Oct 21 2014
When my husband and I got married, there were a few items that we joked “were in the ketubah.” These were the non-negotiables–the issues we had discussed before agreeing to spend our lives together. For me, it was keeping a kosher home and sending our (then non-existent) kids to a Jewish day school. For my husband, it was getting a dog.
Yes, I promised that one day we would get a dog. Even though I am scared of dogs. Terrified. Can’t stand when they lick me. Scream when they run towards me. Petrified when they jump on me. Yes, I replied to my beloved, for you, I will get a dog.
Though we wed more than 11 years ago, I have been able to successfully delay the puppy piece. First I argued, “Not while we’re in a city apartment.” So the minute we closed on our house seven years ago my husband asked, “Should we go straight to the rescue shelter?” Read more →
Oct 20 2014
My middle son told me something the other night that made my stomach twist into a painful knot. He told me that his preschool teacher wasn’t very nice to him, but he hadn’t told me about it before because he knew that I liked her.
This may seem like a little thing. But, it isn’t to me. Until that moment I had been sure that my kids trusted me enough to tell me about the things that are important to them, the things that they are worried about. The fact that he’d gone a whole year holding back his feelings really frightened me.
I asked him a million questions after that. What had she done to make him not like her? Did she mistreat him in any way? Make him feel uncomfortable? Unimportant? Read more →
Oct 20 2014
Last week, Kveller broke the story that a “punk rock” swastika ring was for sale on both Amazon and Sears’ websites. People were, understandably, outraged, and the story soon went viral, prompting even Carson Daley to talk about it on the “Today” show.
After getting flooded with angry comments on social media, Sears clarified that the item was posted by a third party in their free marketplace, and quickly took the item down, releasing this apology on their website. Amazon also quietly removed the ring from their website.
But wait, there’s more.
A concerned reader pointed us to several other Nazi-affiliated products currently for sale on Amazon, including: Read more →
Oct 20 2014
Kveller.com is seeking a full-time editorial assistant to join our staff. We’re a Jewish parenting website for smart, savvy moms, but you don’t need to be a mom to work here. You also don’t need to be Jewish, though some familiarity with Jewish culture and traditions helps. What we’re really looking for is someone with excellent editing and writing skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to stay on top of a variety of tasks. We are also looking for someone who is social media savvy and can keep a finger on the pulse of parenting trends and Jewish news, with a sense of humor and love of all things internet-y (and who can come up with a better word than internet-y). Read more →
Oct 20 2014
Two and a half days for Rosh Hashanah.
Half a day for Yom Kippur.
Two and a half days for Sukkot.
Two days for Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah.
I’d love to tell you that this is a list of the days that I spent in solemn prayer and reflection over the past month. The truth is that this is actually a list of days I spent stressing about schedules and childcare and all the work I wasn’t getting done because my daughter wasn’t in school. Jewish day school. Read more →
Oct 20 2014
Cancer runs in my family. About nine years ago, when my aunt was suffering from ovarian cancer, after having battled breast cancer, doctors identified a mutation in her BRCA1 gene. Sure enough, this mutation is associated with increased risks of breast and ovarian cancer. My father tested himself and found that his DNA had the same mutation. This genetic mutation is either inherited from a parent or, with equal chances, is not.
I decided to get tested, and I learned that I, too, have a BRCA1 mutation known as 185delAG. This mutation, a missing piece in the 185th position of a very long strand of DNA, has been a part of my cells from the very start. News but not new; the newness was in knowing about it. This mutation is what is known as a “founder mutation,” which means that it’s thought to have originated from a single individual. Because this mutation has been found among Sephardic Jews as well as Ashkenazic Jews, some estimate that the mutation predates the dispersion of Jews after the destruction of the second temple in 70 CE. Read more →
Oct 15 2014
Editor’s note: This post is the last entry in our year-long Torah MOMentary series. We are so grateful to Alicia Jo Rabins for taking us through the Torah this year with insight, honesty, and some very cute photos of her kids–as well as all the guest contributors to the series.
This Friday night we read V’zot Haberakhah. To read a summary of the portion and learn more, click here.
When my daughter Sylvie turned 2, we decided she was ready to transition from her bedtime bottle of milk to a cup. To prepare her, we told her we were going to say “Goodbye, bottle–hello, cup.” She loved saying it with us: Goodbye, bottle—hello, cup. It seemed to help her understand what was happening. And it helped me understand, too. Read more →
Oct 15 2014
Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Over the years, many of our writers have written poignantly about the heartrending experience of losing a child or pregnancy. For those who have experienced that pain, we hope these stories will resonate, provide comfort, and offer helpful suggestions for processing the loss. For those who haven’t, this might help you comfort a friend who has.
Here is a roundup of the most relevant articles from Kveller and our friends at Modern Loss about pregnancy and infant loss:
1. 17 Things to Say to Someone Who’s Lost a Child. It’s hard to know what to say to a friend who is mourning the loss of a child or potential child. A dad who has unfortunately found himself on both sides of the conversation offers some guidelines and suggestions. Read more →
Oct 15 2014
I’ll never forget the first roll call in fourth grade at the St. Fabian School.
“Levey, Hilary? [Pause] Really?!”
Yes, really. My father, who gifted me his last name, is clearly a Member of the Tribe (Levite, natch). But my parents decided to baptize and raise me as a Roman Catholic, like my mother. Read more →
Oct 14 2014
When my very bright son’s grades started to plummet, we decided it was time to find out what was going on. In an attempt to help him, we subjected him to a sleep study, neurological exams, academic exams, and psychological testing. At the same time, Joey was struggling with skills for the standardized tests, so he was taking multiple practice exams and being pulled out of class to work with a reading specialist.
He was patient, and handled them all like a champ. Occasionally he’d ask about the testing. We’d give him a simple but truthful answer, and move the conversation along by talking about Minecraft.
After a few weeks, his questions started to change. Instead of asking what the tests were all about, he started to ask if there was something wrong with him, or if he was different than the other kids in his class. I noticed his self-esteem wasn’t doing so hot, and at homework time there were tears. He started to call himself stupid. Read more →