Although Judaism is front and center in Deborah Heiligman’s coming of age novel ‘Intentions,’ at the core of the story are questions of faith with which all teenagers grapple.
The pace of Joshua Henkin’s novel, ‘The World Without You,’ is slow and deliberate. Each conversation, each passing hour, takes on the weight of something much larger.
During a Sabbath evening service one Friday in February, Seth Goldstein and his 9-year-old son, Ozi, sat with their eyes closed in the synagogue in Olympia, Wash., where Goldstein is the rabbi. From the bimah, Nalini Nadkarni asked congregants to imagine a tree that was important to them. She described the maple trees that had lined the driveway of her childhood home. Amid the confusion of growing up, they had been a refuge. She would climb their limbs with a book and a snack, and spend entire afternoons up in the air.
When Nisan and Gilan Gertz stepped off the plane at Ben-Gurion International Airport with their children last August, they were seven of almost 4,000 North Americans to make aliyah in 2009 — the largest number to do so in a single year since 1983.
As children, joking and gossiping, spilled out of Brooklyn’s Khalil Gibran International Academy on a frigid Friday afternoon recently, one stopped to answer a waiting reporter’s question about his experience there.
The Sisterhood Digest:
From the time Lisa Siegel was a little girl, she had terrible nausea, mental fog that came and went, and tightness and cramping in her muscles so severe that it would wake her in the night. She was 47 before she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but she remembers a childhood dominated by hospitalizations, doctors and pain. Nothing worked — not Advil, not Tylenol, not the other medications her doctors kept prescribing.
The Sisterhood Digest:
As the House and Senate hash out their versions of the sweeping healthcare reform bill in the coming weeks, several crucial women’s health issues hang in the balance. The most high-profile, and controversial, is abortion — the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House and the Managers Amendment in the Senate would both severely restrict abortion coverage nationwide, even among private insurers — but coverage of other women’s health procedures, such as mammograms, are also written specifically into the bill (those are, fortunately, required to be covered).
It’s a Friday afternoon in December, and history professor John Fout is leading the students in his course, “Nazi Germany and the Holocaust,” in a spirited discussion.