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Mar 3 2014

News Roundup: Seth Rogen Fights for Alzheimer’s Research on Senate Floor

By at 4:25 pm


-If there was an Oscar for Nicest Jewish Boy in Hollywood, Seth Rogen would have walked home with it last night. Last week, the funny man petitioned the senate for funding for Alzheimer’s research with a heartwarming testimony about his mother-in-law’s decline due to the illness, but Rogen was disappointed with the apathetic response he got from lawmakers. (CNN)

-A new study reopens debate about whether men have biological clocks. The latest evidence points to higher rates of mental illness among children born of fathers who are older than middle age than those born to younger dads. (New York Times)

-Could that crib-side music player be harming your baby’s eardrums? According to a new study, yes. According to researchers, 14 of the tested sound devices designed to lull infants to sleep had the capability of blasting music as louder than 50 decibels–the highest volume considered safe for infants. (New York Times)

-Last month, PJ Library, a subscription service for Jewish children’s books, was praised for providing the award-winning LGBT-friendly Purim book, “The Purim Superhero,” to subscribers. It received 2,200 requests within the first 36 hours, but some are criticizing the library for making the book only available upon request rather than providing it to all subscribers. (Boston Globe)

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Feb 24 2014

News Roundup: Jewish Montessori Day Schools Are Trending

By at 4:26 pm

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


-Parents are trading old-style Jewish day schools–which are deemed too clannish and stale for the modern generation–for the Montessori model. The Times profiles two Brooklyn-based Montessori schools that straddle the line between innovative education and tradition. (The New York Times)

-Studies of Romanian orphans reveal the long term effects of childhood neglect on the brain. One orphan, Izidor Ruckel, now 33 and living in Boulder, wrote a book about his lonely childhood and subsequent rocky relationship with his adoptive parents. (NPR)

-In Salon, Elissa Strauss observes that the latest trend in the ongoing “mommy wars” pits “bad mommies” against the “good,” but–ironically–the “bad moms” can be just as obnoxious and sanctimonious as their “good” counterparts. (Salon)

(Then read Kveller contributor Courtney Naliboff’s defense of overachievers and “good mommies” here.)

-Prompted by the recent New York Times expose, Invisible Child–which followed 12-year-old Dasani, highlighting the plight of 22,000 homeless children housed in New York City shelters–incoming New York mayor Bill DeBlasio moves over 400 children living under the worst conditions into better residences. (New York Magazine)

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Feb 10 2014

News Roundup: Does More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?

By at 2:52 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this

-Do more equal marriages mean couples are having less sex? In short, yes. Or at least those were the findings of a study which appeared in The American Sociological Review last year. Check out the New York Times’ fascinating reporting on the subject, which is bound to be the topic of dinner table discussions for a while. (The New York Times)

-Losing a nipple can be a traumatic side effect of breast cancer surgery. After losing her nipple in a double mastectomy, one Israeli survivor spent a year studying with a silicon designer who specializes in prosthetics and invented the first ever a prosthetic nipple–filling an important niche for women all over the world. (JTA)

-Are Jewish day schools gender-typing our kids as young as preschool age? What is long-term impact of an elementary education that encourages Talmud study for boys and Challah baking for girls? These are the questions raised in a new book by Elana Sztokman and Chaya Rosenfeld Gorsetman titled, Educating in the Divine Image: Gender Issues in Orthodox Jewish Day Schools. Check out Tablet’s fantastic podcast interview with the book’s author. (Tablet Magazine)

-Here’s a novel idea: using beans to talk to kids about money and charity. Since kids often can’t compute number in the five or six digit range, this author suggests breaking down the family pie visually in order to foster a healthy discussion about giving and where the family finances get distributed. (The New York Times)

-Check out this poignant essay by Kveller contributing editor Adina Kay Gross about losing her father when her twins were just 18 months old and how she keeps his memory present in their day-to-day lives. (Modern Loss)

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Feb 3 2014

News Roundup: How Are We Supposed to Feel About Woody Allen?

By at 4:22 pm

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

woody allen

– Dylan Farrow, adopted daughter of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, published an open letter in the New York Times, claiming she was sexually abused by Allen when she was 7. Meanwhile, Allen’s documentarian highlights some inconsistencies in this now decades-long case. So what are we to make of all this? Elissa Strauss writes for The Sisterhood that it’s OK to be ambivalent. (Forward)

– The abortion rate in the United States is at its lowest point since 1973, when the supreme court legalized the procedure in all 50 states. No conclusive evidence yet as to why, but many are linking the drop to the availability of new, long-acting contraceptive methods. (Washington Post)

– Another newborn has contracted neonatal genital herpes from metzitzah b’peh, a controversial circumcision rite in which the mohel places his mouth directly on the circumcision wound in order to draw blood. The practice is not used in most Jewish circumcision ceremonies, but many in the haredi Orthodox community still adhere to the rite. (JTA)

– Preschool is totally trending right now, with more and more states from both sides of the political divide making a serious push for government-funded preschool. (NY Times)

Jan 27 2014

News Roundup: Is Parenting Really So Different Around the World?

By at 4:36 pm


– While Americans have become obsessed with mining other world cultures for their parenting advice (Asian moms, French moms, etc. etc.), HuffPost surveyed its editors and writers worldwide about their own parenting style, and it was the similarities that were the most striking. (Huffington Post)

– In “Freezing Eggs and Hoarding My Fertility,” Sarah ruminates on the anxiety and panic that ensue after freezing your eggs. (Motherlode)

– A bit of history for you: The Spanish government expelled the Jews in 1492. In 2012, they said that any Sephardic Jew who wanted a Spanish passport could have one. Confident he could qualify, Josh Nathan-Kazis flew to Madrid to find out. (The Forward)

New York Magazine contributing editor and mother Jennifer Senior investigates how children actually affect parental happiness in her new book, All Joy and No Fun. (NPR)

– Officials across the country are studying the programs in New Jersey preschools as they seek to broaden access to free, full-day pre-kindergarten. (NY Times)

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Jan 20 2014

News Roundup: Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies?

By at 6:02 pm

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


-Got a crying, colicky baby on your hands? You’re not alone. Several studies have found that supplements of probiotics, also known as “good bacteria,” can reduce crying in colicky babies. (WNYC)

-Mindful parenting is indeed having a moment. In this week’s edition of Slate’s parenting podcast, our very own Carla Naumburg discusses the benefits of mindful parenting, and the pros and cons of sending your kids to summer camp. (Slate)

-To all the mamas who make three different meals every night because they have “picky eaters,” maybe it’s time to change that. This piece focuses on how to gain control and reform your picky eater. (Motherlode)

-According to Forbes, these are the seven crippling parenting behaviors that keep children from growing into leaders. (Forbes)

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Jan 13 2014

News Roundup: Should Babies Be Dining at High End Restaurants?

By at 3:42 pm

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


– A chef at Alinea, one of Chicago’s top restaurants, has sounded off on the controversial subject of bringing your babies to dinner. After the story of a couple’s 8-month-old baby disturbing other diners made the rounds, the award-winning chef tweeted on the subject, inviting a slew of responses from parents and diners all over the world. (NBC)

– Birth order DOES matter! Or at least according to this piece, which explores the personality traits for the oldest: the achiever, the middle: the peacemaker, the and baby: the life of the party. (Huffington Post)

– The front page of New York Magazine has an article that asks the big question: is adolescence most difficult for parents or teenagers? The author makes a strong case for the parents, though the torture seems about equal. (NY Mag)

– This piece takes a look at the growing acceptance and trend of transgender fertility treatments. Many questions are posed on the ethical nature of treatments, as well as if a female-to-male transgender person should be able to be pregnant. (NY Times)

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Dec 9 2013

News Roundup: 22,000 Homeless Children in New York

By at 4:04 pm

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


– This heartbreaking and eyeopening New York Times piece, “Invisible Child,” focuses on Dasani, an 11-year-old living in a homeless shelter in Fort Greene, Brooklyn with her family. Her story highlights the larger issue of 22,000 homeless children in New York, the highest number since the great depression. (NY Times)

– 2013 was a big year for naming your kid “Cheese.” Apparently the origin of Cheese is cheese. The meaning of Cheese is cheese. And people are naming their children Cheese. We’re thinking G’vinah may sound more exotic. (NY Mag) 

– Say hello to the “opposite of the ’50s couple,” where husbands are staying at home to do dishes and wives are busily stacking paper on Wall Street. Well, that’s just what this New York Times piece explores in the changing nature of gender dynamics at work and home. (NY Times)

– Prenatal depression is an under-talked about condition that weighs many mothers down in shame and sadness. This mother charts her journey of prenatal depression, and it’s mostly due to a lazy placenta. (NY Times)

– The most “delicious nap time love story” continues with Beau the pup and Theo the adorable toddler. From spooning, to forking, to snuggling, this is a must-view for anyone who loves babies and dogs. And who doesn’t?! (Huffington Post)

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Dec 2 2013

News Roundup: A Push to Screen for Breast Cancer Gene in Israel

By at 4:04 pm


– Israel, which has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world, has many scientists advocating what may be the first national screening campaign to test women for cancer-causing genetic mutations common among Ashkenazi Jews. (The picture they chose to illustrate the piece is also causing quite a stir.) (NY Times)

– With her husband and her working full time, Lauren hired a full time nanny–but she never imagined her children would chose the nanny over her. (Salon)

– This article explores the changing paradigm of the “typical” American family. Never before have families in America been as racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse as they are today. (NY Times)

– Kveller contributor Galit Breen writes for HuffPost about being a Jewish mama who celebrates Christmas. (Huffington Post)

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Nov 25 2013

News Roundup: Do Women Who Exercise While Pregnant Have Smarter Babies?

By at 5:03 pm


– It may be difficult to get exercising in when you’re expecting, but this New York Times piece suggests that women who are physically active during pregnancy may boost the development of her unborn child’s brain. (NYT)

– After growing up a secular Jew, the Jewish holidays didn’t mean too much to Dana. At age 38, after 29 years of living in Israel, Dana’s son is beginning to bring significance to her heritage. (Tablet Magazine) 

– Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women–a day which reminds us that violence against women continues to be destructive and pervasive. (Huffington Post)

– The Motherlode has 10 awesome holiday geek gifts for girls. Well, they work for boys, too! (Motherlode)

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