A Thorough Shellac[h]ing: On Perspective, Parsha, and Peaches

When the Democrats lost control of the House in 2010, then President Obama humbly took responsibility and claimed to have learned a lesson. In a November 3rd press conference, he shared: “I’m not recommending for every future President that they take a shellacking like they — like I did last night. I’m sure there are …

Call ‘Em Like You Siyum: How the Orthodox Jews Get Learning Right

Netflix’ Operation Varsity Blues is ranked #3 in America this week. And like most of you I assume, I watched the story of privilege, greed, and deception unfold with a heavy heart, a dropped jaw, and a dash of nausea. As a veteran educator who is also the mother of a college student, I couldn’t …

Paradigm Shift: With a Twist of Liminality

If last week’s siege of the U.S. Capitol building underscored anything, it’s that America, like us all, exists in fluidity, spiral, and cycle. America speaks her own ambiguities and complexities. And we are to listen. We are to listen to her urging. We are to be about the questions while too many are merely about the answers. …

One Epic Game of Mancala: Teaching in the Age of COVID-19

My husband and I just had an argument while putting air in the tires of our bike. Yes, that happened. Our daughter explained we have been around each other non-stop for too long. She may be right… or maybe my husband was simply in the wrong. Either way, our family — like yours, I’m assuming …

Hold Me Closer, Tiny Stanza: Why Poetry is Essential for Anti-Racism

Full disclosure — my school received a D+ for Diversity on the California Niche high school rankings. Our entire student body is Jewish. While at first I chuckled at that score, I do actually take issue with it. Even at a modern Orthodox all girls day school, diversity exists beyond just being Ashkenazi or Sephardic, …

The Ostrich in the Mirror: And Other Epiphanies from the Quarantine

One of the most talented people I know just posted a video of himself singing a classic song from my childhood — “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.” A standard in my own father’s repertoire (second only to “On Top of Old Smokey” if I’m being honest), these sudden lyrics caused me a …

We are All Just Waiting: In Line at Walgreens

This Christmas Eve I found myself bereft of those famous tidings of comfort and joy and instead found myself fit to be tied. I was waiting in line at the Walgreens Photo Counter on the corner of Pico and Robertson. To make matters worse, I was picking up three Brockhampton posters I had ordered for …

Say Yes to the Righteous[dr]ess

This summer my very SoCal teenage daughter had quite the “what do I wear?” dilemma — only it wasn’t the typical which-shorts-go-best-with-my-halter-top. She was hired to babysit for several my orthodox Jewish colleagues, and she didn’t own any appropriately modest clothing. (Side note: I cannot say I did not enjoy, even perhaps relish, her conundrum.) …

L’Chaim, Sir Isaac Newton!

My father’s favorite refrain during my childhood was “Action and reaction!” Typically this wisdom would come after my brothers broke another household fixture while wrestling each other from room to room, or my screaming in the rear-facing seat of the family station wagon because someone took my Hubba Bubba chewing gum. “Caaaandice,” his voice unfolding …