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


A Visit to Israel with a Loving But Conflicted Heart


“But doubts and loves dig up the world like a mole, a plough. And a whisper will be heard in the place where the ruined house once stood.” These are words from Israeli poet Yehudah Amichai’s poem, “The Place Where We Are Right.” Interpretations of poems can vary, but for me, this piece refers to a difference in opinion about a place that you love but can’t quite vocalize both out of fear and out of love. I have felt this type of conflict several times in the past year on two very different types of trips. A year ago, I visited Read More


Living Out Loud in Israel

"Greatness is not what happens to you. Greatness is who you are in the face of what happens to you." - Adrienne Gold Davis This was one of the first things I heard on my recent trip to Israel with Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and it really resonated with me. With this inaugural trip for a group of what was coined "media magnets," I knew I was experiencing something kind of amazing and didn't want to lose sight of the importance of this very signifiant statement. I had been on many press trips in my time, and you've read about many of Read More


Your Next Netflix Binge MUST Be Fauda


I'm very grateful to a good friend who suggested I watch Fauda, an Israeli TV show currently streaming on Netflix. I implore you to make this program your next binge. Every now and then, a show hits you, gets under your skin, and really rips you apart. But not very often, right? The last time it happened with me was probably with Six Feet Under or Breaking Bad, but I can't honestly remember anything hitting me as hard as Fauda.  I think it's because I have very strong ties to the State of Israel. I've lived there and I'm a fervent Zionist. However, Read More


Exploring Jerusalem with Kids

I have spent a lot of time in Israel in my lifetime, and I have traveled to a lot of places.  Yet no matter where I go or how exotic the destination is, Jerusalem holds a special place in my heart.  When I started booking a trip to Israel that we took a few years ago, I knew we had to start in Jerusalem and spend a few days there.  The city also holds many special memories for me as I attended part of high school and college in the city. I know Jerusalem as intimately as I know my own hometown, perhaps even more so. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel Read More


Review: Strangers No More, an Oscar Winning Documentary

Strangers No More

  I saw the most amazing documentary last night called Strangers No More.  My neighbor across the street told me about the film yesterday and I thought I would never make it.  It was to start at 7pm. When my husband walked in at 6:55, I ran out the door.  This was a film that I knew I had to see. I remember when it won the Oscar for documentary short last year, and it got my attention then.  I also love when there are documentaries and quality films playing locally, and the JCC in Scarsdale is a hop, skip and a jump away. The film is about a Read More


Review: Compulsion at the Public Theater


  A long time fan of Mandy Patinkin, I was very excited to hear about his latest play, "Compulsion", which is part of my membership at the Public Theater.  I knew very little about it other than that it involved Anne Frank, the Holocaust, Israel and puppets, so naturally I was very curious. Upon entrance to the theater, we came face to face with a group of puppets soaring over the set. At first glace, they would appear to be central characters of this play as they are the cast of the Anne Frank story - all the families that were in Read More


JNF Operation Carmel Renewal: From Black to Green

Some of my greatest memories are of planting trees in the beautiful forests of Northern Israel.  I was 16 the first I went on a high school program in Israel.  I remember planting trees in memorial to my loved ones in the soil of the Holy Land and how much it meant to me.  I have been back many times and repeated the same experience.  There is no place as beautiful. That is why I am writing about what happened there last week.  On December 2nd, 2010, the worst fire in Israel's history broke out in the Carmel Mountains near Haifa in Israel. Losses Read More


Can You Tell Me How to Get to the Land of Israel?

I was so excited to receive both a copy of Shalom Sesame's Welcome to Israel and Chaunkah: The Missing Menorah.  My 5 and 7 year-old's quickly ran into the living room to watch them both.  Having just returned from a trip to Israel and also anticipating the upcoming holiday of Chanukah in our home, there was much excitement over these about to be released DVD's.  Both come from the creators of Sesame Street and feature well-known American and Israeli celebrities like Debra Messing, Achinoam Nini, Mira Awad, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christina Applegate, Greg Read More


Home Away from Home

When we started planning our recent trip to Israel, we thought about all of our accommodation requirements and needs.  Since we were visiting family and friends in Israel, we wanted a different experience.  We wanted to live like locals and really immerse ourselves in the culture, rather than be outsiders looking in. Often, that's how I feel when I stay at a hotel.  You are truly a visitor in a city.  As you pass though the lobby with bell hops and desk attendants at your beck and call, you are constantly reminded. We had a town in mind.  My Read More