Tuesday, August 11, 2020


What Would You Do?

“Ew, a Jew.”

I heard the statement through the grapevine only a few days ago, yet according to a friend I heard it a year after it was made. I remember the night at my university. I was standing on a stage and leading a game of Jeopardy for the audience. Jeopardy is a game with no discrimation in its


Denouncing Racism and Misinformation

While I am pleased to see pieces in The Jewish Link that illuminate the need for recent protests to honor Black lives, I am saddened and angered by troubling viewpoints that forsake empathy and seek to uphold racially oppressive systems, as well. Last week, I took issue with two entries, in particular: Jonathan S. Tobin’s “When US


One Woman’s Reflections on Returning to Shul in the COVID-19 Era

I was seated on an uncomfortable metal folding chair in a parking lot, directly facing the garbage dumpster, with the sun in my eyes, trying to breathe through a mask, and the humidity and heat causing my glasses to fog up so I could barely see. And then I had to wrestle with the mechitza curtains that blew over my head in the


Miscellaneous Twains VI

After a long hiatus, I ran into Mark Twain recently who was eager to share some of his thoughts on recent current events. He began by telling me how upset he felt over the coronavirus pandemic and the disruptions and loss of life it brought in its wake. He then listed several observations on how we might better withstand the changes wrought


Yair Leolam Announces Winners of Project SHINE 2.0 Contests

(Courtesy of Yair Leolam) This year, as a result of COVID-19 and the accompanying disruption and uncertainty in all our lives, we decided to shift the focus of Project Shine and created three contests dealing with the theme of “Finding the Good in Times of Crisis.” Each contest was open to two age groups, sixth to eighth and ninth to


Don’t Try It; Just Buy It

We have all become used to the many new rules and regulations that govern our daily lives. As soon as we acclimate to one thing, it usually gets changed by the next week. Nothing seems to stay the same for very long. For example, this Thursday, July 2, restaurants were going to be open for inside dining with reduced numbers of patrons. That


Conversation With an iTunes Card Scammer

Last week, a member of the PassaicJews mailing list had their email account hacked. The attacker then sent a message to everyone in the person’s address book. For many people, their address book can easily have over 5,000 entries.

That single address entry to PassaicJews actually went to over 2,700


Ringwood’s Norvin Green State Forest Offers Great Hiking

The northern section of Norvin Green State Forest is little used, yet it offers some great hiking. This 4.7-mile hike, which passes several panoramic overlooks and follows the yellow-blazed Manaticut Point Loop, which is accessed via the Manaticut Point Spur Trail. The hike should take about three-and-a half


Can I Leave My Parents and Move to Israel?

Dear Dr. Chani,

The many shifts in current events over the past year have really left me feeling unsettled. The economy seems unstable and the political situation is nerve-racking to me as well. I have always toyed with the idea of making aliyah, but I have never been ready before. Now I feel a sense of


Reflections on Sheltering in Place—I’m Back!

I’m back—back at work in homes where clients’ feel comfortable having me present with mask, gloves and proper social distancing. I’m back to being excited about my day knowing that I am making positive changes in my clients’ lives. I’m back to juggling my calendar and prioritizing my time.



‘I’m a Dreamer, but I’m Not the Only One’

A few days ago, in an historic move, the Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the popular Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Better known as “DACA,” the program was introduced under the Obama administration in 2012 to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants who arrived


Schmaltzy Schmaltz

What is the difference between schmaltz and schmaltzy?

For starters, while a mensch is, by definition, menschy, schmaltz is not necessarily schmaltzy. This is because the term “schmaltz” refers to chicken fat whereas “schmaltzy” has a different meaning. Yet the two terms, like chicken fat, have