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Jun 30 2014

The Hobby Lobby Decision Just Screwed Over a Whole Bunch of Women

By at 4:46 pm

hobby-lobby

“The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” –Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in her dissent of “Burwell v. Hobby Lobby.”

Today, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling that says the government can’t require certain employers to provide insurance coverage for birth control and emergency contraception that conflict with their religious beliefs. The case centers around Hobby Lobby, a self-proclaimed Christian corporation and chain of craft stores, and their refusal to cover birth control for their employees. These Supreme Court cases can be tricky to fully understand at times, so let’s break it down a bit.

Some background: Hobby Lobby, which has used their Christian values to explain away their lack of Hanukkah decorations in the past, decided that once the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA, aka Obamacare) made it mandatory to cover birth control and emergency contraception, they were having no part of it, and took it to the Supreme Court. Then, after reviewing all the evidence, five out of the nine judges ruled in Hobby Lobby’s favor, noting that in some cases, religious values was enough to get out of covering contraception care for female employees. Read the rest of this entry →

Jennifer Weiner On Her New Book, Her Boyfriend & Tweens With Santa Envy

By at 11:40 am

FINAL-Jennifer-Weiner-author-photo_credit-Andrea-Cipriani-Mecchi

Thirteen years ago, a friend gave me a book to read saying that I would love it. And I did. A curvy, Jewish girl who had a neurotic dog and is dating a doctor? Check, check, and check. I felt an immediate kinship with Cannie Shapiro and the woman who created her. With each subsequent book by Jennifer Weiner, I, and thousands of other women, fell deeper in love with her heroines and their creator. 

I sat down with Jen to discuss her fantastic new book, All Fall Down,” about a suburban mommy blogger who succumbs to an addiction to prescription meds, her boyfriend (he loves her kids!) and what makes her kvell (same thing as most of us!).

What was the hardest part of writing “All Fall Down”? Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 27 2014

Michael Douglas & Catherine Zeta-Jones Celebrate Son’s Bar Mitzvah in Israel

By at 1:54 pm
dylan-douglas

Michael and Dylan Douglas (Courtesy of City of David Youtube)

 

After nearly breaking a hip dancing the Hora at his son Dylan‘s bar mitzvah, Michael Douglas flew down to Israel with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and their two kids for a post-party trip, staying in the presidential suite of the King David hotel in Jerusalem. During their stay, the Douglas family explored the “City of David,” an archeological dig.

Here’s a clip of Douglas kvelling for the camera with Dylan at his side (can we get an “awwww”?): 

Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 25 2014

The Dark Side of Dr. Sears

By at 4:15 pm

dr-sears

My little sister is pregnant. This is a big deal. A HUGE deal. It’s what we’ve all been waiting for for years.

So, I do what I do every time someone dear is about to become a mother. I go online and find the Dr. Sears parenting books.

Thoughts of my sister as a beautiful, natural mother dance through my head as I search. I see her clothed in a long white dress, a perfect pink infant wrapped close to her heart as she nurses her in a garden of roses. Read the rest of this entry →

How The Sister I Never Knew Changed My Life

By at 12:37 pm

candle

I say that I’m the oldest of five. But that’s a lie. I’m actually the second oldest of six. Four months before my life began, my 16-month-old sister’s ended. She’d be 38 this month.

Born with a congenital heart defect, her early death was fated–her life clock rapidly marching towards death with her first breath of life. And although her death was certain–an eventuality that could be prepared for–it was no less tragic. It’s taken me 36 years to fully realize just how much impact my sister’s life–a girl I never knew–had on my own.

I don’t know when I began referring to myself as the oldest of five. I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. At some point, you learn that people you’ve just met (or even those you’ve known and befriended) don’t want to hear about your dead sister. So, you remove any possibility that your sixth sister will ever come up in idle conversation. Eventually, denying her existence just became a convenient habit. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 24 2014

What Oh What Will My Parenting Style Be?

By at 1:20 pm

parenting-styles

Now that I’ve been a parent for a month, I’m hoping to see evidence of an emerging parenting style. Am I an Attachment Parent? Or am I Detached? What are my philosophies on where, when, and how the baby should sleep? Or eat? To wear or not to wear the baby?

Our days go something like this: Wake up. We’ve already woken up several times, this waking up is unique because it’s daylight. Perhaps the baby is in the crib next to the bed. In this case, we’re Room Sharing. More likely, I’ve fallen asleep breastfeeding once again and the baby is draped across my stomach. Both of our mouths are open and we are both snoring. In this scenario, we are Co-Sleeping. (My pediatrician has already given me major stink-eye about this, incidentally. I want to know though, how is it physically possible to not fall asleep breastfeeding in the middle of the night for two hours at a stretch?)

Ok, so we’re awake. The reason we’re awake is that Penrose is hungry. Penrose is basically always hungry, eating, or asleep. That’s fine, she’s 1 month old. So, I’m Feeding On Demand. Which I think is in line with Attachment Parenting. I feed Penrose until she seems calm enough to go back in her crib so I can shower. Inevitably, while I’m showering, she remembers that she’s neither sleeping nor eating, so she must be hungry. She begins to signal appropriately. However, I am in the shower, asserting my Right to Clean Hair, the only right I have retained since giving birth. Since I am not at the moment Attached and able to Feed On Demand, she begins to Cry It Out. This continues until I am out of the shower, whereupon I remember that I am Feeding On Demand and wrap my hair in a towel and get to it. Once she’s calmed down enough to put her back in the crib, I finish my toilette, such as it is. Sometimes she eats again before I can finish getting dressed, and definitely before I can make the bed. Often there’s a diaper change or spit up event necessitating a complete Penrose costume change.  Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 23 2014

What’s It Like at “No Body Talk” Camp?

By at 4:50 pm

No-Body-Talk-Rule

“NO BODY TALK!”

This is the refrain commonly heard at Eden Village, a Jewish organic farming camp, featured in the New York Times, where boys and girls can talk about anything under the sun except their bodies.

Eden Village joins a growing number of summer camps that discourage any discussion of clothing, nails, hair, or body parts. That means no insecure or negative body comments (“Do I look fat?”), or compliments (“I love your dress”). Even checking out one’s own reflection is discouraged. (A sign on the bathroom reads: “Don’t check your body, check your soul.”) Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 18 2014

Nice Modern Orthodox Boy Slings Penis Jokes on “America’s Got Talent”

By at 10:27 am
Josh Orlian slings penis jokes on "America's Got Talent"

Josh Orlian via Twitter

Meet Josh Orlian, a 12-year-old Modern Orthodox Jew from White Plains, New York, who made his stand-up comedy debut on last night’s episode of “America’s Got Talent.” Not yet a bar mitzvah, young Josh, with sweet red hair and a kippah on his head, explained to the camera before taking the stage that he was quite nervous–until this moment he had only performed his jokes in front of family and friends.

Like any proud Jewish parents, Josh’s folks were there to cheer him on, his mother kvelling, as expected, “Of course I always laugh. I’m his mother!”

What wasn’t so expected? The dirty, dirty act that followed. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 17 2014

Our Boys Are Missing

By at 2:07 pm

our-boys-are-missing

Our boys are missing.

I say “our boys” because these could be our sons, our brothers.

This is just how we roll in Israel.

Kol Yisrael Arevim zeh-la-zeh: The People of Israel are responsible for one another.

You can see it in the way we scold random parents for forgetting to put socks on their kids. (“Where are his socks? Where are his shoes? It’s the middle of April and he’ll freeze!”) Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 16 2014

Up Close: Tamara Reese & Family

By at 2:01 pm

Tamara-up-close

1. In what ways have your kids taken part in religious holidays/events with their non-Jewish family members?

I converted, so my parents (my children’s grandparents) are not Jewish. My husband was raised by his Jewish mother, z”l. His father is not Jewish and is married to a wonderful woman who just happens to be a Methodist minister. My children have celebrated Christmas with both of our extended families. We are Jewish and raise our children in a Jewish home, but that does not take away from celebrating our extended family’s faith and traditions with them at their house. If Hanukkah and Christmas overlap, our families have always been very respectful and wrapped all of my kids’ gifts in Hanukkah paper. My boys more than anything love the lights and the tree. They know we are celebrating a holiday that is not ours, similarly to our extended family joining us for Passover or Hanukkah.

2. Have your kids ever been confused about why certain relatives have a different religion and celebrate different holidays? Read the rest of this entry →

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