20Mar, 2020

One Important, Mindful, Calming and Life-Affirming Thing You Can Do During this Challenging COVID-19 Pandemic: Keep a Record

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War time diary of 12-year-old Sheila Cohen, living in London, 1940 (Jewish Museum, London - I took this photo in December 2018) Be sure to keep a diary of these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic! It doesn't have to be a diary like the one pictured above, kept by 12-year-old Sheila Cohen during World War II in [...]

13Mar, 2020

Keep Calm and Carry On – That’s All I Can Say at the Moment

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"May you live in interesting times" is purported to be a Chinese curse but it actually isn't. Nevertheless we currently live in interesting times, and it does feel like a curse. Apparently this saying can be traced back to the British diplomatic corps, which also fits because the best directive for this time of the coronavirus pandemic is the famous [...]

6Mar, 2020

A Favorite Recipe for the Jewish Holiday of Purim: Chocolate-Poppy Seed-Filled Hamantashen

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It's the time of year again! The Jewish holiday of Purim is around the corner. I have shared why it took me a while to get into giving Mishloach Manot for Purim, a custom that first struck me as rather odd. How I got into that is captured in my Kveller article Why Jews Need This Silly Purim Tradition. Baking [...]

14Feb, 2020

How to Get Started Writing your Family History in an Engaging Way

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The pile of letters Donna's father sent to his sister in Chicago while he was stationed in India during WWII, including the silk he sent her to make herself a dress. Welcome to installment two of my advice column where I answer readers' questions about writing compelling stories from family history: Donna, who lives in Israel, asks: "I [...]

31Jan, 2020

The Three Toughest Challenges in Writing Compelling Stories from Family History and Other Insights

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My ever handsome friend Larry Palmer (on the left) with his niece and younger brother. I'm very proud that his excellent family memoir Scholarship Boy is coming out in May because I saw its beginnings when I served as a teaching assistant at the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop in 2013. Barbara Krasner from The Whole Megillah recently interviewed [...]

24Jan, 2020

10 Unusual Prompts to Help You Start Writing Your Family History

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If you want to write your family history and are floundering with where to start, look no further! Sign up here to receive my booklet 10 Unusual Prompts to Start Writing Your Family History! I promise you will get something down on paper if you follow at least one of these prompts. Chances are, you'll end up with a lot [...]

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