colored and I, according to my aforementioned blue-eyed son, am the color of chalk, was not a comfortable one.

I comforted myself with the thought that this was a European problem. Prejudice against the Roma and their lifestyle runs deep there, to the point where official country websites urge tourists to stay away, and local children are told to behave, lest they be kidnapped by Gypsies. (Because, you know, people living in poverty just love stealing other mouths to feed.) Read the rest of this entry →

What I Can’t Stand About the #ShareACoke Pregnancy Announcement

By at 9:58 am

mcgill-cuddys

If you’ve been on the internet recently, you may have noticed a video going around about a couple announcing they are expecting by way of the new “Share a Coke” campaign. In case no one has posted it to your Facebook page, you can watch it here:

For many who have watched it, they first noticed how original this concept was to publicize a pregnancy. For others, they observed the high production value of the video. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 11 2014

The Highs & Lows of Working for Your Family Business

By at 4:46 pm

Fried-Chicken

You might say that family business is my family’s business. My great grandfather owned a five-and-dime store, one of my grandfathers owned a bowling alley, and my other grandfather owned a few grocery stores and fast food stalls. So it’s not very surprising that my father is also an entrepreneur. Though he got a PhD in economics, he soon after moved his family back east and returned to the family business, which at the time was fried chicken–the very best fried chicken.

Some of my earliest childhood memories are from my time behind the counter, greeting customers and later selling fried chicken, biscuits, and western fries. I vividly remember “pulling plugs” (separating the livers from the gizzards before frying), which perhaps had something to do with me becoming a vegetarian in my early teens (and for a long time after). I also learned a lot of life lessons being part of this family business. I interacted with people from a different world than where I lived and went to school (which was probably at least 90 percent Jewish), I learned what hard work really is and how hard some people’s lives really are, and I saw how a family can go through both good and bad times and still stick together.

My family’s business had some highs, but it also had some very low lows. We opened several stores, and we had to close some stores. After closing the stores, my parents took a hiatus from entrepreneurship and worked for others. Read the rest of this entry →

Welcome to the World, Elijah Wilder!

By at 3:29 pm

Alicia-Welcome-Elija

We are thrilled to announce that our resident Torah MOMentator Alicia Jo Rabins gave birth to a baby boy last week (much to the delight of big sister Sylvie). Elijah Wilder Hartman was born at 8:05 a.m. on Thursday, August 7, weighing 7.7 pounds and 2 ounces.

Says the proud mom, “We are all healthy and grateful and in love.” Read the rest of this entry →

CEO Dad Steps Down To Spend More Time With Kids

By at 3:03 pm
Max-CEO

Max Schireson (Facebook)

 

Why are only female CEOs asked how they balance the responsibility of parenthood with work?

This is the question posed by Max Schireson, 44-year-old CEO of the software company MongoDB, in a personal blog post titled “Why I’m leaving the best job I ever had”:

Earlier this summer, Matt Lauer asked Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, whether she could balance the demands of being a mom and being a CEO. The Atlantic asked similar questions of PepsiCo’s female CEO Indra Nooyi. As a male CEO, I have been asked what kind of car I drive and what type of music I like, but never how I balance the demands of being both a dad and a CEO.

While the press haven’t asked me, it is a question that I often ask myself.

Finding no satisfactory answer, Schireson stepped down. He no longer has to commute from Palo Alto to New York regularly to run the billion dollar company, and is instead transitioning into a normal full-time position as Vice Chairman. Now he has more time to spend with his three kids, ages 14, 12, and 9, “skiing, cooking, playing backgammon, swimming, watching movies or Warriors or Giants games, talking, whatever.” Read the rest of this entry →

I’m Sad Our Israel Vacation is Over–But I’m Glad It Happened

By at 11:00 am

Bag-map

A crumpled up map of the city of Jerusalem. A ticket from the Israel Museum. A black and red card for my favorite falafel place in Jaffa. A guide to the tunnels under the Western Wall. A pinkly pale and gray shell I found on the beach in Herzliya.

These smudged, damp, and crinkled remnants of our adventures gently spill out of my new turquoise made-in-Israel bag like the fine grains of Dead Sea salt that scattered on the bathroom floor from my bathing suit this evening.

It’s almost over, our vacation. And I wish it wasn’t. Read the rest of this entry →

I’m Turning into My Mother-in-Law & I Think I Like it

By at 9:57 am

Mah-Jong

Mah Jongg is an old lady game.”

I tried to block out those words as I carried the small red suitcase of tiles to my first lesson. I had fully assumed I wouldn’t like it, but honestly, once I understood the whole “crack bam dot” business, it was a blast.  Challenging, fast moving and competitive, all of the qualities I like best in a game.

“So I like Mah Jongg,” I told myself, “doesn’t mean I’m old.”  Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 8 2014

“Frozen” Parody Helps Israelis Cope With Rocket Fire

By at 4:08 pm

israel

Since we know you really need more “Frozen” parodies to add to the soundtrack of your life, we bring you this lovely spin on “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”

In order to deal with the constant barrage of rocket fire, some Israelis adapted the song to “Do You Think That Was a Siren?”

Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry →

Dear Media: Leave Noah “Apparently Kid” Ritter Alone!

By at 2:16 pm

Noah-Ritter2

Noah Ritter was having the best day of his life–that is, until it rapidly spiraled into his worse nightmare. The 5-year-old, who is crashing with Grandpa Jack in Wilkes Barre, PA for the summer, became an overnight internet sensation when he reviewed rides for a local TV station at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania and hijacked the interview with his adorable overuse of the word “apparently.”

But by the next morning, throngs of TV reporters–vultures, really–had descended on Grandpa Jack’s lawn. Everyone wanted a piece of #ApparentlyKid, who seems more confused and overwhelmed by each interview. The questions keep coming: “What does apparently mean?” (He’s not sure.) “How does it feel to be a superstar?” (Good.) “What do you want to be when you grow up?”(A paleontologist.) But all Noah really wants to talk about are dinosaurs. The whole thing seems rather exploitative, especially as we see Noah become increasingly flustered.

Watch the media corner poor Noah on his bike: Read the rest of this entry →

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