Category Archives: February 2018

Yiddish Glory

LONG BEFORE Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” told the graphic story of revenge against the Nazis, it was the subject of Yiddish songs detailing the Soviet Jewish experience. Until recently, no one had heard these songs and they were thought to have been lost forever. In the 1940s, a team of ethnomusicologists traveled across Central Asia transcribing this piece of Yiddish ... Read More »

A Pinhole of Perspective

MY LAPTOP CLOSES around midnight once my eyelids feel heavier than the stress of graduate school. No sooner than I kiss my wife goodnight does the morning alarm startle me before the sun has risen. Despite my best efforts, this hectic schedule struggles to become an effortless routine. I quickly scramble out of bed to silence the alarm before further ... Read More »

Community Scholar

H. (YOSSI) CHAJES (Ph.D., Yale University, 1999), the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program’s 17th Annual One Month Scholar, is Associate Professor in the Department of Jewish History at the University of Haifa. His research on mystical phenomena such as spirit possessions in Jewish history and the role of diagrams in Kabbalah has garnered him honors such as Fulbright, Rothchild, ... Read More »

Milky on My Mind

THE MILKY NAME is one of the most highly recognized brand names in Israel. Over 6,000,000 Milky products are sold each month (representing almost 1 for each citizen of Israel). Not that familiar with Milky? You’re in luck. Forthwith: A Milky Primer. Milky, manufactured by the Strauss food company, is the brand name for a score of dessert puddings. The ... Read More »

Say “Ah”

A RELATIVELY TERRIFYING medical test occurred at an ungodly hour because the hospital owns one MRI scanner. In the middle of a freezing winter night, testing for potential diagnoses that one does not want to hear uttered and I went alone. My husband, a man who never goes anywhere and never has anything to do if it doesn’t involve me, ... Read More »

Offering a Hand in the #MeToo Movement

I USED TO fume when ultra-Orthodox men would refuse to shake my hand. The idea that men and women shouldn’t touch, that we are a distraction or a temptation or some other nonsense angered me to my core. But, being a woman, I have been socialized to accommodate. I learned to laugh it off, telling myself that I shouldn’t take ... Read More »

No Need to Get So Touchy

FIRST, A WORD about Harvey Weinstein, Leon Wieseltier, and their ilk.   They are pigs, and I have written about them and their indiscretions amply in the pages of The American Spectator, the online magazine where I publish political commentary regularly. Because the Rabbis of the Talmud wrote and taught during an era preceding Political Correctness, they dealt with the real ... Read More »

Susie Essman, Unscripted Women’s VOICES

SUSAN ESSMAN IS an American stand-up comedian, actress, writer and television producer, best known for her role as Susie Greene on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and as the voice of Mittens in “Bolt.” A comics’ comic, she spent the better part of two decades honing her craft in New York City comedy clubs. There, her colleagues and friends included Chris Rock, ... Read More »


My grandchildren, ages 3 and 4, were at my house and heard someone use the word party pooper. If you have any experience with preschoolers, you know that this is the best word ever. It is a legitimate word, you can use it to describe people, and it contains the word “poop.” Fifteen minutes of laughter, teasing each other and ... Read More »

Gefilte Fish, Latkes &Tongue, Oh My!

Many of my fondest childhood memories of the ‘60s and ‘70s involve my grandmother’s food. Visiting my Nana, aunt, uncle and cousins meant eating foods we didn’t have at home and stuffing ourselves silly with chopped liver, chicken soup and melt -in-your-mouth kosher meat. When “The Ed Sullivan Show” ended, we’d always leave with some of Nana’s homemade rugelach, though ... Read More »

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