Jewish Journal

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

  • So many teachers, so little time

    January 11, 2011 | 6:19 pm

    As a child, I always dreaded going to Hebrew school. Although it was only a few blocks from my public school, the lonely bike ride felt like miles as I watched my friends walk away in the opposite direction, arms linked together like a gum-wrapper chain. Being Jewish in the small...

  • When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Giving

    November 16, 2009 | 2:26 am

    I think I may have hit a new low. It felt as if I was channeling my parents as I heard myself complaining about how I miss the “good old days” — when people actually wrote me letters and cards, rather than texting me on my cell or sending online evites to parties and events....

  • Balancing resources and lives -- being Jewish and 'green'

    December 11, 2008 | 12:23 am

    I entered the classroom, where more than 30 Jewish adults who had been studying together for the past semester buzzed in conversation. I began class by asking my students a simple question: "Are you concerned about what is happening to our environment and worried about what the...
  • Ethical wills hope to ensure that our values live on

    March 20, 2008 | 6:00 pm

    I count myself among the most fortunate of 50-somethings because both of my parents are still alive.

    Sometimes this weighs heavily on me, like when my mother leaves multiple messages on my answering machine because I haven't called her back -- within the hour. Or when I realize that...

  • But Mom, I don’t want a bar mitzvah!

    January 10, 2008 | 7:00 pm

    I saw the blinking light on my answering machine and listened to the frantic voice of my girlfriend, Debbie, as I put the groceries away.

    "Heeeeeelp! Jason says he doesn't want to do his bar mitzvah anymore. We've got the date and the place, I've hired the DJ and he's already begun...

  • Key questions can answer donation motivations

    December 6, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I opened my mailbox to find several letters, a few bills and a host of requests for donations from various organizations that I have supported over the years. Because I am a stickler for organization, I sort the letters, place the bills in a folder marked "Look at me soon!" and the...
  • Teaching our kids how to give

    January 25, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    As a child, I hated having my birthday fall in the middle of December because it meant that no matter when Chanukah began, my birthday gifts were somehow expected to count for Chanukah, too. It just didn't seem fair that I had to give up some of my gifts because of a glitch in the...
  • Mikvah: Calming Waters for a Chaotic Life

    September 7, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The first time I saw a mikvah I had no idea what it was. My college roommate took me to a small building behind her synagogue that looked like a storage unit. We entered a dimly lit area where a small, green-tiled pool dominated the shabby room. It was hardly appealing, and I was...

  • Focus on Philanthropy

    July 27, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    I opened my mailbox to find several letters, a few bills and a host of requests for donations from various organizations that I have supported over the years. Because I am a stickler for organization (although some would call me Type A obsessive), I sort the letters, place the...

  • Five Gold Bangles and World of Difference

    July 13, 2006 | 8:00 pm

    The morning of my wedding day, my mother called me into her bedroom. "Come sit with me," she said quietly, patting the spot next to her on the bed. I sat down beside her, the softness of the mattress causing our shoulders to touch.

    She turned her face toward mine, looking...

  • Is This Marriage Made in Heaven?

    February 9, 2006 | 7:00 pm

    The night I met my husband was a warm evening in April and the smell of orange blossoms permeated the air. The date was "arranged" by mutual friends but I had lots of doubts about meeting their old college friend, a nice Jewish doctor from Los Angeles.

    "If he's such a great guy, why...

  • Divining Prayer

    September 25, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    I have had a love affair with words ever since I can recall. As a little girl I would whisper words to myself just to hear the sounds of them; magical words like canopy, arithmetic and Ethiopia. As an adult, I have relied upon words as the tools I use to make meaning in my world. In...