Jordana Horn is a contributing editor to Kveller. She is a journalist, lawyer, writer, mother of six, travel aficionado, and self-declared karaoke superstar. Before her life got too crazy, she was the New York correspondent for the Jerusalem Post. She has written for numerous publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Forward and Tablet. She has appeared as a 'parenting expert' on NBC's TODAY Show and FOX and Friends. She enjoys writing about herself in the third person and, one far-off day when everyone is in school, hopes to get back to work on her novel.
“All College Admissions Are A Pay-To-Play Scandal!” “A slew of CEOs charged in college entrance cheating scam!” “The College-Admission Scandal and the Warped Fantasy of the American…Scam.” That’s just a smattering of the headlines that have been blowing up the internet, ever since the news broke yesterday of a massive scandal in which hundreds of well-to-do parents paid to have people take standardized tests for their children and gave bribes to college coaches to “recruit” their children, among other decidedly non-kosher activities...all… >> Read More
I’m 45, and now that I’ve been a mom for 15 ½ years, I’ve shed a lot of the naiveté I brought to the parenting table when I first got here. One of the many, many ways in which I have changed…as a parent is that I now bring a healthy dose of skepticism to “scientific studies” of parenting. For example, take a study conducted three years ago — and more recently making the rounds on social media — that reportedly shows how the more children a woman gives birth to, the slower her cells are… >> Read More
When I was a kid, I eagerly looked forward to Valentine’s Day. After all, it would obviously be the day my true classmate love — whomever that was, who clearly had been pining for me in absentia…— would finally step out of the shadows. Spoiler alert: That never happened (although one year I did receive a very nice stuffed animal anonymously placed in my car, which in retrospect is actually somewhat creepy). But the hope and anticipation of passion — would someone send me a red carnation, that apex of affection?— gave… >> Read More
I’m not planning on marching this weekend. The turbulence with the official Women’s March leadership — and the seemingly obstinate refusal of its leadership to condemn anti-Semitism — makes…me loath to participate. The good news is that there are many marches that are unaffiliated with the national group planned for Saturday. I fully endorse them, and you can find one that might suit your geographic and timing needs here. To be frank, however, I am not sure that my family and I are… >> Read More
How would your kid react if they saw a friend write this on Snapchat: “Would anyone even care if I killed myself?”
This is not a drill — this did really happen to kids I know. And now that…we have been through it, I’d like to share what I learned from this experience, because it could possibly save a kid’s life. 1. Tell your teen: If they see something like this, they need to tell you. You would think that this would be a given, but it’s not. Our teens are deluged with so… >> Read More
Sometimes, you see a headline in your newsfeed that makes you stop and do a virtual spit take: “Well, THAT can’t be true!” (And by “sometimes,” I mean basically every day, but let’s move…on.) It happened to me when I read the headline of New York Magazine’s story: “Basically Everything Is Improved by an Interrupting Toddler.” As a mother of six kids, I gotta give that one a hard NFW. I feel really well-qualified to speak on this point, since over the past 15 years, I have had… >> Read More
On Thursday, the new members of Congress were sworn into their positions, magically transforming into actual members of the House of Representatives (or Senators). It was a great day for us — and…when I say “us,” I mean everyone reading this piece, regardless of your ideological proclivities. Because here’s the thing: No matter your politics, the 116th Congress has taken a dramatic step toward actually being more representative of the people whom it purports to represent. The United States of America is not a country exclusively made… >> Read More
Here in the U.S., many of us Jews spend Christmas eating Chinese food and watching movies — “not that there’s anything wrong with that,” to be said in Seinfeld-ian voice. Personally, I love a…good vegetarian moo shoo and movie. But apparently in Iceland, it’s a national tradition to spend Christmas Eve eating and drinking chocolate and reading new books (!!!). I mean, I’m big into Judaism, but this is a kind of holiday I can definitely get behind. It’s called Jolabokaflod, which basically means “Christmas book flood.”… >> Read More
My 3-year-old daughter almost died last Thursday.
That’s not hyperbole; that’s for real. And I’m telling you what happened because it just might save your child, or someone that you care…about. Here are the random things that saved my daughter’s life last week. 1. My 3-year-old daughter happened to come home from a playdate about 10 minutes after she was served peanut butter crackers. (She’d tried them for the first time there because, hey, we didn’t think she had an allergy.) That was when she… >> Read More
Here we are in the thick of the “holiday season,” even though our part, as Jews, is over. Hanukkah, in which we celebrate the rededication of the Temple, ended on Monday. Over the course of the…past eight days, we ate latkes and sufganiyot, and shone light into darkness. I’m sitting here, though, with an icky feeling — and that’s not just from eating too much chocolate gelt. I’m feeling perturbed about First Daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump’s presentation of the “holidays” this year — and I’d like to explain… >> Read More
As you have probably heard by now, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in the hospital today, recovering from a fall that fractured three of her ribs.
RBG is more than just a person at…this point: she has morphed into a symbol. Of course, there is the millennial-friendly “Notorious RBG” iconography, which basically makes her the court’s equivalent of Beyonce. But she is much, much more than just a symbol — through her whole life, she has stood up for women’s rights and equal treatment under law, with fierce… >> Read More
As it says in the Nina Simone song: “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day… and I’m feeling good.”
This morning, we awoke to a country where the Democrats will control the House of…Representatives — a major step forward for the whole checks and balances thing. It’s a morning where our new House will, for the first time, have over 100 female representatives — including the first Native American women elected to Congress, the first Muslim women to represent their states in the House, and not one but… >> Read More
Like many, many people across the country, I am pretty pissed off right now. Whether or not you believe that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, pretty much the…entire country has stepped away from the proceedings with a collective bad taste in our mouths. The hearings themselves had a very Salem witch trial feel to them — and at the very least, they highlighted privilege, and the way that a white man can be visibly, loudly angry in a way that is apparently… >> Read More
I’m starting a new year in which my oldest is in high school (!) and my youngest is in Pull-Ups. Repeating the mantra, “No one goes to college in diapers,” I have decided that the latter issue…will work itself out somehow, sometime. (After six kids, somehow potty training continues to be a weakness of mine – insert shrug emoji here). My parenting right now spans a wide range of human experience. On the one end, we are having conversations about college, consensual sexual relationships, responsibility, and time management. On the other… >> Read More
I got “woke” this morning before 7 a.m., all thanks to some sequins.
You’ve probably noticed that many, many kids have flippy sequin shirts. Not only are they super shiny and sparkly — an…instant plus with most kids in the 3-10 age range — but there is also something remarkably, oddly pleasant about the tactile sensation of running your hand up and down the sequins to flip them in one direction or another. Kids particularly love the sensory element of these shirts (though adults are not immune). As… >> Read More
I have two boys at two different summer camps right now. One of them is having a blast. The other is also having a great time — but I only know that because I have extrapolated it from his…silence. My oldest son, 14, knows that when it comes to letters, he needs to Feed The Beast. (Yes, “the beast,” in this particular scenario, is me.). He knows that I am someone who gets super excited about receiving real mail, and have ever since I was little. In fact, when I was a girl,… >> Read More
I post a lot about politics on Facebook — so much so, in fact, that I suspect that even close friends have unfollowed me. That’s OK: The state of the world is important to me, and I want to share…both the news and ways that people can get involved. And if people don’t want to hear it, that’s their choice. But I’m human, too. And there are times when I am sitting at my kitchen table just before 7 a.m., amid the detritus of abandoned child breakfasts, and I find myself thinking about stupid… >> Read More
I am so angry about so many wrongs transpiring in our country right now, from voter disenfranchisement to threats to women’s reproductive rights to immigrant family separations to our president…selling us down the river to Russia. And perhaps you, too, are furious about the current state of the world. But at the same time, you may find that you are way overwhelmed with your own life. The combination of kids, bills, sick friends or relatives, work pressures, and general day-to-day hassles can make you… >> Read More
This morning, Israeli police burst into a house at 5:30 am to detain someone. His crime? He was a Conservative rabbi who presided over non-Orthodox weddings.
Conservative Rabbi Dov Haiyun of…Moriah Congregation in Haifa was taken for questioning following a complaint filed against him by the Rabbinical Court in Haifa for allegedly "marrying those who are not eligible to be married." Today’s incident was the first attempt in Israel to enforce a 2013 law forbidding performing weddings outside the Rabbinate, a law carrying a sentence… >> Read More
“I don’t know Kavanaugh the judge. But Kavanaugh the carpool dad is one great guy,” reads the headline of a Washington Post piece published yesterday. When I first saw it, I assumed it was…satire, penned by the Post’s incredible Alexandra Petri (check out her work if you haven’t already). Because surely there is no relevance, pertinence, or merit to putting a non-satirical piece like this in a serious newspaper — a piece that aims to convince me that likely future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whatever his judicial… >> Read More
This past spring, the United Nations-affiliated World Health Organization was apparently the setting for a previously unthinkable battle between the United States and basically the rest of the world.…And just what was the cause of this major showdown? Global epidemics, perhaps? No: The fight was over a resolution supporting the use of breast milk. Yes, really. According to The New York Times, the U.S. delegation to the World Health Assembly worked hard to dilute a resolution which was designed to highlight the importance… >> Read More
Just how do you celebrate the Fourth of July if you are feeling deeply unsettled about the trajectory of our country?
I know I’m not the only person thinking about that this year. In a Facebook…group I follow, another parent mused about the Fourth, “It has always been a holiday my family enjoys, but I am feeling terribly conflicted about celebrating this year. I am grateful for 200 years of independence, but this year, I am not feeling proud of my country.” To be clear: I love America deeply and… >> Read More
Yesterday, I dropped my 13-year-old son off at the bus that would take him away from me for seven weeks of overnight camp. The drop-off was the same as it’s been the past four years in many…respects: same location; same discussion about how it’s better for him to sit behind the driver so we can wave to each other as the bus leaves the parking lot; same negotiation over who he’ll sit with on the two hour ride. But there was one major difference this year: I didn’t cry. In previous… >> Read More
Three years ago this week, I had my last baby. I realize there’s the “hey, you never know” factor, but she was my sixth. So, stick a fork in me: I’m done.
But what’s amazing to me is…that even now, 14 years after having my first kid, I still get so pissed about how many things fall into the category Stuff People Never Tell You Before You Have a Baby. Obviously, I have no regrets about having any of my children. But, that being said, was I in any way adequately aware… >> Read More
Maurice Sendak’s short story, Pierre, is the kids’ book that haunted me the most throughout my life.
In this story, the little boy, Pierre, will only say three words — “I don’t care”…— no matter what options or choices are presented to him. Whenever his parents ask him to do something, or try to give to him something — whether they are offering him breakfast, or inviting him to go to town with them — he only says, “I don’t care.” And finally, when a hungry lion comes… >> Read More