Mildred Dresselhaus, a badass Jewish scientist whose monumental work with carbon helped build modern science and the nanotechnology industry as a whole, passed away on Monday in Cambridge, MA at…age 86. She was a a professor emerita at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dresselhaus, dubbed the "Queen of Carbon" by other scientists, came from a humble background. She was born as Mildred Spiewak on November 11, 1930 in Brooklyn to Polish-Jewish immigrants from Poland--and, the Times obituary notes, grew up in the Bronx on public assistance.… >> Read More
I was staring at the beautiful family photograph on his mahogany desk. All I could think was how my family used to look exactly like that—happy. Now there was one less person, and only…sadness. My rabbi said hello as he walked into his office, pulling me away from my thoughts. He sat down and asked me how I was doing. He already knew. He was the same rabbi who performed the funeral service just three months earlier. My husband had gone out running on what was a typical… >> Read More
I have just returned from taking a walk around my block (though I’m not exactly sure if I started on the right side, as Chabad.com instructed me to do when I looked up this ritual).
There is…fresh snow on the ground, and I imagine how it looks, covering the brown earth of my mother’s newly dug grave. Bagels upon bagels have been eaten. Leftover deli platters have been brought to the local homeless shelter. Tears have been shed. Many, many tears. Hugs exchanged. Reconciliations offered and accepted, with hopes that they… >> Read More
My son Noah was buried with old, worn-out prayer books. The rabbi told us that this was an honor reserved for scholars and children. I loved that idea. In my state of shock, I remember being…strangely excited about this as we discussed his burial the night before. We answered the rabbi's questions. We told the rabbi what nicknames we had for him. Bubbie, Mr. Bubbie, Bubbieboy. Six years later, I can't remember anything the rabbi said at his graveside funeral. I remember the cantor singing. I remember my father and… >> Read More
I have a very special friend. This particular friend used to own the nursery school that I attended when I was 3 years old. I went there until kindergarten, and my brothers went there as well. She…has been a part of my life for 40 years. Her name is Ann. Ann has always been more like a grandmother to me than just a friend. She treated my siblings and me with as much love as she treated her own family. She and my mom became friends all those decades ago and… >> Read More