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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  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
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