Category Archives : Award-winning columns

What shuls can learn from shoes

I purchased a pair of boots from, the online retailer, but they just weren’t right. I wanted to return them, but I also wanted to check out another pair of boots. Complicating what could have been a straightforward exchange was that I had initially paid through Paypal, which charged my American Express card, and […]

Just one minute

More than 48,000 people can’t be wrong. Can they? Apparently the International Olympic Committee (IOC) thinks so. Its president, Jacques Rogge, delivered that message in the form of a resounding “no” to Israel’s request for a minute of silence in memory of the Munich 11 at the London Olympics this summer. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister […]

Not so different, yet worlds apart 1

When I was growing up, I remember going to SMU homecoming football game against the University of Texas. We were asked to” bow our heads in the name of Jesus Christ” and offer a prayer. I didn’t like it, and I didn’t bow my head; but I also did not bat an eye. This was, […]

The canary in the coal mine

I had gone to Reuben Gittelman Hebrew Day School to give a talk to Fallon Coffield’s 8th grade social studies class. I spoke about my career in newspapers and magazines, gave a short overview of how you structure a news story and then let the students interview one another, write a lead for a profile […]

When every breath counts

Corey Gradin needs new lungs. It’s not the usual thing to find on a 14-year-old’s wish list, but through the genetic luck of the draw, this is Corey’s lot. I only became acquainted with Corey recently, through Facebook, then email. She is funny and opinionated and writes like someone wise beyond her years. She shares […]

These five days

This September, on the second day of Sukkot, JCC Rockland did something it had never done before. It opened for business. The way in which it did business was qualitatively different than a normal weekday. No money changed hands. The Fit Café was closed. The vending machines didn’t operate. There were no art programs, classes […]


I walked into the conference late, during a lunch session. A rabbi was speaking to an audience about his human rights work and how he disseminates it via blogging. The crowd, Jewish newspaper and magazine types, were someplace else, however. Yes, they were in the room. But all of them were engaged in some other […]

Rain at the proper season

My son Facebooked his cousin, Annie, a day before Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas coast to find out how it was affecting her and her family. He was excited in that way the weather announcer gets when a big storm is brewing. He sensed something big was about to happen. Annie, the child of […]

The price of return

In the middle of the summer, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser came home. They did not return to Israel in triumph. They came home in two black boxes. For two years, Jews everywhere had prayed for their return. They prayed and wished and hoped. Some added the names of other Israeli soldiers taken over time. […]

Memories of my father

Last Father’s Day I had a dad. This Father’s Day, I have memories. And I’ve been sorting through them ever since he died in January. My husband warned me that in morning minyan they might ask me to share some thoughts about my dad. Fortunately, this only happens on the yahrtzeit, which is seven months […]