On Passover and Daughters-in-Law

A year or two ago, the haredi magazine Yated published an article in its family section about the plight of the haredi woman in her forties. With a large number of children of different ages, she has to worry about shidduchim (match-making), teenage ups and downs, and elementary school issues. She … [Read more...]

Israeli Baby Boy’s Name Help

Free offer: I published an eBook, Cook Smart! Learn the Secrets of Your Kitchen Appliances. Today and tomorrow, it will be available for free download. If you don't have a Kindle you can get a free reader for your smartphone or PC. Reader Samantha asks for baby name help: Hi! I'd really … [Read more...]

Separate and Unequal at the Western Wall

The status of women at the Kotel (Western Wall) is in the news. You may have heard of The Women of the Wall, a group that meets monthly to pray together at the Kotel. Some members have been arrested for wearing prayer shawls. The controversy centers around whether these women are simply observing … [Read more...]

Fighting City Hall: Get Services for Your Special-Needs Child

A  friend is trying to help an immigrant family access services for a special-needs child. She asked me for ideas, so I called my neighbor who used to work within the special education system. My neighbor's tips were so helpful that I asked for permission to publish them.  She agreed and even … [Read more...]

The Orlah Man

Tu Beshevat children's craft figure made of fruit

My daughter made this figure in honor of Tu BiShvat, the holiday known in the Mishnah as the New Year of the Trees. The teacher said it wasn't for eating, but because my daughter stayed home from school with a fever we will enjoy it for our Shabbat dessert. According to the Talmud, the majority … [Read more...]

“Jerusalem is Full of Frechot”

In my last post, I wrote about the techniques used by a charedi Jerusalem school to discourage sephardic girls from applying. But subtle discrimination against sephardim (Jews with family origins in Moslem countries) occurs in all sectors. A friend of mine is looking for a junior high school for … [Read more...]

School Requires Students to Pray with Ashkenazi Accent

The radio reported yesterday morning that a Beit Yaakov high school in Jerusalem was requiring future students to sign a form confirming that they will pray with an Ashkenazi accent. Walla has a report on the story. Here are a few of the questions and conditions listed: Preference is given to … [Read more...]

Ten Books I Loved in 2012

Inspired by Nina Badzin, I'm sharing the books I most enjoyed in 2012. Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, by Barbara Demick. Demick tells the story of 6 North Korean refugees who escaped to South Korea. One woman, a doctor who completely accepted the government's propaganda, changed … [Read more...]

Should Orthodox Girls Get Vaccinated against HPV?

Human papilloma virus, or HPV, is spread by sexual contact. The body's immune system usually eliminates the virus, which can cause genital warts and rare cancers in men and women, as well as cervical cancer in women. A new vaccine on the market, sold as Gardasil or Cervarix, protects against some … [Read more...]

Israeli Baby Name Queries: December 2012

Baby in blue sleeping peacefully

I get a lot of inquiries about Hebrew and Israeli baby names. There are lots of lists on the internet, but they don't give you the context you need to make a wise decision. Here are a few recent questions: Adam: Need Help with name for boy named after Saba Shmuel ( we don't like Shmuel or … [Read more...]