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Oct 22 2014

Has the Bat Mitzvah Party Overtaken the Bat Mitzvah?

By at 3:57 pm

My Problem with the Booty Short Bat Mitzvah

I knew bat mitzvahs were a bad idea. I told my husband this in 2001, about 20 minutes after we returned from the hospital with our two new daughters and he said, “My parents want to know when the baby namings will be.”

I like to think of the baby naming as a “bris for girls,” a custom created by Reform Jews rather than God and therefore, in my mind, totally optional. So, over babies crying, I hollered as best I could—given the fresh incision across my abdomen—that there’d be no baby namings. Then, as I struggled to attach a newborn to each of my nipples, I added, “And there’ll be no bat mitzvahs either. So tell your parents not even to ask.”

But they did ask, and so did my husband, who typically asks for nothing. Read the rest of this entry →

Free Stuff Alert: Win Tickets to “My Son the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy”

By at 2:03 pm

win tickets to "my son, the waiter"

Need a night out on the town, sans kids? Of course you do! Which is why if you live in New York or plan to visit the big apple soon, you’ll definitely want to enter our latest giveaway to win a pair of tickets to see this hilarious show critics call “hysterical, heartfelt, timely and poignant.”

My Son The Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy” is Brad Zimmerman’s hilarious and inspiring story about the grit and passion required to “make it” as an artist, and the sweet rewards that come from never giving up on your dream, even when it means waiting tables for 29 years. It’s the only “tragedy” that’s been dubbed “90 minutes of non-stop laughter.”

The show is playing at Stage 72 – Triad Theatre in New York City. We have one pair of tickets to give away to a lucky reader to choose a date that works for them (excluding Saturday nights). To enter the giveaway, please fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner next Wednesday, October 29th. To learn more about the show, check out the website here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 21 2014

Four Years After Adoption, My Son is a Bar Mitzvah

By at 11:54 am

adopted son's bar mitzvah

My son’s bar mitzvah was three years in the making–ever since he told me his “good news”: that he “wanted to be Jewish.” This was only about nine months after I adopted him and his older brother from Brazil, as they were turning 9 and 12 years old. Though he had barely mastered the English language, my son Davi was anxious to start learning yet another language… and Hebrew, no less.

To change over from their previous beliefs in and practices of the Christian faith in favor of becoming Jewish was not an expectation I had for either of my sons. I wanted their religion to be their decision–more important to me was that my sons be spiritually connected, and live a just and moral life. Davi’s decision took me completely by surprise. There were no real clues about his thinking beforehand, yet once he started out, he never looked back. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 20 2014

Why I Talked to My Preschooler About Sexual Abuse

By at 3:59 pm

why i talked to my preschool son about abuse

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 the rest of this entry →

Does Amazon Have a Nazi Problem?

By at 2:19 pm

does amazon have a nazi problem?

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 the rest of this entry →

Kveller is Hiring an Editorial Assistant

By at 12:18 pm

kveller.com hiring an editorial assistant

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 the rest of this entry →

Oct 15 2014

It’s Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

By at 1:09 pm

baloons

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 the rest of this entry →

Oct 13 2014

This Swastika Ring from Sears is Strictly For Fashion Purposes

By at 12:51 pm

Swastika-ring

Got a hot date tonight? Nothing spells romance like a chunky black swastika.

Billed as an edgy fashion accessory, this giant swastika ring is part of Sears’ “men’s punk rock style” jewelry collection, and is also available from online retailers like Amazon. The product description explains that the rings are to be used solely for purposes of wooing the ladies: Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 8 2014

Since My Marriage Ended, I’m Left Wandering

By at 9:52 am

Sukkot

During Sukkot, we remember how God freed our ancestors from slavery in the land of Egypt. We build sukkahs, flimsy booths meant to recreate the temporary dwellings used while we wandered across the desert, leaving home behind.

I have been on my own wandering journey for about 14 years. I was brought up in a knowledgeable Reform Jewish home. As kids, my siblings and I lived in Upstate New York, and regularly attended temple services. The congregants barely filled two rows of pews if you mashed us all together. I loved it. I loved the hired soloist’s resonant soprano melodies, and the warmth of cuddling up to my father’s corduroy-patched sport coat. I jumped up and down out of my seat a million times, inhaling the rich aroma of coffee and wandering the lobby to sneak glances at the desserts piled high on the kiddush tables.

I knew that when I grew up, I was going to marry a Nice Jewish Boy, even though my parents had never planted the idea in my head. After the requisite years of adolescent angst, which involved piercing things you couldn’t see and dying my hair a variety of vibrant colors, I grew restless. I took a year off of college, worked, and traveled to Israel on a Birthright trip. There, in the city of Jerusalem, I found hope and inspiration. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 7 2014

Which Soviet Jewish Baby Superstition Will Mila Kunis Try?

By at 10:05 am

Mila-baby

As even Kveller has reported, actress Mila Kunis has given birth to her first child, a daughter. The dad is her former “That 70s Show” co-star, Ashton Kutcher.

On Friday, they revealed the baby’s name: Wyatt Isabelle.

And my first thought was: Mila’s parents will never be able to pronounce it. Read the rest of this entry →

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