Apr 18 2014
Because I work in the media, I never believe a word anyone says or writes. (I know full well there is no such thing as an unbiased journalist, or an editor without an agenda.) Because I was born in Ukraine (then a part of the Soviet Union), I most especially never believe a word anyone says or writes coming out of that particular region of the world.
That’s why, when friends began emailing me the USA Today article, soon backed up (or maybe merely copy and pasted) by other outlets, that claimed Jews in the Eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk “emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated,” I refused to leap immediately into panic mode.
Within hours, another source, in The New Republic, claimed that while the leaflets may have been real, they were not issued by the local government, but by their opponents in order to deliberately smear the pro-Russian side of the Crimea conflict. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 17 2014
We are thrilled to announce that Chelsea Clinton and her Jewish husband are expecting a child later this year. Kveller has been following the former first daughter’s baby timeline every since she married Marc Mezvinsky in 2010, and declared her desire to create a little (half?) Jewish baby with him this past fall.
Chelsea was co-hosting a Clinton Foundation event about female leadership with mom Hillary when she made the announcement:
“I just want to thank all of you for being such an inspiration to us and to me in particular. Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year.”
“And I certainly feel all the better, whether it’s a girl or a boy, that she or he will grow up in a world with so many strong, young female leaders,” she said.
Mazel Tov, Chelsea and Marc!
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Apr 14 2014
Tonight, the Jewish people will collectively celebrate our freedom from bondage. As yesterday’s murders at two Jewish targets in Overland Park, Kansas by a white supremacist made quite clear, there are still those who hate us, who murder us, who want to see a world without Jews. We mourn the murdered, and bemoan a world where such horrors can happen in unexpected moments and places.
But tonight, we will open the doors to our homes to welcome in a taste of the “World to Come.” We will recline, we will rejoice. All who are hungry, let them come and eat in our Seder feast. Let them hear the story of how far we have come, over thousands of years.
We live. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 11 2014
Still looking for ways to get your kids amped up for Passover? When in doubt, add DINOSAURS!
“Dinosaur on Passover” is the perfect story to celebrate Passover with your kids. It’s the story of an eager, playful dinosaur who show’s up at a young boy’s house for the seder and causes a bit of havoc. Discover even more Passover e-books for kids here.
We’ve got one free download of “Dinosaur on Passover” to give away to a lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner on Monday, April 14th.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Apr 10 2014
My friend Anne recently posed an excellent question related to keeping the dietary laws of Passover. “For those of us who are gluten-free,” she asked, “is cutting hametz really a hardship?”
What Anne was getting at, I believe, is the underlying observation that it can be a challenge to get in the right frame of mind for Passover if giving up wheat and other grains is nothing new. Many of us unknowingly (or knowingly) rely on the physical aspect of our holidays to access the deeper spiritual realm where we can focus on what really matters. On Rosh Hashanah we dip apples in honey; we fast on Yom Kippur; we’re commanded to eat in a sukkah during Sukkot; we fry potatoes in oil during Hanukkah; we try new fruits on Tu Bishvat; we make a dairy meal for Shavuot; we feast throughout Shabbat. Rosh Hashanah, however, is not about apples and honey. Hanukkah is not about latkes. Shabbat is not just about pigging out.
Likewise, Passover is not about avoiding bread or experimenting with a trendy diet. Still, changing the way we eat for the week can make an impact on our ability to digest (no pun intended) the lessons of the holiday. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 9 2014
If you have been following along with my Shabbat tutorials, you will realize that it only takes a little bit of planning to create a wonderful meal for family and friends. The same holds true if you are planning to host this year’s seder. It might seem like an overwhelming task the first time you try, but if you break each section up into smaller components and start a few days ahead of time, you should be able to hold a beautiful seder with very little anxiety.
Here is the checklist of what is included in a seder celebration:
- Guest list: Who is coming?
- Menu: What are you serving for dinner?
- Haggadah for each person at the meal.
- Seder plate, plus what goes on it.
- Salt water for the table.
- Wine and a goblet or glass for blessings.
- Elijah’s cup. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 7 2014
It’s never too early to start prepping for Passover. There is an endless list of food and Judaica items you will need in order to create the perfect seder. These things are not on it.
If you are smart, you will bail on the sh*tstorm that is Passover planning by attending a friend or relative’s seder. And when you arrive–spouse and kiddies in tow–you should bring a gift. Sort of a “thank you for hosting”/ “sorry for the inevitable toddler-induced grape juice stains on your white table cloth” kind of gift.
We can help. These Passover products range from funny, to gross, to just plain ridiculous. They are absolutely unnecessary, but fun nonetheless, and may bring a little levity to an otherwise solemn holiday. Read the rest of this entry →
When NY Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, got word that his pregnant wife’s water broke on Sunday night, March 30th, he traveled from New York to their home in Florida, arriving in time for the birth of his first-born child, Noah, via C-section. Murphy then took the three days paternity leave permitted for Major League Baseball players to be with his wife before returning to the team. He missed two games including the Mets home opener.
Murphy has now come under fire on a few radio shows for choosing to be with his wife instead of immediately rejoining the team.
I immediately felt a fire within myself when I heard this criticism. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 4 2014
As Passover approaches, we asked our readers and writers: What do you need an exodus from? Today we hear from three more Kveller writers as part of our “What’s Your Exodus?” series.
From Jenn Meer:
This year, dear Lord please deliver me from my addiction to gossip-y, celebrity “news” magazines. They have zero mental nutritional value and now that my son is in kindergarten, he is beginning to learn how to read. And there is only so much information about Juan Pablo that I’m comfortable with him knowing at age 6. Plus, I catch my daughter staring more and more at the women in the pages and I wonder if even at her young age, she is already beginning to compare herself to those scantily-clad Kardashians. This troubles me.
So goodbye you candy-colored tabloid! I am breaking free from your addictive weeklies. Besides, you were never good for me. And also, I can usually read most of your heart-shaped columns in the grocery express line anyway. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 3 2014
Let’s be honest: parenting a toddler can make even the sanest person among us feel homicidal at times. I should know–I’ve got twins.
Tovah Klein, author of “How Toddlers Thrive,” is an associate professor of psychology at Barnard and director of the Barnard College Center for Toddler Development. She kindly took a moment from a busy book tour to talk me off the ledge talk to me about her new book and why we just need to shift our perspective.
In “How Toddlers Thrive,” you write about our current “overzealous child-rearing culture” and how the media often confuses parents. I am a confused parent. How will your book help me?
There’s a reason for confusing toddler behavior (defined here as ages 2-5): there’s rapid change going on in the brain in these early years–700 synapses per second are being connected! That’s why toddlers are exhausting to be around. They are trying to figure out who they are and what they need is for us to help guide them in a way that gives them a secure emotional base. Its important to take a step back and try and see the world from a toddler perspective. Read the rest of this entry →