All She Wrote

05/08/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

Almost two years ago, a woman who is dear to me announced she would undergo prophylactic surgery. Her decision to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes was painstaking; as a mother of young children, she didn’t relish the thought of slipping into early menopause, never mind the physical stress of surgery or disruption of her family life. Yet I felt mostly relief.

04/10/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

It began as the typical nightmare of so many parents, but concluded with an unsettling twist: Danny, age 3, had made his way through the door, down to the building’s lobby and out onto the lively sidewalks of Manhattan. By the time Hannah Brown found her son, in a shop near her Upper West Side building, she was beside herself. But Danny? He registered no concern.

03/06/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

I’m not an Orthodox Jew. 

I say this because every once in a while, after I publish an article or column, I receive indignant e-mails denouncing my behavior or thoughts because they don’t align with traditional Judaism. I say this because my February column on modest dress for “tweens” elicited several such letters, including one from a single male writer who was “dismayed by my ignorance,” and also “sad,” about the way my children are being raised.

02/07/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

My son Joel, age 7, and my daughter Talia, almost 10, lean on my shoulders, staring at the computer screen in disbelief. Here was something that didn’t fit their notion of the world. Grown men spitting? At a child? Because her long skirts weren’t long enough? A sincere and sweet boy, Joel wondered if these men, these ultra-Orthodox lunatics of Beit Shemesh, in Israel, had ever read the Torah.

That was last month.

01/10/2012 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

I can’t think of the summer of 1985 without wincing. Being 16 and shy, with the kind of fine hair that went limp in dry desert heat, and with only one (miserable) month of overnight camp as my experience away from home, I wasn’t bound to enjoy every moment of a six-week teen tour of Israel.

12/13/2011 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

She’s not a rabbi. She has no plans to become one. She sees herself more as a teacher than a trailblazer. And yet, Adena K. Berkowitz — who at 52 is an Orthodox mother of five, a scholar of bio-ethics, a lawyer and an instructor of liturgy, to name a few of her many roles — quietly added an intriguing new hat to her collection three years ago, one that places her among a small group of pioneers: spiritual leader of an Orthodox congregation.