A Medley of Moments

A bar mitzvah during a pandemic

We took many things for granted at our oldest son’s bar mitzvah, which was back in November 2019. He read from the Torah during an afternoon Shabbat service followed by Havdalah, where all the youth present were invited up on the bimah with glowsticks – unmasked. Family members from California, Vancouver, Nevada, Texas and New […]

Summer memories, 2021

Although the kids have already headed back to school, here’s a quick recap on the summer for memory’s sake. With COVID-19 vaccinations in the spring, summer plans opened up more than last year but we were still being cautious as our youngest isn’t able to get vaccinated yet and there are still breakthrough cases of […]

Trying to understand

Following the recent news in Israel has been so disorienting. The conflict between Israel and Gaza has a long, complicated history, but is one that I thought I was somewhat familiar with. However, the comments on social media I’ve been reading this week seem to be based on an entirely different narrative. What is going […]

Spreading pancreatic cancer awareness, in memory of my Mom

Twenty-four years ago, my mom was about to celebrate her 52nd birthday. She spent the day, March 7, in a hospital room, surrounded by cards and flowers. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the previous month and the prognosis wasn’t good. She was given about six months to live, but the cancer spread quickly […]

Did we place too much hope on 2021?

The first week of 2021 sure didn’t live up any expectations of a new optimistic start. The Holderness family summed it up well in their video this week. G-d bless the Holderness family. Their videos have been such a bright spot during the past 10 months. Despite trying to surround myself with positivity, I’m feeling […]

2020 in the rearview mirror

As we reach the end of 2020, we look optimistically to 2021. As my 12-year-old pointed out, it’s not like something magical will happen as we enter 2021, yet it’s still a relief that we made it through this year. Unfortunately, there are way too many people who cannot say that. According to, the […]

What I learned from holidays in 2020

During this past year of uncertainty, holiday traditions became more important than ever. Although we observed holidays differently this year, they represented the mileposts on the calendar that helped us navigate through the year as they arrived whether or not other plans were cancelled. The last holiday that resembled past celebrations was Purim, which was […]

A menorah of memory

Each year for Chanukah I typically light an oil menorah and the boys each light their own menorahs with candles. This year, the oil cups we found at the store were not the right size for our oil menorah so we improvised using tealight candle holders. On the seventh night, it occurred to me how […]

A summer like no other

When we welcomed the New Year, certainly nobody anticipated how 2020 would change our lives. We greeted the new year as we had in previous years, with resolutions and plans and with an assumption that our plans would be carried out. Never in our lifetime have plans changed so drastically on such a wide scale. […]


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