Nancy Kalikow Maxwell


In Search of My Ethel Mertz

By Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

In Search of My Ethel Mertz
I never seriously considered becoming Orthodox. I like shrimp too much and Florida is way too hot for wigs. But I was tempted twenty years ago by one phone conversation. The Orthodox woman who coordinated the chevra kadisha (burial society) I participated in was calling to request my assistance at a taharah, ritual preparation of a body. Obviously, these events cannot be scheduled in advance. Often, frantic calls such as this one are placed to recruit volunteers at the last minute.Read More


A (Mixed) Blessing on My Jewish Head

By Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

A (Mixed) Blessing on My Jewish Head
The nuns were always blessing Nancy Kalikow Maxwell when she worked at a Catholic college. But it took a colleague’s casual ‘have a blessed day’ to really get under her skin.Read More


Wearing a Black Ribbon Helped One Jewish Widow Mend Her Soul

By Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

Wearing a Black Ribbon Helped One Jewish Widow Mend Her Soul
Some rabbis call it a shallow gimmick to mourn a loved one by wearing a ribbon. But a tiny swatch of fabric was a profound source of solace to one widow after her husband’s death.Read More


House-Hunting in Florida Suburbia Turns Into Great Mezuzah Trek

By Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

House-Hunting in Florida Suburbia Turns Into Great Mezuzah Trek
Seeking a Jewish community in Florida, a retiree finds that mezuzas on the doorpost aren’t always the best way of identifying a haimish home.Read More


A Lonely Jew at Catholic School

By Nancy Kalikow Maxwell

A Lonely Jew at Catholic School
‘Let us pray” often opens funerals and weddings, but budget meetings? When you work at a Catholic college, you come to expect getting blessed without sneezing and praying before committee meetings.Read More






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  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
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