I once saw “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” with a guy I liked. Hilarious culture-clashing antics ensue between the Greek protagonist and her WASPy fiancé, until the families begrudgingly accept each…other—the groom immerses himself in Greek culture and the crazy protagonists live happily ever after. Adorable! Easy Peasy! Afterwards, eating dinner at a Chinese restaurant, I compared the movie’s Greek father touting Windex as an infallible cure-all for everything, just as my Soviet-era Jewish immigrant father believes that iodine heals absolutely everything—all you have to… >> Read More
Last Friday started off as a pretty typical day. I had an appointment downtown in the morning and lunch scheduled afterwards with a friend. I had been looking forward to seeing her—several weeks of…summer had passed since our last meet-up. We talked about motherhood, other friends who were expecting, parenting with our partners. It was a nice catch-up, and I left in a good mood. But the day later went sour with the news of the weekend’s white nationalist/neo-Nazi/white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA. My first reaction to… >> Read More
Last week, we got excited over the news that Grossinger's, the fabled Catskills report that inspired "Dirty Dancing," might reopen someday soon. But until that happens, it lies in ruins.
Marisa…Scheinfeld has photographed Grossinger's and many other similar Catskills leisure centers today, as they are being reclaimed by time and nature. Her book,"The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America's Jewish Vacationland ," was published by Cornell University Press in October 2016. She shared some of her best photos of Grossinger's today with Kveller—from the laundry to the… >> Read More
I’m a dues-paying member at my local synagogue. And yet, I’ve also been advocating for a pay-what-you-can/voluntary dues model at my synagogue since I first joined. It’s not because I think my…synagogue is too expensive or charges too much. Rather, I realized long ago that when it comes to synagogues, people don’t like being told what to pay. Period. Here’s something else I’d like to make clear. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where the money I spend on my family’s synagogue membership (not… >> Read More
It took me a long time to try yoga; I thought I wasn’t “the type.” Once I managed to get past the stereotypes, though, I began to realize that it was probably what I needed. So when I…discovered that a local teacher was offering classes for women only, I bought a mat and took the plunge. And I was right; it is exactly what I need. As I continued attending yoga classes, in fact, I began to notice a lot of unexpected parallels to my longtime passion of Jewish text study—I have… >> Read More