Nov 19 2014
My daughter’s imaginary friend is named “N.O.K.” Since she was very small, she’s been talking about her, as in: “N.O.K. loves cherry ice cream,” “N.O.K. is the only one who will play games that aren’t ‘princess-y,’” “N.O.K’s mom is in Israel this week so she’s staying with us.”
When my daughter had to make a list of her best friends for school, N.O.K. was at the top of the list.
N.O.K has a big heart, a quick wit, and a terrific sense of humor. But until last year, she had no face. And then, one day, it happened. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 13 2014
Since the day our 11-year-old was born, we’ve poured on the love, hugs, and Legos. But we slacked big time on his Jewish education.
Although I was raised Reform and my husband Conservative (the nephew of a rabbi, no less), we’re both essentially agnostic and take our cultural Jewish identity for granted. We really get Jon Stewart. You say sheket bevakashah, and we’ll both say “hey.” My husband can read Hebrew (never mind its meaning). I really like salty fish slathered in mayo. We feel Jewish. Unfortunately, that sense of identity was formed at the knees of Yiddish-speaking grandparents—it’s not something that can be passed on. And while our son has his own quad of adoring grandparents, they’ve long since abandoned their parents’ more traditional ways (my side leans towards atheism, my husband’s towards guilty apathy). And so our son’s sense of being Jewish is surface, at best. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 20 2012
As someone who learned English from watching TV, wrote a Master’s Thesis about TV, then worked in TV, I feel I can say with certainty that Christmas specials, be they rip-offs (sorry, homages) of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Carol,” or “Miracle on 34th Street,” all share a common message: Nonbelievers Snooze, Nonbelievers Lose. Read the rest of this entry →