Strangers don’t often interact on New York’s streets. Yet, this election season, I am often stopped and asked about my political lapel button. (As a collector of this Jewish ephemera since the 1960s, I have approximately 3,000 unique items dating to the early 1900s.)
Generally, I have found that while college students and 30-somethings wear lapel buttons for many causes year-round, older adults tend to do so only in election seasons. It is not surprising, then, that political parties and commercial button makers design buttons to attract the votes of American Jews.
I’ve converted several times. See, I was born in Pittsburgh and spent my early years rooting for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Before I was 8, I had already experienced the thrill of victory: a 3000th hit, a brand-new stadium, and a seventh-game World Series victory in 1971. Life couldn’t get any better than that.
Then, I experienced my saddest moment in baseball, when I woke up on New Year’s Day, 1972, to learn that my childhood hero, Roberto Clemente, had died in a plane crash the night before. I cried all day.
Soon afterward, my family moved to Cleveland, and I started rooting...Read More
Unseasonable weather across the globe confounds our sense of season-change, yet the Torah-cycle presses a definitive restart to another Jewish year. It’s Genesis all over again. A well-ordered, epic narrative re-creates heaven and earth before our eyes.
In the beginning God created the heavens that actually are not...Read More
As a Jewish woman living in rural Maine, periodic trips to Manhattan's Lower East Side are as restorative to my soul as a bowl of matzah ball soup. On a visit in October, to fill a chilled, rainy hour waiting for a table to open up at Russ & Daughters Cafe, I joined several family members for an impromptu visit to the Tenement Museum, located just across the street.
The Tenement Museum opened 20 years ago with the purchase of an unrestored...Read More
Although I never thought I would greet the Sabbath Bride on an aircraft carrier, on a muggy August evening in 2013, there I stood on a raised platform in front of some 1000 people on the Intrepid. (Thankfully, she was anchored sturdily in New York Harbor.) To my left were historic jet planes; to my right, the City’s familiar skyline. My 1960s-era chaplain’s kit was positioned on a card table as the Aron HaKodesh (Holy Ark).
As a past international president of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), the Jewish fraternity, an ordained alumnus of the Reform...Read More