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.
In honor of Safer Internet Day — a global day dedicated to online safety and respect — Kveller’s Jordana Horn connected with writer, activist, designer, and onetime White House intern Monica…Lewinsky. When Lewinsky was 22, her relationship with President Bill Clinton eventually led to his impeachment — and a very public scandal. When the story broke in 1998, it was the early days of the Internet; Lewinsky has called herself the “patient zero” of online bullying. After years of laying low, Lewinsky has returned to… >> Read More
It’s a tough time of year. Sure, the days are short... but they are SO LONG. Warmth seems far off for most of us, and our houses are plagued by colds, stomach viruses, strep, and flu.
You’re…exhausted. You need an escape, ideally into a book that will keep you awake for more than two pages. And I will give you that escape, because I love you. Read these six page-turners now — you'll be glad you did. And stay strong! Winter is ending! Not really, but whatever. 1. The Perfect Nanny… >> Read More
If you haven’t seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon, I highly recommend that you do so. It’s a witty and fun romp through some truly great period costumes. It’s probably best to go into the…1950s-era comedy — which is nominated for two Golden Globes Awards, including Best TV Series — about an Upper West Side Jewish woman and her family knowing little about it beforehand. But, SPOILER ALERT: The show begins with Midge Maisel’s husband leaving her unexpectedly. (Sorry! There was no way I could write this piece without… >> Read More
There have definitely been times in my life when I’ve been a real asshole. And today, I’d like to apologize for at least one of them.
I never really “got it” when it came to food allergies.…All I knew, for the duration of my first 14 years as a parent, was my vague feeling of, “Hey…there sure seem to be a lot more allergies out there than there used to be when I was a kid.” It didn’t make sense to me – I mean, I ate peanut butter and jelly… >> Read More
Maybe you have a vacation coming up and want to bring a great book with you. Maybe it’s your turn to pick your next book club read. Maybe, with Hanukkah less than a month out, you need some…recommendations for readers on your list. Personally, I don’t think you need an excuse. I read voraciously, keeping one book on my phone and another paperback on my bedside table (and if I’m being honest, a third one next to my tub/shower — I’m still working on the mechanics of the shower thing.) I burn meals… >> Read More
Author Tova Mirvis’s new memoir, The Book of Separation, is a beautiful examination of what it means to upend one’s life: In Mirvis’ case, she left her marriage and she left her…then-lifelong practice of Orthodox Judaism. Her story is wrenching, introspective, honest and wonderful. Here, Mirvis, a novelist known for skillful writing of Orthodox characters, spoke recently with Kveller’s Jordana Horn about divorce, empathy, religion, and truth. You refer to pluralistic Judaism — you write about your children going to a pluralistic Jewish school — but you… >> Read More
Let’s get this out there first: It is unquestionably easier to vote without a child in the voting booth with you.
As someone who has taken three or four children into the booth with me at once,…I totally get it. That baby carrier or car seat stroller is bulky as hell. There is pushing of emotional buttons, and possibly actual voting booth buttons (not necessarily so legal). There are space issues. And once you actually get to the front of what feels like an interminable line, the curtain closes behind you,… >> Read More
If you’re on social media, you probably have seen an outbreak of a campaign of “me too”/#metoo across your feed. This isn’t a trend so much as it is an avalanche: People are posting the words…“me too” if they have, at some point in their lives, been harassed or assaulted. The fact is that most, if not all, women and queer folks have at some point in their lives been objectified – whether by someone catcalling to them and commenting on their body on the street, or by being groped… >> Read More
Personally, coming off this weekend of Yom Kippur, my soul is still resonating. I am still moved and humbled and awed by our world and our places in it–by the sacred gift that life truly is, and of…the meaning of living a Jewish life. And now, we wake up to death and destruction in Las Vegas. What can we do? The soaring feeling of possibility, of change, of growth that inspires us through the High Holidays cannot be shot down by a murderer’s gun. There will always be evil in the world.… >> Read More
Prayerbook doesn’t do it for you? Sermons are touch and go? Or just looking for some extra reflection?
Whatever your religious leanings, if you are looking for Jewish inspiration over the High…Holidays, here are a few book recommendations to inspire thought, curiosity and contemplation for the year ahead. L’shana tova tikatevu! This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe As A Journey of Transformation by Alan Lew. This book is a game-changer for me, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Lew was… >> Read More
Just. Say. Hi.
It is not that hard. It’s two letters. It’s a short sound.
Maybe it is hard for you. Maybe you’re new to town, or have social anxiety, or are in a rush, or are exhausted,…or are going through something personal. Then just nod. Acknowledge everyone you see. Because it can mean so much. It’s the start of a new school year—and almost the start of a new Jewish year, too (bonus!). We are surrounded by new people, and often, we don’t know each other at all. It’s awkward to… >> Read More
It’s fall! Well, not really yet at all, actually–the weather is still balmy and the kids are wearing shorts (of course, they’ll wear shorts into February, but you get what I’m…saying). Maybe now, however, you have some time to sit down and chill—and let your hand unclench from having filled out all those gratuitous school forms? Welcome to my fall list of Books By Women To Make You Feel Better About Life. 1. “Catastrophic Happiness: Finding Joy in Childhood’s Messy Years,” by Catherine Newman Word,… >> Read More
Before the news world blew up in our faces last week, the link that kept popping up on my newsfeed was something called “Wait Until 8th.”
A group of parents in Texas started a pledge to…support each other making the decision to hold off on getting their kids smartphones until eighth grade—and the movement is gaining traction across the country. It’s an attempt to create a peer group of parents on the same page in their decision to hold off on smartphones–in a world where there are so many influences… >> Read More
My two oldest boys are about to come home from overnight camp. Having done the whole camp thing for about four years now, I am fully aware of the extent to which their duffels will stink, the need to…immediately repack the bags for next year with the “camp stuff” (trust me), and not to freak out when a lot of stuff has mysteriously gone missing. For those of you new to the overnight camp experience, though, I thought I’d give you a few words of warning/guidance--sort of like a “What to Expect When… >> Read More
“It’s Too Expensive To Be Jewish” is the title of a Los Angeles Times personal essay written by a mother who, in the course of trying to figure out how to afford bar mitzvah tutoring for her…son, decided that being Jewish is, well, too expensive (exemplified by the high cost of synagogue membership and High Holiday tickets). Her conclusion is one with which I vehemently disagree–but that is in no small part because I vehemently disagree with her feelings about the underlying value of being Jewish. Admittedly, I’m coming at this… >> Read More
“Come on girl, shake that thing!”
“Shake, shake your booty!”
Typical lyrics to a typical pop song. Except these weren’t being sung on the radio. They were being chanted by my…4-year-old daughter with her group at her camp. As they sang, she wagged her just-recently-toddler tush semi-suggestively behind her, while her camp group clapped and cheered her on. As I watched this happen on our day camp’s visiting day, I was grossed out. I was annoyed. I was mad. These feelings came up in me… >> Read More
I’ve been married twice. Some might think if I failed at it once that means I’m not so good at marriage. Personally, I’d say, like Peppa Pig’s father, that “I’m a bit of an…expert.” I mean, two marriages means two weddings, right? I’m a pro. So let me give you some unsolicited advice as to how to have the best one--yes, ideally one--ever. Think about premarital counseling. As a prerequisite to marriage, the Catholic faith requires a course of premarital counseling set by the church called pre cana… >> Read More
I’ve read a lot of great books this past year. “When the hell do you have time to read?" you may ask, so please note that I am an abnormally fast reader. You know, like how some of you have…abnormally fast metabolisms, or the ability to run even when you are not in fear for your life. But books are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Sometimes, you’re in the mood to be challenged. And sometimes, you would rather let your brain melt in sticky sweetness, like a popsicle in July. Either way, I got you, with… >> Read More
This article is part of the Here. Now. essay series, which seeks to de-stigmatize mental health treatment, and improve accessibility to treatment and support for teens and parents in metropolitan…New York. “Hi, Mommy,” someone whispered. I felt breath on my face. It was a Sunday morning, and I was still in bed. It was still earlier than I’d like to be awake, but not as early as it had been when my husband took the 1-year-old and 3-year-old downstairs a half hour before. The… >> Read More
I have Passover Anxiety. It is real. And it is spectacular.
It starts around the end of Purim, to be honest, but now, a week before the first seder, it kicks into overdrive.
Every year, I find…my anxiety evolves. Here are some of its usual focal points, and how I cope with them. 1. Food issues. As a younger, less-jaded mother, I used to get beyond stressed out about whether my toddlers would starve to death over Passover. I have had years upon years of toddlers at this point. Inevitably, in that age… >> Read More
You may be totally stressed out about Passover. And it’s understandable–it’s stressful! Hosting a dinner for 30 people would be enough–dayenu, if you will–but working with an extended…program, partially in Hebrew and/or Aramaic, that needs to be the right length, the perfect level of inspirational, plus engaging and interesting? It’s enough to send you over the edge of a pyramid. The Four Questions are a familiar cornerstone of the seder festival meal, in which the youngest present asks, "Why is this night… >> Read More
There was a picture of a sky I looked at last year, in the fall, when everything was just starting to turn delicious colors. I lay on the examination table on my back, my arm splayed out behind me…like a twisted Barbie doll. I looked at the fake sky on the ceiling, and then closed my eyes and turned my head away as the doctor put a needle into my breast. The fake sky is always blue. Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies, do I see. Blue birds, singing their… >> Read More
My mother swims at the JCC. These days, she packs a "go bag" with all of her stuff to bring to the pool in case she is evacuated in her bathing suit by a bomb threat. It doesn't seem…unlikely. This is not what America should be. "Well, what can I do?" people ask me. They feel powerless. Let me tell you this: You are not powerless. Here are five things you can do to stand up against hate today. 1) Join your local JCC. Today, I am joining my local JCC. I am… >> Read More
I looked in the rearview mirror at my youngest child, on route to our Monday morning toddler time class. “I’m sorry, sweetie,” I said. “Mommy is just burned out.”
She smiled and said,…“Hello.” She doesn’t understand. Why should she? Not only is she not even two years old, but also, the simple fact is that there are NO people in my circle who know what it is like to go through Mommy & Me for the sixth time/child. I am Burned Out. I will save you time:… >> Read More
About a year ago, I used to actively relish Ivanka Trump’s Instagram feed (yes, I also have a life and hobbies, thanks for asking). I enjoyed it aesthetically, but I also savored the fact that she…frequently posted pics of her Jewish family life. While she never explicitly said the words, “Here We Are, Being Jewish,” Ivanka shared photos of just that, including everything from shots of the mishloach manot she made for Purim to cuddling her second child before his bris. I’m not someone who delights in Adam Sandler’s Hanukkah… >> Read More