When I first saw the words "Jewish Israeli arrested for phoning in JCC bomb threats" all over my Facebook feed, I laughed. Don't people know that Purim passed already, I…thought. And isn't April Fool's Day a week away? Then I saw the article attached to the posts, with the word "breaking" in red above pictures of Israeli police officers, and stopped laughing. I was overwhelmed by many different emotions. Embarrassment: A fellow Jew caused all the fear and pain? Anger: What a great day for actual anti-Semites, what a boon for those who already… >> Read More
An ever-present underbelly of fear and hate is nothing new for America. A look back on any generation will show citizens targeting their neighbors based on skin color, country of origin or desired…position in society. These days, people have a lot of fear for “the other,” with those who fear refugees terrorizing our country and illegal immigrants taking our jobs, pitted against those who fear President Donald Trump’s attempts to keep them from our borders. Some fear the existence of minority groups in America (and warn them… >> Read More
“Everyone is OK. We’re all are home.” Read the text message from my former host brother in Berlin. Sitting in a work meeting, I had no idea what he was talking about.
“Ok… glad you’re…all OK?” I texted back. Little did I know then, someone had rammed his truck into a Christmas Market, close to where my host family lives, killing 11 people. It was just like what happened in London yesterday. I know those streets back from when I lived in Berlin. I’d been to that market before,… >> Read More
My first exposure to going to school under armed guard was in the late 1970s, when my family and I were emigrating from the Soviet Union. We stayed several months in Rome, Italy, while waiting for…our paperwork to be processed, our background checks, our health screening, my parents’ professions to be analyzed to ensure they wouldn’t be a financial drain on the U.S. Jewish community that ultimately agreed to sponsor us, and so forth. While we were there, Hebrew International Aid Society (HIAS) set up a school for the immigrant… >> Read More
I’m afraid of plenty of totally irrational things: robots and zombies and spiders and raw tomatoes, to name a few. I’m afraid of a few slightly less irrational things: the deaths of those I love;…anything at all that could take my children from me; trying to educate a complicated and emotional child; losing my wedding ring or glasses. Okay, and spiders: nothing makes me run in terror like a quarter-sized spider. I’ve discovered recently that there’s another type of fear I have very little experience with. The fear inspired… >> Read More