Elicia Brown

Struggling To ‘Get’ Out Of Unhappy Marriages

For agunot, the wedding is the easy part; it’s the divorce that’s a Herculean challenge.

Staff Writer
06/16/2010

 When Sharon thinks back to her wedding night, she remembers how the lights of Jerusalem enveloped her, how she adored her groom, and also this: a kiss. After Sharon removed her deck tichel, the opaque cloth that fervently Orthodox brides wear to hide their faces, her new-mother-in-law grabbed her, planted a kiss on her cheek and whispered, “You’re part of the family now.”

Benefit Of Doubt

06/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

I am savoring an unusual moment of calm amid the morning rush, when my daughter Talia startles me: “Next year I want to go to a Hebrew school where I can keep up my Hebrew.”

I roll my eyes toward my husband. Her pronouncement comes a few hours before the end-of-year party at her afterschool Jewish program — a program I consider to be one of the best-kept secrets of the Hebrew school world.

Bye Bye Boobies

05/11/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

When the going gets tough, DJ Jensen throws parties.

And so, on the eve of DJ’s prophylactic double mastectomy to ward off breast cancer last year, she could be found grinning in a room festooned with padded bras and balloon bouquets, savoring a breast-shaped red velvet cake, surrounded by women she loved. Like the guests, DJ wore pink. Her T-shirt read, “Shh. Don’t Say Anything. They Don’t Know Yet.”

Unplugged Lessons

04/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

‘It’s not my thing,” my daughter Talia, who just turned 8, politely informed me on more than one Saturday this winter, when I tried to lure her to synagogue with promises of alone time with me, and the opportunity to wear party clothes.

‘Rabba’ Hurwitz Mulling Retracting New Title

Tells JOFA conference that controversial title may be hindrance; her shul now reviewing the situation.

03/18/2010

 

 
Sara Hurwitz, the woman of the hour at this year’s international conference of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA), revealed here on Sunday that she is considering relinquishing her controversial and unique new title of “rabba.”
 

 Rabba Sara Hurwitz.

Enchanted Evening

Special To The Jewish Week
03/17/2010

 On a night that is different from all others, I’ve been known to hop like a frog, pitch a tent in the living room, and whack relatives in the rear with a bunch of leeks.

True, these ploys don’t completely aid in re-experiencing the Exodus at our seders, or understanding the lives of slaves (though we do, of course, also journey through the Haggadah). 
 

A collection of plush and plastic frogs helps bring the Ten Plagues alive. Elicia Brown

Is It Really Kosher?

Staff Writer
03/17/2010

 Is quinoa acceptable for Passover dining? Not everyone agrees.

The Orthodox Union doesn’t give it a green light but suggests that “individuals ask their own rabbi for guidance on home use.”

Against The Grain

Special to the Jewish Week
03/17/2010

 If you live with a vegetarian on Passover and you also happen to be allergic to nuts, the week’s meals quickly become oppressively similar. And so, when I learned that several respected kosher authorities have declared quinoa to be not only the ancient “wonder grain” of the Andes, but also fit for consumption on the holiday of Passover, I thought it time to celebrate.

Quinoa: 'wonder grain' of the Andes?

The Gene Scene

Special To The Jewish Week
05/15/2009

The cloud of breast cancer has loomed over Betsy Miller Landis her entire life. In her earliest memories, she’s playing on the floor of her mother’s hospital room. Two decades later, she lost her mother to a recurrence. Then again at 54, the age when her mother died, Landis’ thoughts returned to the disease, as she worried about apparent irregularities in herself.

Shal — Ohmmm

Special To The Jewish Week
01/30/2009

Aimee Beyda steals away for 45 minutes every morning to the quiet of her second bedroom, where she engages in an ancient practice that has transformed her life. Wrapped in a soft blanket, Beyda focuses on her inhalations and exhalations, the ebb and flow of her breath. She allows thoughts to wash over her, but not to drag her in or under.

“Meditating is like a pill. It takes the edge off things a little bit,” says Beyda. “If I’m down, I just say it’s OK. I can deal with that.”

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