Many aspects of my childhood were challenging, but I made out like a bandit in the grandmother department. Both of mine are phenomenal. My grandmother Sylvia (aleha hashalom) was the best person I…have ever known. Selfless, hilarious, and wise, her advice was unmatched. Sylvia pulled no punches: she was steadfast in her beliefs and had a pickaxe where her tongue ought to be. Although she wasn’t formally educated, she was the sharpest person I have ever known, capable of running circles around the rest of us with… >> Read More
When my mother went off to college, her own mother painstakingly typed all of her family recipes out on a typewriter and assembled them into a book. She sent this book off to the University of…Florida with my mother, a little piece of home and familiarity tucked away inside her suitcase. But my mother doesn't like to cook, so the book traveled with her from apartment to apartment to house over the course of 30 years. Every now and again it would be pulled down from a shelf and dusted… >> Read More
Amy Kurzweil is a writer, illustrator, and cartoonist. Her debut book, a graphic memoir, "Flying Couch," was just published--and it's the story you've been wanting to read your entire life (even if…you didn't realize it yet)--about three generations of women: the narrator, the narrator's Jewish mother, and the narrator's Holocaust survivor grandmother. Essentially, it tells a coming-of-age story both for the narrator and for the narrator's bubbe, who escapes the Warsaw Ghetto alone. It's so good that The New York Times listed it as one of, “The… >> Read More
Arguably the best thing about being Jewish is having a Jewish grandmother, so it makes me very sad that my kids are never going to know my mother, who died when our eldest was 6 weeks old, or my…wife's mother, who passed before we got married. We want to give our young kids a sense of who their grandmothers were, but we also don't want to burden them with our sadness or freak them out about death (and have them worry we are about to die). Trying to strike the proper balance, here's… >> Read More
We sit down for dinner.
Ravi, my 4-year-old, overhears my phone conversation and learns that my best friend’s grandfather has passed away.
“Tati,” she asks, “will Bubby come back to…life?” Bubby, her great-grandmother, passed away three years ago, at the age of 91. Now, Judaism does believe in an afterlife and in a resuscitation of the dead, but for whatever reason I opt not to have that theological conversation with Ravi at this point. “No,” I offer, “but her memory lives on and Bubby… >> Read More