It's been a while since I felt like a show outsmarted me. But Dead to Me, Netflix's new, star-studded series, has made me gasp quite a few times. It manages to subvert all my expectations in a way…that feels entirely purposeful — and not just for shock value. This compassionate, thrilling new “traumedy” (that’s what the cast calls it, and it’s quite a good description) is one of my new favorites: It's a must-watch for all Jewish mothers, women, and TV-loving people in general. And while nothing about this show is explicitly… >> Read More
From the minute I got the first phone call on Tuesday afternoon, I was overcome with anxiety.
It was 2:30 and I was at one of my favorite coffee shops, working on a new book idea, when my phone…rang. It was the Cherry Creek School District, telling me that my 14-year-old’s middle school was on “secure perimeter” — meaning there was a known danger in the area, and all students and staff had to stay within a designated area in the school, with all external doors locked and windows covered. This was due… >> Read More
Joyce Fienberg was a connector. Bringing people together for a holiday meal was incredibly important to her, and not just her family: she invited people she met on world travels, her students from…the University of Pittsburgh, colleagues. She loved connecting people of all different backgrounds, and they'd have riveting discourse over Thanksgiving or Rosh Hashanah meals and, especially, Passover seders. "It always made a very different sort of conversation and something you would look forward to," Marnie Fienberg says about holidays hosted by her mother-in-law. "It was… >> Read More
My kitchen was bedlam, resembling a “winter wonderland” scene, with flour on counters, cabinets, floor, and inside drawers. The delicious aroma of cookies filled the air. It was our annual…“Roth Purim bake-a-thon,” a family tradition in which the four of us — my three children and I — baked cookies to give to friends and family. We each had our own cookie assignment and, remarkably, much like dogs tend to resemble their owners, there seemed to be a poetic logic as to who chose… >> Read More
In 2009, I fell ill with some serious gastrointestinal problems. I required several surgeries, which created a number of complications and disabilities. I struggled to remain at home with feeding…tubes, central lines, and other health challenges. I was spending up to 10 months a year in the hospital. By 2016, during Hanukkah, I decided to stop medical treatment and let nature take its course. I was 34 years old. If I withdrew treatment, it would be a matter of weeks or months before I… >> Read More