First Person

02/17/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

It was, at first glance, a scene out of a Yiddish folktale, transposed from the Old World shtetl to modern-day Zagreb. There were rabbis and healers, plot twists and turns, a small miracle, even the requisite chickens. And just when I thought it would remain a vision from the pages of my imagination, the pictures that flashed on my iPhone confirmed it was real. 

02/10/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

I wear a necklace with a hand-shaped charm that’s called a hamsa as a point of Jewish pride. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris in January, I was asked at a gathering in Manhattan if I wore it because I was Muslim. 

01/27/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

We will soon be celebrating Tu b’Shvat, the day that marks the new year for trees, and while it is cold and grim in New York, the plant world is awakening in Israel and the agricultural year is coming to life. Think of it as the beginning of the magic that leads to the harvest festival of Sukkot.

01/13/2015 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Birmingham, Ala. — On Thanksgiving at my son’s house, I found myself at the end of a long dinner table, some in-town family members on my left. They were chatting about college football, especially the Alabama-Auburn game that would be played two nights later.

12/15/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Halloween was the furthest thing from my mind when I scheduled an appointment with the banjo repair guy for Oct. 31. As usual in our observant Jewish neighborhood, there was not a pumpkin or goblin in sight when the day arrived. No costumed revelers rang our bell in search of treats. But of course, I knew. 

12/11/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | First Person

Halloween was the furthest thing from my mind when I scheduled an appointment with the banjo repair guy for Oct. 31. As usual in our observant Jewish neighborhood, there was not a pumpkin or goblin in sight when the day arrived. No costumed revelers rang our bell in search of treats. But of course, I knew.