My road from twice-a-year Jew to Torah-study groupie took 40 years. With the heady days of the High Holy Days, Sukkot and Simchat Torah still fresh in my mind, it’s worth examining how I got here. During my youth, my family and I attended synagogue only during the High Holy Days. Even then, like most adolescents, no matter the Jewish preschool, Jewish summer camp, bat mitzvah or confirmation, the rabbi’s sermon was my cue to flee the sanctuary with my sister to find the other kids in the parking lot tearing into a purloined challah snatched from the synagogue kitchen.
On Mother's Day, I'm going to wear my mother's jewelry. No, this isn't a mom’s day story about gender identity; it’s about Jewish identity and whether possessions can help pass it on.
An acquaintance of Jared Lee Loughner, the accused gunman in the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, says his mother is Jewish.
I know how to handle men, but their mothers? An entirely different challenge. Until I moved to Los Angeles, I had never been "hit on" by women. Now women twice, thrice, even four times my age (I call them mothers-on-the-prowl) approach me nearly every Shabbat. Sometimes, they attack in the middle of the Amidah.
So I read this season's selection of books with perhaps a different eye and an increased curiosity. There are serious books about Jewish mothers, lighthearted books, how-to volumes and memoirs and some manage to cross categories. Some offer knowing advice, others observations and jokes. The best are those that are open, honest and wise, not preachy or sentimental.
A new Jewish mother is emerging in the 21st century among women who have learned the lessons of their mothers and grandmothers, yet are carving out territory of their own -- in many different versions.
When people talk about the Jewish mother stereotype, they're usually referring to the American Ashkenazi Jewish mother stereotype. But what about Jewish mothers from different cultures and countries?
Jewish mothers from Italy, Belgium, and Russia.