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Nov 19 2014

I Am a Mother in Jerusalem & I Am Scared

By at 3:54 pm

scared in jerusalem

Last night, hours after the terror attack on a synagogue that killed five men, maimed many others, and left prayer shawls, prayer books, and teffilin to soak in pools of blood, I sat on the couch with my husband and expressed my increasingly intolerable fear.

He asked me a very important question: “What were you thinking when you came here?”

I came to Israel in 2006 right after college without a real plan. I followed an old romantic interest of mine; I was ready for adventure and I was a Jew who was anxious to figure out precisely what that meant. I didn’t know if I’d stay forever, and when people asked me things like, “Are you prepared to send your future children to the army?” I couldn’t relate. I was barely 21 years old, children were an abstract concept, and I still had that good old American feeling of invincibility. I knew that violence came here in waves but the truth is—I wasn’t thinking much. I was yearning for something that I suspected I’d find in Israel. Read the rest of this entry →

What the Gruesome Images from the Jerusalem Terror Attack Taught Me About Hope

By at 11:18 am

tefillin

The images are gruesome. Heartwrenching. So much blood. I don’t want to see. And for a while I don’t. Not really. I scroll quickly from one post to the next. Four killed in terror attack. Har Nof. Rabbis. Synagogue. Even as my heart is rushing and the tears are falling, my fingers slow down. To read. And to see. To really see.

A blood-soaked tallit (prayer shawl) crouches in crumpled horror. The red-splattered bookshelves stand feebly by. They are a quiet, ueseless protection to the forever stained siddurim (prayer books) they hold. Kehillat Bnei Torah Synagogue is a bloodbath.

“No. No. Nonononono,” I whisper, now unable to stop the onslaught of image after horrific image. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 22 2014

Jordana Horn Talks Anti-Helicopter Parenting on “Fox & Friends”

By at 1:26 pm

jordana horn on "fox and friends"

Helicopter or snow plow? No, we’re not asking you what your favorite kind of heavy machinery is, but what kind of parent you are. Or aren’t.

This was exactly what Kveller contributing editor Jordana Horn went on “Fox & Friends” to talk about this morning in light of her recent article for Today.com called “The ‘No Rescue’ movement: Could this be the cure for helicopter parenting?”

In the segment, Jordana talks about letting her kids suffer the consequences of their mistakes, such as forgetting to bring their cello to school, instead of Mom stepping in to save the day. Check it out: Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 18 2014

Mom Invents App to Make Teen Call Her Back

By at 1:53 pm

Teen-cell-app

It’s the oldest trick in the book. Teenagers see “Mom” appear on the caller ID and they forward the call to voicemail–with the cellphone that Mom paid for! Well, one fed-up New York mama came up with a pretty sweet solution.

When her son refused to return her calls, Sharon Standifird worked with developers to create an app called “Ignore No More” that shuts down a kid’s phone unless he calls mom back and gets a password.

If you’re already worrying about how you’ll ever stay two steps ahead of your kids’ social media and Skype usage when they hit their teens, then this app is a godsend. “Ignore No More” is available for $1.99 on Google Play and is coming to iPhones soon. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 5 2014

“Apparently Kid” is (Apparently) Having the Best Day of his Life

By at 1:04 pm

noah_ritter

Here’s one kid that doesn’t take anything at face value.

Noah Ritter was (apparently) just minding his own business at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania when (apparently) a local television reporter approached him to get his review of the rides. Though (apparently) it was the young fairgoer’s first time on live television, he managed to steal the show and (apparently) the internet’s collective heart.

WATCH: Read the rest of this entry →

How To Dissect The News With Your Kids

By at 11:13 am

CNN-news

My parents are in town. My dad watches the news. Constantly. CNN, BBC, DC (German), NHK (Japanese), Al-Jazeera. As a result, my kids, ages 15, almost 11, and 7 have also been watching the news. And we all know what’s been on the news the past few weeks. Constantly.

My master’s degree is in Media Analysis. In the past, I’ve deconstructed children’s cartoons and the messages they send about intermarriage, Christmas TV programming, and an infamous Cheerios commercial.

In other words, I cannot watch television like a normal person. And that includes the news. That especially includes the news. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 11 2014

How Do We Protect Children From School Shootings? Bulletproof Blankets, Apparently

By at 3:20 pm

bulletproof-blankets

It’s safe to say that security blankets have taken on a new meaning. Meet the Bodyguard Blanket, the latest bulletproof product on the market to protect children in schools from increasingly tragic events like school shootings and natural disasters.

Created by Oklahoma company ProTecht, the $1000 bulletproof blanket is designed to withstand being punctured by debris falling at 200 mph and protects against “90% of all weapons that have been used in school shootings in the United States.”

Gun-control lobby groups say there were at least 44 school shootings in the U.S. between December 2012 and February 10th, 2014—that’s an average of about three per month. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 2 2014

News Roundup: The Shocking Truth About Steve From “Blues Clues”

By at 4:51 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.blues-clues

-Ever since he resigned from the show in 2002, rumors have been swirling about “Steve” from “Blues Clues.” One rumor claimed he had died from a drug overdose while another insisted he had died in a car crash. All have thoroughly been debunked. The real reason the indefatigable man-boy with a preference for striped polo shirts left the show was because 1) he joined a band and 2) he was starting to go bald–Oh, the scandal! (Huff Post)

-Judy Blume thinks parents need to chill out and stop worrying about what the kids are reading. The best selling author whose own books were banned in the ’80s, argues that kids will just “self-censor” or be bored by material that is over their heads. Her final word to her young fans: “I say go and read. Read what you like to read.” (Telegraph)

-In this cautionary tale, Julia Fierro writes about the suspicion and distrust that followed when a photo of her pissed-off daughter somehow turned up on a meme site–and went viral. In the end, her husband’s coworker fessed up to posting the meme on Reddit to earn “karma” points. (Huff Post)

-Let’s face it, coding is the language of the future. And by next year, it will be part of many K-12 classroom curriculum across the nation, thanks to Code.org, a nation-wide push backed by major tech companies and their founders like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. (New York Times)

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May 23 2014

Hummus Warning: Target & Trader Joe’s Issue Recall for Listeria Risk

By at 2:35 pm

Hummus recall from Trader Joe's and Target

Planning an Israeli-themed spread for your Memorial Day celebration? Make sure to double check your hummus, as nearly 15,000 pounds of the delicious chickpea dip from Target and Trader Joe’s have been recalled over possible listeria contamination. Oy!

Massachusetts-based Hot Mama’s Foods (good name, right?) recalled the hummus after potential for contamination was found during routine testing. According to the LA Times:

Some of the affected products were shipped nationally and include 10-ounce and 2-pound containers of Target Archer Farms Traditional Hummus marked for use by June 11, and 8-ounce containers of Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus with April 28, April 29 and May 14 use-by dates. A full list of recalled products can be found on the Hot Mama’s Foods website.

So double check your hummus, folks. And when all else fails, make your own.

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May 15 2014

The Firing of Jill Abramson is a Scary Wake-Up Call For All Working Women

By at 1:18 pm

NYT

Somewhere buried in my archive of VHS tapes is a video yearbook of my graduation class from college. I have never seen it, but have promised myself that I will watch it next year, at my (gulp) 20th reunion. In it somewhere is a video interview with me at a black-tie formal, sitting on my then-boyfriend’s lap, holding a glass of champagne. “Where are you going to be in 20 years?” the videographer asked me. “Happy and editor of the New York Times,” I confidently replied.

Well, at least I’m happy. And it sure looks like being executive editor of the New York Times is no good way to get to “happy”–if you’re a woman. Jill Abramson, the paper’s first woman executive editor, was unceremoniously and suddenly fired from the paper this week–and it’s entirely unclear why.

In The New Republic, Rebecca Traister’s piece titled, “I Sort Of Hope We Find Out That Jill Abramson Was Robbing the Cash Register,” exemplifies what most women, particularly women journalists, are thinking right now: hopefully there was another explanation for her firing, other than the fact that Abramson reportedly had the audacity to demand equal pay with what her male predecessors received. Equal wages for women, ironically enough, is a cause célèbre of the Times editorial board. Read the rest of this entry →

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