Earlier in my career, I wrote so many articles about neglected cemeteries, Jewish funeral homes and Jewish burial societies that my editor joked I was the “dead”-beat reporter.
For years, I’ve followed the plight of Bayside Cemetery, a more- than-150-year-old Jewish burial ground in Ozone Park, Queens, that has been vandalized and inadequately maintained for decades and is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit.
Friday was Multicultural Day, arguably the biggest annual event at my daughter Ellie’s school, and her first grade classroom became a swirl of saris, sombreros, tunics and caftans.
After the children performed African and European dances, and a Cuban song they’d learned, the kids who speak other languages at home demonstrated how to count to 10 in them: that included Spanish, of course, but also Russian, Nepali and about four different languages from the Indian subcontinent.
I know as much about hip-hop (or for that matter, any music produced more recently than, say, 1990) as I do about sports, which is to say virtually nothing. Nonetheless, the 23-year-old former TV star (Canada’s “Degrassi: The Next Generation) sounds like an interesting personality, and his Jewish story is fascinating.
This week my almost 7-year-old daughter, Ellie –— eager to keep up with her friend who is having a Greek mythology-themed birthday party — decided she wants to have an Israel-themed birthday party.
Now I am not generally one for themed parties, mostly because of my utter lack of arts-and-crafts skills and my overall preference, as a busy mom, to eliminate unnecessarily time-consuming activities from my life.
The whole situation reminds me of that scene in “The Godfather” when Sonny Corleone impulsively drives off to beat up his wife-battering brother-in-law, only to be ambushed at a tollbooth by the rival family that has set him up.
Last night I went to the tribute dinner for an organization with even more of a mouthful of an acronym name than most Jewish groups: BJENY-SAJES.
The initials stand for the Board of Jewish Education of New York-Suffolk Association for Jewish Education Services.
Without my super-duper investigative reporting skills and high-placed contacts, I actually might not have known what SAJES’ initials stood for, since it’s not on the Web site or any of the official materials.
I’ve been a very bad blogger recently (a whole week without posting), but a very good Jew: in the past 10 days, I’ve gone to services at three congregations, and attended a Storahtelling event. Plus, this Saturday morning I’ll be in shul (a fourth one!) yet again, for my niece’s bat mitzvah.
Those who pray three times a day, or are at least weekly shul-goers, may laugh at such modest accomplishments. Indeed, I’m sure someone will send me a nasty e-mail or post a comment saying this (along with being intermarried) is further evidence of my moral laxity. Nonetheless, for me, four synagogues in two weeks — not during the High Holidays — is something of a record.