A day on which a life changes forever always begins as ordinary – so ordinary that thereafter, daily life is a deliberate celebration.
Carolyn Roy-Bornstein writes about an ordinary day gone awry in her new memoir “Crash: A Mother, a Son, and the Journey from Grief to Gratitude.” In her engrossing narrative, Bornstein divides her life “into two unequal parts. A line, like a crack in the glass, which carves time and events into two: those that occurred before the crash and those that…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on October 31, 2012 at 7:52pm — No Comments
I know mothers like Diana Gold, the beautiful, narcissistic, and ultimately tragic mother at the center of Ilie Ruby’s poetic new novel, “The Salt God’s Daughter.” They’re the anti-mother—women constantly testing a child’s loyalty by threatening abandonment and demanding the unconditional love of which they themselves are incapable. Much of “The Salt God’s Daughter” is told from the point of view of Ruthie, a daughter forever trying to please a mother like Diana.
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on October 29, 2012 at 5:47pm — No Comments
My children knew to speed ahead of me the other day when I spotted a scoutmaster and his troop at a rest stop on the Massachusetts Turnpike. They knew I had been building up a head of steam about the Boy Scouts of America all weekend.
Before I tell you about Ryan Andresen, a 17 year-old boy denied his Eagle Scout award because he’s gay, we need to go back to this past summer when the Boy…Continue
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on October 29, 2012 at 5:43pm — No Comments
I am not a grandmother — yet! But my friends who are blessed with grandchildren tell me that grandparenthood is equal parts pure love and complete wonder. Some even tell me they wish they could have skipped parenting and gone straight to grandparenting. I can’t wait.
Or maybe I can.
According to an article…Continue
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on October 29, 2012 at 5:42pm — No Comments
It’s been five years since your bat mitzvah. In your bat mitzvah state of mind you read trope cues as easily as ABC’s. You teased out meaning from your Torah portion, which recorded the life and death of Sarah. And your wore a tallit or a prayer shawl you picked out in Jerusalem. If you had done any of these things at the Western Wall in Jerusalem the Israeli police might have arrested you and me, the mother who allowed you to commit such a crime.
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on October 29, 2012 at 5:39pm — No Comments
The couple that bought the swing set from us drove a Honda Civic with two car seats side by side in the back. Just like us. The little girl had a baby brother. Just like us. I remember when we went to pick out the swing set—a gift from Grandpa and Grandma who told us to get the best for Anna and Adam. And we did. Two swings, a glider, a slide, a canopy and a ladder leading up to monkey bars.…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on July 18, 2012 at 7:33am — No Comments
Dear Ms. Walker:
Please think of this letter like those notes full of wishes that people fold and fold and fold to fit into a crevice in the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. I tell you this because I just re-read The Color Purple, in all of its epistolary glory, after I learned that you wouldn’t allow the book to be translated into Hebrew.
I tell you this because letters like Celie’s—thousands of letters like hers—live in the Wall until they are swept away by…Continue
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on June 27, 2012 at 5:16am — No Comments
No one remembers graduation speeches—sometimes not even the speaker. And post-graduation advice is rarely welcomed. But I’m weighing in anyway and hope that something resonates with my graduate and yours.
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on May 31, 2012 at 7:01pm — No Comments
I met Beatrice Shapero, known universally as Bunny, 10 years ago in a preview class for Me'ah. Me'ah is an adult learning program that, in a hundred hours of classroom time, begins with Biblical history and continues through the founding of the State of Israel. It’s a two-year course of study. But if Bunny was up for it, what excuse could I possibly have not to enroll.
As it turns out, Bunny was the coolest octogenarian any of us had ever met. In fact, she was cool, period. She…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on May 12, 2012 at 8:02pm — No Comments
My colleague KJ Dell’Antonia, editor of The New York Times parenting blog Motherlode, pointed out in a recent post that there are 940 Saturdays between the time your child is born and the time she turns 18. KJ’s calculation comes from Dr. Harley Rotbart, a parent, a pediatrician and author of a wise book called No Regrets Parenting.…Continue
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on May 3, 2012 at 4:21am — No Comments
Six years ago, when I was asked to give a talk on Yom Kippur, I decided to state some of my core beliefs with the simple declarative: I believe. Among my pronouncements about family, prayer and Israel I said that:
I believe that putting women on a pedestal distracts them from the fact that they do not have full and equal access to Jewish life and ritual. And relegating them behind a divider in the synagogue is the historical equivalent of having forced…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on January 11, 2012 at 5:13pm — No Comments
Tanya Rosenblit is still stunned that she garnered international attention last month when she refused to move to the back of a public Egged Bus in Israel. She never intended to make a statement about sexism or racism in Israeli society, she said; she simply wanted to save a little time. The bus, which she boarded in her hometown of Ashdod, travels mostly through fervently Orthodox – haredi – neighborhoods. But the bus was convenient, stopping five minutes from where Rosenblit had a…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on January 4, 2012 at 6:00pm — No Comments
The last time I had driven up the hill of Hamilton Heights in West Hartford, Conn., I was a high school senior at Mount Saint Joseph Academy, steering the gigantic wheel of my father’s asthmatic ’65 Chevy Malibu.
I was in the last class to graduate from “The Mount.” That was 1978 and by then a school that once had 600 girls in grades 7- 12 had dwindled to less than 200. When I was a student there, The Mount was an ancient queen that had once been beautiful and graceful. The school…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on December 21, 2011 at 8:35pm — No Comments
How can you cheat on the SATs? I count 9,600 ways. That’s the number of investigations Ray Nicosia’s office initiated over SAT testing improprieties during the 2010- 2011 academic year. Nicosia is the director of testing integrity for the Educational Testing Service – the group that administers the SAT – and the complaints he received ranged from fire alarms randomly going off during testing to alleged impersonations of test takers.
By now you’ve probably heard about one of the…
The day Anna got her nose pierced, I spent the morning reading up on body piercing with regard to Jewish law. My daughter was about to get a small hole on the left side of her sweet nose, and I wanted to understand if she was adorning her face or mutilating it.
The rabbis historically have been divided on the issue of body piercing. Some sages liken piercing, even of the earlobes, to inflicting a wound on a body that belongs first and foremost to G-d. Others see it as an act of…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on December 7, 2011 at 6:44pm — No Comments
My daughter Anna will be entering college next fall. I’m both excited and terrified for her and her friends. Who’s to assure us parents that our children won’t encounter a campus security officer like Lieutenant John Pike of the University of California at Davis?
By now many of us have seen the picture of Lt. Pike dressed in riot gear, looking more like a parody of law enforcement as he mindlessly douses a line of innocent kids with pepper spray. He’s as nonchalant as if he…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on November 30, 2011 at 5:52pm — No Comments
“Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare Thy praise.” These past couple of weeks the rhythm of the opening words of Judaism’s central prayer – the Amidah – calling one to prayer have been in brutal, sickening harmony with testimony in the grand jury report about former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky’s alleged crimes against young boys.
Mike McQueary – then a 28-year-old graduate assistant coach at Penn State and now an assistant football coach –…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on November 16, 2011 at 5:57pm — No Comments
A couple of weeks ago an article in The New York Timescalled “The Good Divorce” caught my eye. Although it seemed like an oxymoron, two things struck me in Susan Gregory Thomas’ piece: It is hard to feel as if one is a good divorced parent. But one can try and We have concentrated not on our rancor but on our children.
I just celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary, and divorce has been on my mind. Not because I’m getting one, but because Ken and I are at a juncture where a…
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on November 9, 2011 at 7:47pm — No Comments
Added by Judy Bolton-Fasman on October 26, 2011 at 3:52pm — No Comments