I remember my grandfather reading The Forward (in Yiddish) on the back porch. I remember my grandmother in the kitchen cooking all the wonderful Eastern European foods from her childhood for me…and my brothers and sisters. I loved my grandparents, but they were foreign to me. I knew they weren’t born in the U.S. and came from somewhere else. I knew they had to leave their childhood home suddenly and it had something to do with them being Jewish, but the details and the reasons were… >> Read More
And on the seventh day of our trip to California, we lost our camera.
It was an expensive Canon SLR with zoom lens, battery, memory card, lens filter, and sun shade. On that memory card were some…1,500 photos and videos that we’d taken in one week. In an instant, we’d lost something eminently replaceable and something devastatingly irreplaceable. On the trip, we had visited Yosemite National Park, celebrated my cousin’s bar mitzvah in Berkeley, and toured San Francisco, my husband Rob skillfully and happily composing and snapping both posed and candid… >> Read More
It’s ironic that most of my childhood memories of my father involve conversation, yet the big family joke is that he never really talked.
What we mean by the tease is that he was never one to…open up and share his thoughts and feelings. If we wanted to know how his day of teaching went, or what he liked to do in his spare time, or how he felt when he lost his mother at the age of 14, or whether he believed in God, we would have to pry it… >> Read More
For Mother’s Day, I do something unconventional. I make rice kugel for my small family of two: myself and my son. My mother, a Hasidic woman who raised more than a dozen children in the Village…of Kiryas Joel, taught me a special rice pudding recipe. The recipe calls for a slice--and a story. She made her kugel and told her story on Rosh Chodesh, the women’s holiday of my youth. In the Hasidic community we did not celebrate Mother’s Day, but Rosh Chodesh--the first day of the month of the… >> Read More
A few months ago I asked my grandparents to tell me some of their old stories. I can't say exactly what made me think to ask, though knowing them has always been important to me. I've never seemed to…have the time. There was always some good reason not to call my grandmother or something more important than asking my grandfather what he remembered of his grandfather. >> Read More