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Apr 8 2014

After Emergency Rescue, Is it Fair to Judge the Couple Who Brought Young Daughters on Sailing Journey?

By at 12:10 pm
kaufman family sailboat rescue

via Eric Kaufman/YouTube


A story on the cover of the New York Times this morning has stirred quite the parenting storm–pun completely intended.

2 Tots, a Sailboat and a Storm Over Parenting” is about the Kaufman family, who decided to go on a months-long journey in a 36-foot sailboat from Mexico to New Zealand with their 1- and 3-year-old daughters in tow. Less than two weeks later, 900 miles off the coast of Mexico, the adventuresome family had to call for emergency help when they could no longer steer the ship. Their younger daughter, Lyra, was covered in a rash and had a fever, but everyone is safe and stable now.

Cue the opinions. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 12 2013

It’s Time to Talk Openly & Honestly About Privilege

By at 2:08 pm


On Monday, my youngest child, Lilah, was eating breakfast at our kitchen table. She pulled the newspaper toward her and read the headline: “Girl in the Shadows.” She stumbled on pronouncing Dasani’s name, but got “homeless” pretty easily.

My daughter is 5, and she can read the headlines in the New York Times. Dasani is 12 years old, and lives in one room of a homeless shelter with her seven siblings and her parents, who are battling drug addiction. My daughter and her brothers get a home-cooked breakfast in their own rooms or at the kitchen table. Dasani stands in line to heat up a packaged meal in the cafeteria. My children chose to give up their Hanukkah gifts this year so the money could go to charity. Dasani stopped wearing her uniform to school because she couldn’t launder it. My daughter is in a private kindergarten and my sons go to a public school with a nice playground, computers, and a PTO that raises money for the arts. Dasani’s school may lose its dance studio–the place this girl feels most confident–to a charter school.

How do we talk about this? As a nation, how do we start to really talk about the divide between Dasani and my children? Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 4 2013

What Makes a Baby Jewish? Not a Donor Egg

By at 11:52 am

single donor eggWhat makes a Jewish mother?

Jokes aside, a Jewish mother is a Jewish woman who mothers a Jew. This seems simple. Apparently, it isn’t.

What if, Caren Chesler posited not-so-hypothetically in today’s New York Times, a Jewish couple tries to have a baby through a donor egg–and the donor of the egg isn’t Jewish? This was Chesler’s situation. Since the 1990s, Chesler writes, Jewish authorities have agreed that the bearing mother, not the woman providing the gametes, is to be considered as the mother in this situation. But there are now rabbis in Israel voicing the idea that if the egg donor is not Jewish, then neither is the child until the child is converted, regardless of the mother’s religion. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 17 2012

Do Kids These Days Have Any Manners?

By at 3:57 pm

bar mitzvah boy reading torahOy. Did I cringe reading the piece in the Sunday’s New York Times about the bad behavior at bar and bat mitzvahs! A shanda!

(Although why the Times thought that article was worthy of publication has me bewildered.)

I’ve been to those affairs–and seen the disrespectful behavior. On the other hand, the speeches are long and boring. Read the rest of this entry →


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