15Jan

A Complicated But Hopeful Jewish New Media Summit

It was the first night of the Jewish New Media Summit in Jerusalem. I had been invited as one of 160 journalists and bloggers from around the world to attend a three-day event hosted by the Israel Government Press Office for an up close and personal look at issues impacting Israel and the Diaspora. As both an American writer and liberal Jew, I was both anxious and curious to attend this Israeli Government sponsored event.  Courtesy of Israel Government Press Office When I received the invitation last fall, I was pleased to be recognized as an Read More

05Jun

What If Planned Parenthood Didn’t Exist?

callyoursenator

Watch the above video. Filmed by Joss Whedon in support of Planned Parenthood. UNLOCKED highlights the vital role Planned Parenthood health centers play in the lives of millions of women in communities nationwide. This video follows three different women through critical moments in their lives—and brings to the forefront what the world would look like if attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood succeed. Most likely you will relate to one. I have a few personal stories about Planned Parenthood. I grew up understanding its significance from a very Read More

30May

The Power of Girl Power Movie Parties

When I was younger, I loved watching classic movies with my mom. Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Vivien Leigh, and Ingrid Bergman were just a few of some of the actresses that I looked up to. I watched movies where they played women defying odds, wearing the pants in a relationship, while leaning on each other for support. They weren’t afraid to make things happen and they showed me the value of determination and courage. They were fearless; they were feisty; they defined  the meaning of badass as well as girl power. Flash forward Read More

06Apr

Review: “Gifted” Movie Teaches Girls About Breaking Barriers

Gifted_film_poster

The movie "Gifted," coming to theaters nationwide this Friday has a lot going for it. For one thing, it delves into the issue of having a gifted child and asks important questions: Do you keep these children in a regular school, surrounded by a variety of types of children and let them be ordinary kids? Or do you put them in a setting where their skills are nurtured so that they can prepare for an extraordinary life and career? The movie also features a great cast, has a lot of humor and offers several tear-jerking moments. Chris Evans plays Frank, a Read More

22Mar

The Zookeeper’s Wife, a Holocaust Film that Celebrates Light

zookeeperswife

Last week I screened The Zookeeper's Wife, a Holocaust-themed film directed by Niki Caro. The Holocaust is a very personal issue for me. My feelings have very deep roots, stemming back to my childhood and it often fuels my writing. I've interviewed survivors, written about my recent visits to concentration camps, talked about why my being a mother makes the connection even deeper, and why we must #NeverForget. I also gravitate towards Holocaust films and review them as often as possible. Holocaust films are not easy to make and I've watched my share Read More

14Mar

Travel Items That Keep Me Sane

HB60V-A_Charge copy

I travel a lot, and I often get asked how I do it, how I keep up with life back home, how I stay sane. Here's a quick list that I take with me every time, whether I'm traveling with the kids or not. FitBit - This doesn't really need much introduction as it's so popular these days. It helps me track my heart rate, steps and encourages me to walk and climb stairs. A definite exercise motivator. Airport Express - Apple's Airport Express functions as a wireless base station in its own right. Just plug that Ethernet cable into the box and the box Read More

01Mar

Where You Can Find Me

Where I’ve Been

  Well, I've gone quiet again. It has been two weeks since my last post. I must admit that since 11/8, my heart is in other places and I've become quite the activist. Between work, graduate school and my advocacy work (for refugees in particular), I am up to my ears but I am still the Culture Mom! I'm still going to shows, traveling on assignment (London, Boston, Washington, DC, and Orlando, Florida most recently - yep, Disney!), reading (currently A Man Called Ove), seeing films (most recently Moonlight and LaLa Land - twice for each and two Read More

09Nov

Gutted

Today my heart is broken and I feel compelled to write about it here. I've been rather quiet as of late, but for a very good reason: I'm traveling with my mother to fulfill one of her life-long dreams to see Eastern Europe. We started in Poland, moved onto the Czech Republic and are now making our way to Budapest. Her grandparents came from Poland in the early 1900s and she has always wanted to visit. I had some work on this side of the world, so she came along for the ride, quite literally, as she has been a part of my experience every step of the Read More

21Oct

My Latest on Medium: The Anti-Semitic Wrath that Exists on Twitter

twitter

I am not new to Anti-Semitism. However, as a Jewish writer and avid user of social media, the recent outbreak of blatant Anti-Semitism on Twitter has taken my experience to a whole new level. Having woken up to images of swastikas and concentration camps, as well as being called vile names like “kike” and “dirty Jew” earlier this week, I fear that the recent Presidential campaign has provoked voters and has given them the view that Twitter is a forum to target their abusive and racist messaging. I grew up in Georgia. I was always one of five Read More

14Jul

My Netflix Summer Viewing

pousseyorangeisthenewblack

Oh, how I adore my Netflix. And I'm not the only one. My 13 year old daughter is obsessed with Grey's Anatomy and must be suffering severe withdrawals while at sleep-away camp. I already know that when she returns, I won't see her for a week as she'll plant herself in her room with an iPad to binge away. Who does she take after? Okay, possibly me. Between all my streaming shows and what I watch on TV, I'm pretty busy, in addition to work and reading, of course. I can easily turn on Netflix and find a zillion old movies I want to re-watch, but here's a Read More