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Dec 18 2014

I Married a Man Named Christmas

By at 9:24 am

I Married a Man Named Christmas

I would have liked to marry a Jewish man, but obviously not enough to make sure it happened. But why, out of all the men I could have picked in this great big world, why did I have to fall in love with a man with a preposterously non-Jewish name? As my mother said, “If you had to marry a non-Jew, couldn’t you at least have found one with a last name like Smith or Harris? Did it have to be Christmas?”

I ask myself the same thing.   Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 16 2014

How My Hanukkah Card Helped Me Publicly Acknowledge My Divorce

By at 9:30 am

How My Hanukkah Card Helped Me Publicly Acknowledge My Divorce

This year marks my first Hanukkah post-divorce and I’ve been thinking about how to spiritually acknowledge it. My ex-husband is a non-practicing Catholic and therefore I cannot get a get (Jewish bill of divorce) since we did not have a Jewish wedding. Our two children are Jewish, have become bar and bat mitzvah and are engaged in Jewish life and practice through our synagogue, Jewish camp, and a large circle of Jewish friends and family.  Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 17 2014

My Husband and I Forgot to Date

By at 3:52 pm

My Husband and I Forgot to Date

With our 8-year wedding anniversary coming up (whoa!), my husband and I were talking the other day about going out to celebrate. We were trying to decide on a dinner spot when suddenly he asked, “Actually, when’s the last time we went out by ourselves, period?”

I thought about it and realized: The last time we’d gone out on a real date was… our 7-year anniversary. Almost an entire year ago.

Now I know we’re not the only couple whose dating habits have changed drastically since having a child. We have plenty of friends who are happy when they get to go out once a month, or once every other month, or even 3-4 times a year. But what got me was the fact that not only had my husband and I not been out on a date in almost a year, but that we—or at least I—hadn’t even realized it. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 30 2014

Why I Didn’t Marry Gary Shteyngart

By at 4:45 pm
why i didn't marry gary shteyngart

The author and her not-husband.


Well, for one thing, I don’t know him.

But, from now on, whenever anyone asks me yet again why I married my African-American husband instead of a fellow Soviet-born Jew, I will hand them Shteyngart’s recently released memoir, “Little Failure.” For in it, he has done a pitch-perfect job of putting on display everything I absolutely, positively cannot stand in a man.

To whit, the following are things that, in the history of humanity, have only ever happened to Gary Shteyngart, and then solely for the purpose of vexing him:

1. Russia is cold

2. Asthma

3. Attending Jewish Day School on financial aid Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 21 2014

My Husband Left Orthodoxy, but I Didn’t Leave Him

By at 3:41 pm

My Husband Left Orthodoxy, But I Didn’t Leave Him

“It’s not going to work.”

In a quest to find himself, my husband of many years had left the path of Torah. I am an ultra-Orthodox woman, and when I married my husband, he was also ultra-Orthodox. My dream was to raise my family in the ways of Torah and mitzvot. So when my husband stopped practicing our religious customs, I was at a loss.

“How am I going to continue to raise my children in the ways of Torah while still staying married to my husband whom I love?” I asked a good friend, searching for support in navigating a world of a mixed marriage. Read the rest of this entry →

That Time I Promised My Husband We’d Get a Dog (But Didn’t Want One)

By at 9:38 am

That Time I Promised My Husband We’d Get a Dog

When my husband and I got married, there were a few items that we joked “were in the ketubah.” These were the non-negotiablesthe issues we had discussed before agreeing to spend our lives together. For me, it was keeping a kosher home and sending our (then non-existent) kids to a Jewish day school. For my husband, it was getting a dog.

Yes, I promised that one day we would get a dog. Even though I am scared of dogs. Terrified. Can’t stand when they lick me. Scream when they run towards me. Petrified when they jump on me. Yes, I replied to my beloved, for you, I will get a dog.

Though we wed more than 11 years ago, I have been able to successfully delay the puppy piece. First I argued, “Not while we’re in a city apartment.” So the minute we closed on our house seven years ago my husband asked, “Should we go straight to the rescue shelter?” Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 14 2014

Pinterest Has No Good Ideas For Decorating Jewishly

By at 11:56 am


I’m desperate to redo the sad, drab entryway in my house. After seven moves with the U.S. military, I’ve become accustomed to simply putting our things “where they fit” in whatever home we’re currently living in.

Our family–and our belongings–have become the only real indication of where our “home” is after moving so much. But now that we’re more settled at our current duty station, it’s time to really reevaluate.

Does this home look like we want it to? Like us? Who are we, anyway? Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 10 2014

Mazel Tov! Fran Drescher Ties the Knot

By at 2:34 pm


Fran Drescher is off the market.

The actress we know best as Fran Fine from “The Nanny” got married to inventor Shiva Ayyadurai Sunday, whom she met a little over a year ago when she watched him speak at a Deepak Chopra event, reports the Huffington Post.

“I was speaking on sages and scientists — in fact, talking about innovation and the fact that we need to more universally look at the models of innovation,” Ayyadurai explained to host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. “And Fran heard my talk and we fell in love, and we’ve been together since that talk.”

The nuptials took place at an intimate ceremony with family and close friends at Fran’s beachside home. The bride wore a red Badgely Mischka gown, and the groom wore Ralph Lauren. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 3 2014

How to Have Male Friends Without Destroying Your Marriage

By at 3:32 pm

can men and women be just friends

Last summer I was a bridesmaid at one of my very dearest friend’s weddings. I wore a fitted black dress with a white sash that made me feel a little Audrey Hepburn-ish.

When I walked down the aisle, I smiled tearfully into his eyes and then I took my place by his side.

That’s right. His.

Ben has been one of my closest friends since I started college. He’s the one I confided in when I failed tests, when I got my heart broken, even when I lost my virginity. We’ve gone on crazy wild adventures together, sleeping in cars and getting lost in the woods. He’s held my newborn babies and I’ve held his. Read the rest of this entry →

May 12 2014

Up Close: Rachel & Scott Stein

By at 9:02 am

Up Close: Rachel & Scott Stein

1. How did you and your husband meet?

Scott and I met as undergraduates at Stony Brook University. We were both dating other people at the time but socialized in the same circle of friends. After graduation we reconnected and he asked me out on a date.

About two months into dating we took a road trip to North Carolina. After being in the car for such a long time I just blurted out, “So is it important to you to raise your children Jewish?” I said it so casually, like if it was important to him to put pickles on his burger. It turned out to be a great conversation starter for such a long drive and it really helped us make sure we were on the same page in regards to the future. Read the rest of this entry →


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