Oct 25 2012
I can still remember being 5 years old, sitting in the hallway outside my kindergarten classroom, while my buddy–an eighth grader–taught me the Ma Nishtana, the four questions for the Passover seder. Eight years later, and it was my turn to help a new kindergartner learn the tune and words to the same questions.
I’m a Schechter gal, through and through. From kindergarten through eighth grade, I attended Ezra Academy, a Solomon Schechter Jewish day school in the suburbs of New Haven, CT. Not only did I attend the school, but my mother was there long before I started, teaching a variety of grade levels before settling into her current position as the school’s computer instructor. The Jewish day school experience was an integral part of my childhood, and one that I truly look back upon fondly. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 11 2012
We sat in the waiting room.
My wife and I came up with a list of what we had to do later that day: respond to emails, clean our apartment, maybe watch an episode of Mad Men.
We had been sensitive to the kabbalistic notion of the ayin ha-ra, the evil eye, and refrained from excessive preparation of unconfirmed events. Yet, we figured, with a month away and a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan to reorganize, it was time to build a crib. Earlier that day before the unexpected rush to the hospital, my grandparents surprised us with a rocking chair they had reupholstered for their first great-grandchild. A few hours later, my wife went into labor six weeks before our baby’s expected due date. Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 18 2012
Remember the good old days when new fathers needed a special pass to get into the maternity ward? Someone on Etsy is selling this vintage pass from 1955, given out at the Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn. Oh, nostalgia.
Jul 3 2012
A few minutes past 5 a.m., our 3-year-old son decides he wants to play. Since becoming a dad, I am incrementally morphing into a morning person, so the early shift doesn’t faze me like it once did.
The problem is that my son, Benjy, doesn’t want to play with me–he wants “somebody else.” And that somebody else is mommy.
Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 26 2012
Joel Stein is a weekly columnist for TIME Magazine. Upon finding out that he was expecting a son, he realized he did not possess any of the classic “manly traits,” so he spent some time going on “man adventures,” which are chronicled in his new book, Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity. Below, he talks about his 70s Jewish childhood, who is allowed to drive a Lamborghini, and the time he laughed when his wife cried.
You grew up in Edison, New Jersey. What was your childhood there like? And can we agree that a New Jersey childhood makes you inherently predisposed to be hilarious? Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 15 2012
This Sunday is Father’s Day, and while our gift to dads came a little early this year (you do remember Dude Week, don’t you?!) we wanted to do a little something special to honor this holiday otherwise filled with new ties and tools.
The dads who have written for Kveller over our internet-life-span have been brave spokesmen in the land of so many moms, and we greatly value what they add to the mix, so we wanted to send out a big THANKS! and WE LOVE YOU! If you recall, our Mother’s Day montage was quite a bit more full, so we hope you take this virtual Father’s Day card as a certain call to action–we always, always want more dads writing for us and interacting with us on the site.
Happy Father’s Day, dads, and everyone else.
All this week, we’re featuringstories of great fathers collected by the Jewish Women’s Archive in honor of Father’s Day. We’ll be featuring the last two today. This first one is from Preeva Tramiel:
My father chose my name, and that cemented my connection to Judaism. He named me after his mother, Pruva, who died in Auschwitz. The “American” version of my name is Preeva, and it is on my birth certificate. Daddy took to me shul on Friday nights, and we came early so he could talk to his friends and show me off a little. He would say, “Preeva, explain your name.” And I would straighten my dress, and recite: “When God created man, on the sixth day he said to him, Pru U’Rvu Ee melu et ha’aretz, be fruitful and multiply and develop the earth. From that comes Pruva, which we pronounce here in America, Preeva.” Read the rest of this entry →
Father’s Day is this Sunday, and we thought you’d like this short and sweet poem, from one father to his son.
When you fall asleep on my arm you make it ten times stronger.
When you lie on my chest it becomes a mountain.
When you wrap your hand around my finger no army in the universe can dislodge us.
I am father: giant, impenetrable, invincible, timeless, ageless, all seeing; cunning, determined, and when protecting you, utterly ruthless.
This is who I am now; this is what you have made me.
So my son, thank you for this first Father’s Day.
Jun 14 2012
All this week, we’re featuring stories of great fathers collected by the Jewish Women’s Archive in honor of Father’s Day. Today’s is from Ellen K. Rothman.
One night when my father was about 10 years old, he came downstairs looking for his mother. He paused at the top of the cellar steps. In the basement, he saw his parents and his maternal grandfather savoring a local delicacy–Chesapeake Bay oysters. In later years, my father would say that this night in 1933 marked the end of any real feeling he had for Judaism. He loved and respected his grandfather, a successful self-made businessman who was a pillar of the shul where my father would be bar mitzvahed and confirmed. But even as a 10-year-old, he knew hypocrisy when he saw it.
Still, my father never failed to make a generous contribution to the Associated Jewish Charities every year, he was famous for his skill at telling Jewish jokes, and without ever using the words, he instilled a strong sense of tikkun olam in his sons (two) and daughters (two). Did he make the connection between the importance he placed on service to the community–a value he both lived and passed on–and his Jewish heritage? I wish I had asked him.
To read more, head on over to JWA’s blog, Jewesses with Attitude.
Jun 13 2012
All this week, we’re featuring stories of great fathers collected by the Jewish Women’s Archive in honor of Father’s Day. Today’s is from Deborah Fineblum Raub.
“What do you think is the nature of reality?”
I gazed down at my untied shoelace, my skinned knee, the grass poking out of the sidewalk. “I dunno,” I shrugged. “What is it?”
“There is no right answer,” my father said, his corrective shoes keeping time with my own. “But it’s our job to keep asking the question anyway.” My Daddy knows a lot, but that did not make sense. Questions should have right answers like in arithmetic.
What l did know was it was summertime. I was 7. I had 27 freckles and two little sisters and Mommy was wearing the blue shirt again that meant another sister was coming. And after supper Daddy asked just me to take a walk. In the soft Ohio dusk I was initiated into the Big Thinkers Club. That fundamentally unanswerable “nature of reality” question, one that would eventually be posed to each of his five small daughters, gifted us with the chutzpah to shake our small fists at the limits of human knowing in a deeply Jewish way. It was, more than anything else, our father’s sweetest gift.
To read more, head on over to JWA’s blog, Jewesses with Attitude.