Life lessons

Jewish Mother Jokes - How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb...

Jewish Mother Jokes - How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb...

Jewish Mother jokes - it is one of those love/hate relationships. We find them funny and also somewhat insulting - and at the same time! Jewish women are portrayed as being loud and demanding. But let's face it, that is what it takes to get things done in this world. So maybe these are traits to embrace and be proud of. So in honor of all the Jewish Mamalas, Tantes and Bubbies (and let's not forget the Machatunim), let's celebrate strong women - and have a laugh too!How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a lightbulb? None: “I’ll...

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Ready for a Seder plate facelift?

Ready for a Seder plate facelift?

What is more important to the seder than the six items on the seder plate that symbolize the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. It’s designed to help us imagine ourselves in our ancestors’ shoes — not only are we supposed to tell the story of Passover, but we’re also supposed to see, smell, taste, and feel it.As traditional as the seder plate may be, there’s actually room for some creative flourishes. While most Jewish households stick to the classic six items mentioned in the Haggadah — shank bone, egg, two kinds of bitter herbs, vegetable, and maror (charoset) — you can...

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The Forgotten Woman Behind International Women’s Day

The Forgotten Woman Behind International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is here again, and with it the opportunity to highlight women’s contributions to history, society and politics — and, of course, to sell stuff.But how did the day get started? Some point to Russian communist roots; others claim an American origin story. The truth is that it’s neither and both. International Women’s Day began with a Russian-born Jewish woman in New York City, before traveling to the Soviet Union and back again.For International Women’s Day, here are 7 of history’s greatest women-led protestsTheresa Serber Malkiel was born in 1874 in the Russian Empire, in an area now...

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Jewish Baby Naming

Jewish Baby Naming

Recently our niece gave birth to a baby girl and we finally learned the name that they had been keeping a secret during their pregnancy (it is Adelina in case you were wondering). In full disclosure, I must say that I am married to a goy, and this niece is from his side of the family. So the practice of naming a Jewish baby did not enter into it, but it got me thinking all the same. What are the practices and parameters around naming a Jewish baby?Growing up as an Ashkenazi Jew, I had always heard that we name...

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Musings on Hanukkah

Musings on Hanukkah

The essence of Hanukkah is found in the soul of the Jewish people. Sometimes it's in oral tradition, sometimes in the written word, and sometimes it's found in humor and wit. That's why the best Hanukkah quotes range from inspiring to pithy to downright silly, and they all represent the vast personalities of the Jewish religion and its people. A reminder that no matter what Jews have faced, are facing, and will undoubtedly face in the future, there is light and reason to celebrate. Just as a small amount of olive oil could burn for eight days, so does the inner...

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