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Dec 9 2013

The Night I Realized I’m Really Not an Outsider

By at 10:15 am

Photograph by Bridget Badore

This post is about Kveller’s recent live storytelling event, “What’s the Matter?” To learn more and watch video from the event, click here.

I walked in to the small dark theater at the 14th St Y in Manhattan a few days before Thanksgiving and found myself surrounded by women wearing stylish dresses or skinny jeans and boots. I looked down at the sweater my grandmother gave me when I was still in college and my circa-2008 boot-cut jeans (I keep meaning to buy a new pair, but then, you know, a little girl is up all night puking or I forgot to prep the Hanukkah craft for her preschool class or maybe I just looked at my thighs and decided today wasn’t the day to go jeans shopping) and once again I felt like an outsider.

Of course, I thought to myself. How appropriate. After all, I was there to participate in a reading about Jewish motherhood, an aspect of my identity that is both central to who I am and yet continually confusing and somewhat elusive. Nonetheless, I had agreed to read an essay about the legacy of patrilineal descent that I am passing along to my daughters.

Needless to say, I was pretty ambivalent about it. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 5 2013

Kveller is Hiring an Editorial Assistant

By at 2:59 pm

kveller.com hiring 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 the good news is 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 who can write, edit, promote Kveller on social media, and keep a finger on the pulse of parenting trends and Jewish news.

Tasks for this entry-level job will include:

–       Editing blog posts and loading them onto the site via WordPress

–       Running Kveller’s social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)

–       Writing our semi-weekly e-newsletters

–       Writing occasional blog posts

–       Updating the Kveller.com homepage daily

Desired skills:

–       Strong editorial eye, knowledge of grammar, and ability to follow in-house style guide

–       Familiarity with social media a must

–       Strong writer, able to match Kveller’s current tone

–       Good visual eye for photos accompanying blog posts

–       Some familiarity with Photoshop helpful

–       Plays well with others (i.e. team player, likes collaborating)

–       Strong attention to detail

The position will start as early as January 2014, working out of our Midtown Manhattan office. Benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance. To apply for this position, please send a resume, writing sample, and cover letter and include the website or Twitter feed you are most enjoying these days and why, to info@kveller.com with “Editorial Assistant” in the subject line.

Here’s to an Evening of Jewish Mamas, Storytelling, Wine & A Boobie Chair

By at 2:03 pm

"what's the matter?" kveller and laba house of study

On the night of Monday, November 25th, Kveller and LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture teamed up at the 14th St Y in Manhattan to present, “WHAT’S THE MATTER? A night of storytelling with your favorite Jewish mamas.”

The audience was ushered into the theater, welcomed by a “Eve –  Chair of all Mothers,” a “boobie chair” designed by artist Mirta Kupferminc, and 10 beautiful, sincere, modern-day mamas, all ready and willing to bare their varying emotions and experiences with motherhood for a packed crowd.

Kveller editor Deborah Kolben enjoying her time in the boobie chair.

Kveller editor Deborah Kolben enjoying her time in the boobie chair.

Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 11 2013

Kveller Hits of the Week: January 7 – 11th

By at 3:01 pm

 This week’s most popular posts, in case you missed them.

- Mayim’s Top 7 Moments From the People’s Choice Awards. Including an awesome dress, Liam Hemsworth, and an afterparty.

– Mixed Marriages–Vegetarian and Carnivore Edition. What happens when a vegetarian with vegan aspirations marries a meat-eater? How will you raise the kids?

– Ban the Bar Mitzvah: A Rabbinical Student Rethinks the Time Honored Ceremony. Patrick is a rabbinical student who thinks that bar/bat mitzvahs no longer “work,” and offers a new idea of his own.

– I Had to Stop Breast Feeding and I’m Relieved. When Jordana got a sinus infection she had to take an antiobiotic that required her to stop nursing, and though she felt some guilt, it was also a big weight off her shoulders (or her chest, actually).

Dec 30 2011

My Top Ten Kveller Blog Posts of 2011

By at 10:06 am

best of 20112011 has been a big year for Kveller.  We’ve celebrated our first anniversary, and won an award from the Jewish New Media Innovation Fund.  We’ve debated issues from sleep training to cell phones, we’ve breast fed at the UN, sent our sons to school in dresses, welcomed babies, and mourned their loss. Our community is as strong as ever, and to commemorate this amazing year, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite blog posts from 2011. Here they are, in chronological order.

10. Friday Night: Helping Your Kids Be Themselves by Amy Deutsch.  Amy’s recounting of her wish for her daughter (and for all children) is short, sweet, and resonated deeply with my philosophy of parenting.

9. Mayim Bialik on Being Jewish, and Why She Digs It by Mayim Bialik.  This excerpt from a speech Mayim gave at Tribefest in Las Vegas gave me the shivers, and made me want to go hug a Jew. Or ten.

8 .Mama’s Got a Brand New Bike by Sarah Emily Tuttle-Singer. Like all of Sarah’s writing, this post was beautiful and touching, and gave me insight into a world so different from my own. Yet, at the end, I felt completely connected to her.

7. Hey Roiphe, It’s Hard Enough Just Raising These F’ing Kids by Deborah Kolben. Debbie’s piece calling out Katie Roiphe is a perfect example of why she is an amazing editor, and why Kveller has become such a strong community. Debbie looks for real voices, and she wants people to tell it like it is.  We don’t do that enough in parenting, and not nearly as eloquently as Debbie does here.

6. Postpartum Anxiety—This is What Mine Looked Like by Tamara Reese. As a social worker, I strongly believe that pain is lessened when we share it with a supportive person or community. I am so grateful to Tamara for writing about her experience of postpartum anxiety (something I have also struggled with).  Hopefully, other mothers felt less alone as a result of Tamara’s post.

5. A Parent’s Confession by Jordana Horn. Jordana’s take on the Vidui (the Confessional Prayer we say on Yom Kippur) acknowledges the many, many ways we parents err on a regular basis. Apologizing and accepting responsibility can be incredibly powerful, but they’re not easy to do. I’ve printed this one out, and put it in my siddur.

4. Hello Kitty Doesn’t Have a Mouth by Carla Naumburg. What can I say? I crack myself up.

3. Running: The Closest I Come to Prayer by Shannon Rubin. Shannon’s post about why she runs, and how she keeps going, even when it’s hard, is a beautiful model of a Mama taking care of herself. I was totally inspired by it.

2. Hanukkah Twitter Party… Bring Your Own Latkes by Kveller. In this case, it wasn’t so much the blog post that I loved, but the actual Twitter party itself. I’ve never “attended” a Twitter party before, and after my head stopped spinning, I learned a lot, and “met” a lot of hilarious and knowledgeable Kveller readers.  (By the way, if you’re looking for a new Tweep, you can find me at SWMama.)

1. Christmas Made Me a Better Jew by Adina Kay-Gross. As a fellow Jew with a Catholic grandmother, I loved Adina’s perspective on celebrating Christmas with her grandmother.

Those are some of my favorite posts from this year. Which pieces touched you?

Dec 19 2011

The Miracle of the Struggle

By at 4:22 pm

Photo via craftjr.com

I’ve been thinking about miracles a lot lately; not only is Hanukkah starting tomorrow night, but the song Miracle by the Maccabeats has been on constant repeat in our house lately, as it seems to be the only thing that will soothe my fussy toddler.

We throw around the word “miracle” pretty casually these days. By definition, a miracle is “A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.” For example, while it may be a blessing when a baby is born, in most cases it’s not actually a miracle—thousands of babies are born every day.

Rather, the miracle I’m thinking about today is us. Right here. This blog, this community, the Jewish people as a whole. The reality is that we shouldn’t be here. Abraham could have walked away. Joseph’s brothers could have killed him instead of selling him. The Maccabees could have lost. There are many other examples, points in time when history could have taken a different turn, when the Jewish people should have been destroyed completely. As recently as a few decades ago, the Nazis could have won.

But they didn’t, and here we are. It’s not only a miracle that we are here, but we are a strong community, living in a free society. We can place menorahs in our windows without fear, and as we no longer have to focus our energy on staying alive, we can actively engage in the struggle of what it means to be Jewish parents raising Jewish children.

There is, perhaps, no more inherently Jewish act than that of struggling; we are the people of Israel, the people who struggle with God. Here at Kveller, we are connecting, we are having fun, but we are also struggling with the Godly work of raising Jewish children. From naming babies and circumcision to interfaith families and non-Jewish holidays, from discipline and rituals to divorce and making friends, we’re in it, and we’re lucky to be here. We’re agreeing and disagreeing, we’re trying to find our paths in a messy, complicated world.

We’re not all on the same page, and our lives and families probably look vastly different. But we all have one thing in common—a love for the Jewish people, and a desire to make our community stronger, one child at a time.

So, as we prepare to light our Hanukkah candles tomorrow night, I want to thank you all for the miracle that is our community. We shouldn’t be here, but we are, and I am grateful for it.

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