First Person

Farewell, Stories

07/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

I have been a little blue lately, and it’s embarrassing to admit why. I am mourning the end of “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.”

Debra Orenstein

The Jewish Heart Of A Navy Man

06/14/2011
Jewish Week Book Critic

I was born on Father’s Day. Many times over the years, we celebrated my father’s day and my day as one. But this year is different: our day falls just after I finish saying Kaddish for my father.

Jack Brawarsky in uniform during WWII, above, and in the 1990s.

When The Danube Really Did ‘Run Red’

04/27/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

When the Hotel Astoria in Budapest opened in 1914, it imparted an aura of old-world style and tradition. Even today, the hotel evokes elegance and decorum, until you think about its more recent past.

Susan J. Gordon

Siblings And The Seder, Then And Now

04/12/2011
Special To The Jewish Week

When I think about the Passover seders of my childhood, I remember the giddy preparations: setting the table with my grandmother’s tablecloth and dishes, rolling the matzah balls and making place cards for each of the guests.

Talia R. Cohen

Birthdays As Stairway To Heaven

09/14/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

This year, she went rock climbing.

My eldest daughter, Hannah, who turned 9 at the end of August, chooses a different theme for her birthday party each year. Last year, she had a havdalah (end of Shabbat) party at our home in Harrisburg, Pa. After a scavenger hunt, 10 of her friends were invited to sleep over in the basement. At 3 a.m., with the girls still fighting and complaining, and no one getting any sleep, Hannah gave up in tears and climbed into bed with me and my wife. That was the last big sleepover party in our house.

Seeing Germany Through My Granddaughter’s Eyes

09/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

My 24-year-old granddaughter, Nira, born and raised on a moshav in southern Israel, and now studying genetics in Raleigh, N.C., has for some time been asking to accompany me and discover my “roots” in Germany. I know her well enough to appreciate that she didn’t just want a “fun” trip, and so she came with me in June on what has become my annual visit to Reinheim, my hometown in Germany south of Frankfurt, in the state of Hessen, where I am an honorary citizen.

The author with his granddaughter at ceremony in Frankfurt marking the placement of a memorial to his grandmother.

For Interfaith Couple, A Baptism Of Fire

03/11/2010
Associate Editor

Imagine opening an e-mail from your estranged husband only to discover he has, without your permission or even advance notification, had your 3-year-old Jewish daughter baptized.

First Person: Sweatpants on Shabbat

11/04/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

One Shabbat morning a few years ago I decided to skip shul and head over to a friend’s apartment for coffee. I didn’t time my visit well. Strolling along in sweatpants, I ran into one of the rabbis in my community coming home from shul with his family. I was mortified. While he could not have been any friendlier and wished me a good Shabbos, I was embarrassed to be seen in non-Shabbat-like clothing during peak Shabbat hours.

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