Jul 17 2014
Being a very young kid in Southern California in the 1970s meant lots of beach time. It also meant minimal bathing suit wearing until around the age of 4 or so.
No one made anything of it. Maybe my grandparents had seen everything during the many summers spent in the crush of humanity on Coney Island, and a couple of naked small kids was par for the course. My parents have family photos of one particular beach excursion with visiting relatives, our smartly solar-phobic Great Aunt Lil completely covered up while my sister and I rocked our birthday suits. I love those faded, orange-hued pictures. (A teenager would probably ask which Instagram filter we used.)
That was then. This is now. Americans historically don’t have a laid back attitude when it comes to public nudity compared to say, Europe. But based on a couple recent experiences I had trying to quickly change my kids at public parks, I think our puritanical ways have hit new levels of intensity. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 20 2014
The Ides of March in New York City bring high school placement results for thousands of 8th graders. This year, Stuyvesant, the city’s most selective public high school, accepted only seven African-American students out of a class of 952. Last year, that number was nine.
Had they counted my son, they could have gone into the double digits, but they didn’t that year because he was coming from a private school, and they won’t be counting him as attending this year because he checked both the Black and White boxes on his forms, and the public school system just can’t deal with that kind of ambiguity and so chooses not to slot him at all. (I only mention this because it’s very possible similar scenarios exist in the 2014 incoming class. It also doesn’t mean that all seven will choose to attend. I know of three African-American kids who turned down Stuyvesant for scholarships at private schools.)
In any case, however, the number is ridiculously low for a school system that’s majority Black and Hispanic. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 12 2014
I am a Mom. I am a New Yorker. It is winter.
If you’re a mother in a balmier climate, known to complain about fifty-degree “freezing” temperatures, you probably can’t relate–but feel free to read on, if only to have a laugh while you snuggle into your cotton sweater. Fellow cold-weather moms? You know how we feel about winter. Now let us count the ways:
1. THE HONEYMOON PHASE
On the surface, this a part of winter isn’t that terrible. That first nip in the air doesn’t come as a warning; it’s almost welcome. That little chill is a harbinger of holidays, of cute sweaters, of paper snowflakes and other wintry-themed craft projects. The early part of winter passes by in a blur, what with taking cold-weather clothes out of “storage” (i.e., a trunk or bin stuffed to the max with snowsuits and puffy jackets), the luxury of indoor playdates (no pressure to go outside when the temperature dropping!), or visits to the playground when it’s almost empty (“Gee, it’s not even that cold,” you think to yourself. “Those other moms are total wimps!”). Getting ready for the holidays puts a palpable excitement into the air and the radio plays holly-jolly music twenty-four hours a day. What’s not to love? But then…
The gifts have been opened; the playground is finally too chilly for even the heartiest of families. Then the realization sets in that you are facing months more of this. Months more. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 30 2013
In need of a date night in NYC? We’re giving away three pairs of tickets to the new romantic comedy Handle With Care, an off-Broadway performance that tells the story of a young Israeli who reluctantly travels with her grandmother to America and falls for an American man.
Tony Award Nominee and Broadway legend Carol Lawrence from West Side Story leads the ensemble cast of four in the “hilariously funny” new play written by Jason Odell Williams. The show is at The Westside Theater in Manhattan.
To enter the giveway, fill out the form below and we’ll choose three random winners next Monday, January 6th. Tickets must be redeemed by 1/31/14, and available show times are Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m.
Break a leg!
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Dec 9 2013
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
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.
Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 31 2012
Five months ago yesterday, my son was born. Yes, it amazes me that time has flown by so fast, but today what is really on my mind is where he was born.
I labored, delivered, and cared for my son in the first days of his life at NYU Hospital. The very same one that was evacuated late on Monday night when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City–hard.
When Benjamin was born (and my daughter Abigail too, for that matter), I knew that the folks at NYU were stellar. They took excellent care of all of us, constantly doing more than I would have expected in order to keep everyone healthy and happy. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 16 2012
Need something to feel good about? Next month, the 92Y in New York City is hosting a Hands-On Mitzvah Day, and everyone is invited to join in on the fun. The day will be filled with hands-on projects to benefit those in need and promote the spirit of tikkun olam, repairing the world.
Projects include writing and creating holiday cards for soldiers, decorating flower pots for the elderly, preparing activity kits for children with life-threatening illnesses, collecting and sorting new and gently used books for children in underserved schools and for children in hospitals, toiletries for women in need and pet supplies for animals in shelters. There’s a suggested donation of $20 per family.
To learn more and buy tickets to join, click here.
And remember, Kveller has been doing a little tikkun olam along with PJ Library with our tzedakah campaign that will bring $5000 to a deserving non-profit. Learn more and nominate your favorite organization here.
Oct 4 2012
Yesterday we asked you to send us photos of your family’s sukkah. We were going to pick one or two of our favorites, but all of them were so beautiful we had to share more than just one!
Via Debora Steinerman in Vermont
This porch-top sukkah’s mountainous backdrop is making us jealous!
Via Alessandra Rovati
This is the inside of Shearith Israel’s sukkah. You would never guess that this sukkah sits on New York City’s Upper West Side.
Via Rabbi Mark Fishman
These photos were sent to us from up north in Canada. How long do you think it took to build one of these sukkahs?
Via Debi Cohen
Finally, we absolutely adore this tiny sukkah, squished onto a New York City balcony.
We can’t pick a favorite sukkah but maybe you can, tell us what your favorite one is!
And, if you haven’t had your fill of sukkahs yet, check out our collection of some of our favorites from the web.