All She Wrote

01/07/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

‘What about an Israeli pen pal?” my daughter Talia asks. She waits expectantly, smiling a wary smile, hoping that this time I won’t wince.  In a quest to fulfill a bat mitzvah requirement, she’s floated idea after idea in recent weeks — from eliminating illegal smoking in Central Park to purchasing projectors for underfunded schools — and I’ve torpedoed them all. Later, I suggest minor adjustments to her proposals, but she’s no longer interested. Not even a bit.  

12/17/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

On stage, Ofir Ben-Shitrit is in her element — her voice, rich and soulful; her entire being infused with song. But off stage, it was her personal story, as much as her singing, that captivated the Israeli public last winter.

11/12/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

I am not a morning person. When the alarm sounds, I roll toward my husband, attempting to hold him there, hostage to the world of sleep, hoping we can linger on in the realm of delicious dreams for a few minutes more. And yet, at least one weekday morning each week, I rise early and depart for synagogue.

10/09/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

Unless you’ve been living overseas, or under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the rare coincidence this autumn of Thanksgiving and Chanukah, and of creative ideas to celebrate it —  sweet potato latkes; donuts filled with cranberry jelly or pumpkin cream; and, of course, “Menurkeys,” ceramic turkeys whose feathers hold Chanukah candles (the brainchild of our friend’s 9-year-old son, Asher Weintraub).

08/06/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

Stories of Jewish women trapped in dead-end marriages, held hostage by embittered husbands, always disturb me. Jewish law assigns the man the exclusive right to confer a divorce, and some men abuse that power, vengefully refusing to release unhappy spouses from the bonds of matrimony.

07/09/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | All She Wrote

Like many women in midlife, Joy Ladin tenses up as she approaches a mirror. But upon seeing her reflection — a bob of wavy hair, a long skirt, a bold necklace — Joy feels grateful. For more than four decades, Joy lived as Jay, a woman trapped in a man’s body, a woman wearing a beard, a woman who could never don a dress without repercussions, a woman who was so distanced from her body that she felt “far away, or far below, or somewhere within,” the loving family with whom she lived. During these years, a fleeting glance at her face would traumatize her.