At the recent Special Person’s Day at my twins’ Solomon Schechter school, my mother-in-law and aunt sat down with the kids to work with them on the project of the morning: drafting the “10 Commandments” of our family. Based on their understanding that the 10 Commandments provided a rule book – a behavioral code of conduct – 11 year old Jacob and Sophie got to work:
I've written on this blog about Jewish weddings and other Jewish life cycle events that have welcomed Skype technology. The newest way to bring loved ones from far way into the simcha is through an iPad or other tablet device.
In my liberal and uber-secular extended family, there was only one figure who cared whether my sisters and I went to Hillel or dated/married Jews: Harold (Hans) Wiener, my father’s father.
Born to a large, secular German family whose members mostly managed to emigrate well before the Holocaust (he arrived in New York in 1922), Grandpa Harold, a wholesaler of men’s undergarments, never lost his German accent. He nonetheless settled comfortably into the mainstream American Jewish life of his generation: membership in a Conservative synagogue and a B’nai Brith chapter, donations to Israel Bonds and UJA, loyalty to the Democratic party and eventually retirement in Century Village, a predominantly Jewish community in West Palm Beach, Fla.
When, just months after announcing my engagement to lapsed Catholic Joe, I got my first job in Jewish journalism, at the Detroit Jewish News, I thought Grandpa Harold would be excited, that perhaps it would compensate for his disappointment about the upcoming intermarriage.
When I first logged on to Facebook in 2004 none of my real life friends had accounts yet. At that stage in the social networking site's development, a Facebook account was only for university students (or at least anyone with a university email account). I was working at a campus Hillel and my .edu email address gave me access to Facebook so I could interface with the Jewish students on campus.