8 tips for working with your child’s educator

It’s already August, which means back to school is coming soon! This fall will mark my 11th year as an educator. I have held the role of high school teacher, guidance counselor, and dean. Over my 11 years, I have dealt with all kinds of parents and students from the extremely kind and polite to downright nasty. Here are a few tips to help make the most of the complicated relationship with your child’s teachers, administrators and school staff. Continue Reading

Changing the Jewish narrative: What’s your story?

On a cool evening last September, I sat in the sanctuary at Temple Israel waiting for Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman to begin her sermon. The holiness of Rosh Hashanah filled the room. I grabbed the edges of my tallit to shrug it up onto my shoulders, and exposed the misspelled Hebrew tattoo on my wrist. To my left sat a lesbian couple. Just in front of us, a young boy wore a kipah with a Twins logo embroidered on the back. His grandfather wore no head-covering at all. He leaned into his mother’s shoulder and she pressed her cheek to the top of his head. Continue Reading

Not in my name: A call to American Jewish organizations during Operation Protective Edge

I am one of those millennial Jews who actually loved institutional Judaism growing up. I loved my synagogue, I loved my Hebrew school, and in fact, I am a 23-year old single woman from the Twin Cities currently exploring synagogue options in Washington, DC. Most people reading this probably understand that most Jews in their 20s and 30s without families don’t often place synagogue life at the top of their Jewish or social life, but I love the feeling of belonging, membership and lifecycle events that institutional Judaism provides. Continue Reading

Gratitude for America on the 4th of July

The Fourth of July used to mean a BBQ with friends, then fireworks later in the night (if I could stand the Minnesota mosquitos). Some time in the past few years, however, my husband Bryan has taken over the way we celebrate so that we can teach our kids how grateful we are to live freely as Jews in this country. It’s not that we don’t feel that gratitude during other times of the year, but the Fourth of July is the most natural time to express it. Continue Reading

A letter to all the dads

To all the Dads:

Thank you! I always knew that being a dad was quite an undertaking, but it wasn’t until Dave and I had Nava that I realized what a demanding job fatherhood truly is (and we are only 10 months in!) Of course, I am confident that I gave my dad a run for his money on occasion, but I did not have a full appreciation of what my dad gave me until Dave and I became parents. What better way to honor you than by dedicating an entire day to showering you with appreciation and love? With that, some specific characteristics that you bring to the table for which I am grateful: Continue Reading

The Artists’ Lab: Finding Judaism through art

A trend has developed in recent years within Jewish communities of artist salons – a way to bring artists together to make art specifically through a Jewish lens. With the help of a grant from the Covenant Foundation a Jewish artist salon sprouted in the Twin Cities, as well as nearby cities of Milwaukee and Madison. The Artists’ Lab is an initiative of Sabes JCC interrelating art and Jewish text. Bringing together 25 local artists plus an artist-in-residence, the Lab is an exploration of Judaism through an artistic perspective. Continue Reading

Here’s what I know about parenthood…

My path to parenthood was a stressful one. Infertility is a cruel beast. It seems that I spent my whole adult life trying not to get pregnant, and now that I wanted to, I couldn’t. After years of trying, which gets old very quickly, and doctors, and test, and appointments, and hopes dashed, and guilt setting in, I was finally pregnant! With twins! Continue Reading