Holly Lebowitz Rossi


The BRCA Gene: A Positive Test, A Personal Choice

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

The BRCA Gene: A Positive Test, A Personal Choice
If a blood test revealed that you were likely to contract the same cancer that painfully and violently killed your mother, what would you do? Have radical surgery to prevent it? Undergo frequent screenings and aggressively treat cancer at its earliest signs? Or would you not take the test at all? Jessica Queller shares her answers to these wrenching questions in her new book, “Pretty Is What Changes: Impossible Choices, the Breast Cancer Gene, and How I Defied My Destiny” (Spiegel & Grau). Queller, a vibrant 38-year-old television writer currently working on the CW show “Gossip Girl,” underwent a double prophylactic mastectomy when she learned that she had tested positive for the BRCA gene. The gene, which is most common among Ashkenazic women, put her at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. Queller also plans to have her ovaries removed, but is waiting until after she turns 40 because she plans to have a child.Read More


Up From the Ashes: A Family Story Unearthed

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

I never had the religious identity crisis that strikes so many Jewish adolescents and young adults. Never, that is, until last year, when my great-grandparents were disinterred from their graves and summarily dismissed from a Jewish cemetery.Read More


Rivalry In the Time Of Cholera

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

An Imperfect Lens By Anne Roiphe Shaye Areheart Books,

304 pages, $25. * * *Disease, horrifying as it can be in real life, usually makes for a good read — gripping, intense, fearful and always entertaining. Veteran novelist Anne Roiphe’s latest book, “An Imperfect Lens,” is a riveting work of historical fiction, taking theRead More


When The Streets Were Paved With Tragedy

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

Bodies and Souls: The Tragic Plight of Three Jewish Women Forced Into Prostitution in the Americas By Isabel Vincent William Morrow, 288 pages, $25.95. * * *Memory is a central concept in Judaism. When someone dies, we say that he or she lives on in how he or she is remembered by others. Countless museum exhibits, oral histories,Read More


An Enchanting Lesson

By Holly Lebowitz Rossi

It was a disconcerting thought, a wake-up call that interrupted my reverie as I thought fondly back on four years of teaching second-grade Hebrew school. I realized with a start that the students I’d taught my first year were becoming bar and bat mitzvah this year. They had learned the trope, the system of diacritical markings in theRead More



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