11 Apr, 2017

Book Companion Post – Chapter: Haselnusstorte (or: A Flourless Hazelnut Torte for Passover)

April 11th, 2017|Tags: , , , |

  "The next time we visited her, a hazelnut torte would be waiting on her kitchen counter, glazed in glistening dark chocolate." Story and recipe on page 166 of Jumping [...]

6 Apr, 2017

In Defense of the Small Seder

April 6th, 2017|Tags: , |

  "So how many people are you having?" - For sure I am going to be asked this question today when I chat about Seder preparations with my coworkers. Read [...]

10 Mar, 2017

Purim Costumes from Home Depot

March 10th, 2017|Tags: , , |

The mermaid and the astronaut mentioned in the story... This Sunday is the Jewish holiday of Purim. I used to dread the arrival of Purim because that meant I [...]

15 Dec, 2016

Spreading Parcel Magic: Bella Grace Giveaway

December 15th, 2016|Tags: , |

  The winter issue of Bella Grace hits newsstands today, and it features an article by yours truly! Because I am so very happy about my work being in this [...]

4 Dec, 2016

8 Days of Chanukah Emails

December 4th, 2016|Tags: , |

  I've got a new little project--not that I'm lacking for work or busy-ness, but holidays happen if you want them to or not. So this year, since Chanukah is [...]

23 Nov, 2016

A Writing Exercise to Spark Real Thanksgiving Conversations

November 23rd, 2016|Tags: , |

One of my longtime memoir workshop students, David Thoele, MD, is a pediatric cardiologist, but he also serves as the Director of Narrative Medicine at Advocate Children's Hospital because he [...]

25 Jan, 2016

Happy Tu Bishvat!

January 25th, 2016|Tags: , , |

Today is the Jewish festival of Tu Bishvat, the New Year of the Trees, and in honor of this celebration that seems out of place here, my article How My Kids [...]

25 Dec, 2015

From the Christkindlmarket

December 25th, 2015|Tags: , |

From my traditional annual visit to Chicago's downtown Christkindlmarket, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate! It's been unseasonably warm here, no snow flakes and icy cold to company my sipping [...]

22 Sep, 2015

Kol Nidre

September 22nd, 2015|Tags: , |

Women praying at the Wailing WallJerusalem, August 2015 Yom Kippur begins tonight with the Kol Nidre service. My essay on Kol Nidre was published two years ago, and it still captures, probably [...]

2 Apr, 2015

Happy Passover with my German Grandmother’s Hazelnut Torte

April 2nd, 2015|Tags: , , , , |

I'm in the midst of getting ready for Passover, but I wanted to share that my grandmother's signature Torte made it to Tablet Magazine. Story and recipe here.

24 Dec, 2014

Christmas Greetings from the Hemingway Birthplace Home

December 24th, 2014|Tags: , |

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate today and tomorrow! This is my current view when I come down the stairs from my studio in the attic of the Hemingway Birthplace [...]

17 Dec, 2014

Happy Chanukah!

December 17th, 2014|Tags: , , |

Yesterday was the first night of Chanukah, quite appropriate for my family's annual visit to Chicago's Christkindlmarket downtown, thanks to Chabad Lubavitch's giant Menorah. At the Christkindlmarket we stock up [...]

27 Nov, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27th, 2014|Tags: |

Happy Thanksgiving! These fun centerpieces were made by the Kindergarteners at the school where I work. Discovering happy objects created by the kids is one of the reasons I love [...]

31 Oct, 2014

Happy Halloween

October 31st, 2014|Tags: , |

This guy spooked me for a second! I was absentmindedly walking up to the sidewalk in front of this house after parking my car, fiddling with my purse to put [...]

3 Oct, 2014

In Awe of Kol Nidre

October 3rd, 2014|Tags: , |

Stained glass window front at Chicago Loop Synagogue My essay on Kol Nidre was published a year ago, and on the eve of another Yom Kippur it is as relevant [...]

25 Sep, 2014

Wandering the Streets of Akko

September 25th, 2014|Tags: , , , |

Today is Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, so I thought I'd share another glimpse of Israel, from a day trip my daughter and I took to Akko in July. [...]

24 Apr, 2014

Joy is…

April 24th, 2014|Tags: , , |

Detail of our Passover Seder table before the festivities begin ...singing the traditional silly folk songs with my kids at the end of the Passover Seder. We have our own [...]

16 Mar, 2014

Happy Purim!

March 16th, 2014|Tags: , |

Today is the holiday of Purim when Jews make merry to celebrate the deliverance of the Jewish community in Persia in the 5th century B.C.E. by Queen Esther and her [...]

24 Dec, 2013

My Quandary with Christmas Music

December 24th, 2013|Tags: |

First of all: Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it! Secondly, my essay about my very own quandary with Christmas music, "Can a Jew Love Christmas Music?" appeared today in Tablet [...]

6 Dec, 2013

Making Do

December 6th, 2013|Tags: |

  Water spout at Andersen Gardens, Rockford, IL We had a Thanksgiving without a turkey, and not by design. As I turned on the oven to bake the pies my [...]

27 Nov, 2013

Happy Chanukah! Happy Thanksgiving!

November 27th, 2013|Tags: , |

  Walking through the preschool building at my son's school always lifts my spirits because I will come across funny and cute creations like these Menurkeys (= Menorah Turkey), created, in this [...]

13 Sep, 2013

My Ode to Kol Nidre…

September 13th, 2013|Tags: , |

Chicago Loop Synagogue Window Detail ...was published yesterday in Tablet Magazine: Kol Nidre Showed Me... Meanwhile I am looking forward Yom Kippur and am basking, just a little bit, in [...]

25 Mar, 2013

A Family Tradition: Hazelnut Torte (Kosher for Passover)

March 25th, 2013|Tags: , , |

My version of Oma's Hazelnut Torte on its very own cake stand, used only on Passover For every birthday of my childhood, there would be my German grandmother's Haselnusstorte (hazelnut [...]

19 Dec, 2012

A Childhood Window Recreated

December 19th, 2012|Tags: , , |

Recently, as I was rewriting a chapter from my memoir into the essay Giving Up Christmas that was published in Tablet Magazine, I leafed through a photo album of childhood [...]

14 Dec, 2012

At the Christkindlmarket

December 14th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

This is why we go to the Christkindlmarket in downtown Chicago every year - to visit the giant Menorah during Chanukah, and to enjoy German delicacies from our past (My [...]

11 Dec, 2012

A Menorah in Karlsruhe, Germany

December 11th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

Chanukah Menorah at the Christkindlmarkt in Karlsruhe, Germany, December 8, 2012 - photo courtesy of Juergen Schlund Today I am extra thrilled to host one of my best longtime and [...]

22 Nov, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2012|Tags: , , |

Ceramic turkey made by my daughter I was going to make a list of all the things I am thankful for, but there are simply too many, and I am, [...]

16 Sep, 2012

My Favorite Book for Rosh Hashana

September 16th, 2012|Tags: , , , |

Eric Kimmel's Gershon's Monster is my favorite book for Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, which we celebrate tonight. I wish my kids were still small enough to read picture [...]

6 Jan, 2012

Antebellum Homes in Huntsville, Alabama

January 6th, 2012|Tags: , |

This holiday season I didn't manage a photo trip to capture some of the kitschier Christmas decorations on Chicago's Southwest side as I had planned on my winter list. However, before [...]

28 Dec, 2011

A Menorah and a Wreath

December 28th, 2011|Tags: , , , |

Today is the last day of Chanukah, so it's high time I share this picture with you, taken at the Pritzker Military Library last week. The library overlooks Michigan Avenue [...]

27 Dec, 2011

Photo Essay: Christkindlmarket Chicago

December 27th, 2011|Tags: , , , , |

Even though I don't celebrate Christmas, a visit to the Christkindlmarket downtown Chicago is obligatory - mainly because I can find favorite German delicacies there that I remember from my [...]

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