Shira Levine

Exploring Pre-teen Angst — From the Shopping Mall to the Bimah

When you’re 12 going on 13, everything feels just so serious. Stacy Friedman, the protagonist of Fiona Rosenbloom’s young adult novel “You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah” (Hyperion), has an accessory bag full of problems standing in the way of having an absolutely perfect life. Her parents’ marriage is on the fritz, and her dad

Guide for the Perplexed

The day it is suggested that your mother’s kitchen isn’t kosher enough is the day the cinnamon-raisin kugel hits the fan. The Jewish holidays can be a stressful time for families, particularly for those whose members adhere to different levels of religious observance. Nearly every clan has someone in need of a special diet, but accommodating

Making a Career of Cracking Wise

What do Randy and Jason Sklar have to kvetch about as they enter a new season of their very own TV show? Not much. Slouched on a couch, cracking jokes and watching memorable sports moments on a wide-screen television sounds like every guy’s dream job. And to think, they nearly signed away their humor away to attend law school.With more

Lost for a Century, the Minhogimbukh Returns

There was once an Eastern European tradition to cook chicken livers on Rosh Hashanah because their name in Yiddish, leberlakh, sounds like the injunction “leb ehrlikh,” to “live honestly.”In fact, there were loads of other customs worldwide — some communities shunned vinegar while celebrating the New Year, because of its sour