First Person

08/13/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I’d known Joel since I was 14, when we bonded over golf, skiing and baseball. Over the years while he was married to my sister, our relationship ebbed and flowed, as is often the case with brothers-in-law. Since their divorce I ran into him once at a local golf course where I ended up playing with him, and saw him once again at my niece’s wedding. 

07/16/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Driving through the California farmland near my home, I was listening closely to an interview on National Public Radio with Michael Pollan. He’s a hero in these parts, and I was really surprised to hear him say that he’s had to eat restaurant food while on tour for his new book, “Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.”

06/18/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I am the eldest of four siblings. I was 10 when my Grampa died.  Larry was 8; Eddie was 4 and Ronnie was not yet born. So I am the one who carries the memories, of which I have only two, and those are more impressionistic than they are specific.

05/28/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I’ve never been one to hide our son Ben’s diagnosis. I’ve always spoken openly about the difficulties that Asperger’s can create for him as he navigates a world rife with bumps at every turn. But what I did conceal for many years was the pain I felt — the sometimes-oppressive nature that an autism diagnosis can foist upon all the members of a family. The isolation. The depression.

I hid behind my work. I hid behind the tasks I had been called to do when I was ordained as a rabbi. I shielded my son from much of the public aspect that comes with being the child of a congregational rabbi. I shielded my California congregation from seeing the sometimes-ugly aspects of a complicated and misunderstood disorder.

05/21/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I live on the tiny island of Okinawa, Japan, but it often feels like much of my life is still taking place in the States. I have worked hard to create a life for myself in Okinawa, but — even after living there for almost 18 months — it’s still sometimes surprising to me how little I have in common with the majority of military spouses.

05/14/2013 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

In the beginning, I counted.

Ten fingers. Ten toes.

I ticked off the days until each bris, full of gratitude for the child in my arms, then tallied baby teeth and first words.