My oldest son became a bar mitzvah in November. We had a congregational Kiddush luncheon in his honor, and a small party for him and his friends that evening. Instead of having the grand blowout…party that seems to be the general expectation in my New Jersey suburb, we opted to go to Israel instead. And it was the best decision I possibly could have made, for these reasons (among others): 1. Visiting Israel is not just any trip. Sure, we could have gone to Paris, or Punta Cana, or… >> Read More
We got out of our car at the aquarium, and before we even reached the entrance, I knew we had made a mistake. It was early in the morning so it was not yet busy, but it was chaotic, loud, and…over-stimulating. Everywhere we looked there were colors, sounds, animals, and flashing lights. People were shouting at us (words of greeting, but not quiet ones), taking our picture, stamping our hands. Music playing, lights blaring, food smells coming from everywhere. And in the middle of all of it, my precious 5-year-old son, holding his ears, closing… >> Read More
The look on my son’s face said it all. He opened up the shopping bag and peered inside. “What are theeeeeeeese?” he snarled as he inspected the goods.
“Oh, you found my stash for your…goody bags! I got some cool stuff, right?” In my infinite wisdom, I had taken a “creative” route for my son’s birthday goody bags. Instead of stuffing them with candy and plying his already-sugared-up guests with even more sugar, I thought, wouldn’t it be adorable to stuff the bags with cute school supplies? Everyone loves… >> Read More
Last week was a big week for Jewish actress Mila Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher. They welcomed their second child, and first son, into the world. At the time of their annoucement, they didn't…mention his name, but they finally just revealed it: Dimitri Portwood Kutcher. So, how did they choose his name? Dimitri’s middle name honors Kutcher’s stepfather, Mark Portwood, as confirmed by PEOPLE. His first name, of course, is Russian, which honors Kunis' cultural background. In this way, their baby's name is a tribute to both parents'… >> Read More
Like most people in my small Philly suburb, I have become very familiar with the name Dominic. Many shops display posters calling for prayers to be said on his behalf, and there are frequent…fundraisers sponsored by local businesses to raise money for his family’s medical bills. Often, I’d see Dominic’s name appear on my Facebook feed as neighbors and friends shared updates. I would usually only get through a few sentences before I’d skip to another status or entertaining article. Reading more just hurt my heart too much.… >> Read More