Not every small, rural Jewish congregation is lucky enough to have a rabbi. Temple Beth Israel, in Waterville, Maine—also home to Colby College—is lucky to have not just any rabbi, but Rav Rachel…Isaacs, a community organizer, academic, mother, and deliverer of the White House Hanukkah celebration benediction in 2016. She’s also the executive director of the Center for Small Town Jewish Life, which fosters collaboration between small synagogues and colleges to provide Jewish programming and strengthen the Jewish community. I talked with her about being gay and… >> Read More
It should come as no surprise to any of you that I’m always on the lookout for a good parenting book. Bonus points if it has a Jewish twist, and double bonus if it’s written by Marjorie Ingall.…I’ve been following Marjorie’s smart, funny writing on Tablet for years; her piece on the Jews and scatological humor is one of my all-time favorites. But you’ll get much more than a good poop joke in her new book, “Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children” (Harmony, 2016).… >> Read More
With her new novel, told in lush prose through a carousel of viewpoints, Anna Solomon proves once again to be one of the most ambitious and fearless writers today. Her new novel “Leaving Lucy…Pear” is a sweeping story of two women in Prohibition Era New England whose worlds intersect over the care and concern of an inimitable child. I spoke with the Jewish author and Kveller contributor in Brooklyn: Your first novel, “The Little Bride,” followed a 19th century Russian Jewish mail order bride shipped to the plains… >> Read More
Jane Tuv is pretty busy these days. Besides being a mom, she's also busy changing the face of Jewish education (no easy task, right?). When she first moved to Queens, New York last summer, she…discovered something kind of shocking: There weren't any programs for Russian-speaking Jewish infants and toddlers. Because Tuv met a lot of Russian-speaking Jewish moms in Queens who said they felt disconnected from the Jewish community, she was inspired--and so, she made a change. She created Queens’ first Russian language infant and toddler program called Kinder Klub, which was… >> Read More
If you saw "America's Got Talent" last night, you saw some pretty epic beat-boxing--and you know it's something the judges have probably never seen before.
Dressed in their traditional white…shirts, black pants, black velvet kippot, and tzitzit, two Orthodox yeshiva students from Manhattan, Ilan Swartz-Brownstein and Josh Leviton, took the stage. They beatboxed to Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," and it was so good that the judges voted them onto the next round. When Howie Mandell asked how they met, their story was even better.… >> Read More