First Person

03/18/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I’m proud that both my children have a serious appreciation for Classic Rock, one of a select few testaments that I brought them up right. My 20-year-old son’s bedroom walls are adorned with memorabilia of years gone by, my favorite being a hand-sketched reproduction of Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia performing together.  My 16-year-old daughter, while equally enthusiastic, has designated her walls mostly to her own creations, all of which — in my unbiased opinion — are quite impressive.

02/18/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

It’s Friday evening. The sun has set and the streets are empty. “We’re not in Kansas anymore,” Judah, one of my students, mentions.

01/28/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

It snowed something fierce on the night we closed on our home.  My mind, distracted by the weather, quickly leapt from talk of escrow to the fact that we did not own a shovel. I also thought of the future, when our sons, then all under 5, would set up homes of their own and leave us behind with echoes of their childhood in these halls.

01/14/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I was watching my children chase fireflies when the siren from a local New Jersey firehouse put my body on full alert. The plaintive wail, eerily reminiscent of a siren’s call from another time and place, seemed to emanate from the heavens, rising and falling. I closed my eyes and let the sounds transport me back to a cold Jerusalem night when sirens signaled existential threats and fears of poisonous gas, not emergency calls to the volunteer fire department.

12/10/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

After I park my car and head to my desk at work, I always pass by the same six or seven parking garage attendants and security guards. I smile warmly at each of them and offer a simple hello, sometimes stopping to ask about their morning, and continue on my way. Initially, some looked startled at my greetings — most New Yorkers are instantly wary of affability, since it usually precedes an attempt to sell something — but now they all return my smile, sometimes even beating me to it. These brief exchanges never take more than a minute or two, and it makes for a better start to my day.

11/26/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Butter, flour, vanilla, powdered sugar and chopped walnuts. Add to the mix my time, patience and delusions of grandeur as a pastry chef. Even I, a culinary flunky, can bake my way into dessert bliss with this surefire recipe.