The East Village Mamele


History in the Making

By Marjorie Ingall

Voting in this year’s primary was thrilling. As always, Josie accompanied me into the booth. She’s clueful about how it works now, after reading a number of books about the democratic process. Our favorite is the delightful picture book “Vote!” by Eileen Christelow (Clarion, 2003), which uses a pretend mayoral election to explain debates, fundraising, campaigning, and the history of universal suffrage (bonus: narrated by cute dogs!). As we got ready to flip the levers for our candidate, Josie said, “Isn’t it amazing that 150 years ago, neither of these guys could even vote?”Read More


The Old Gray Mère: Does She... or Doesn’t She?

By Marjorie Ingall

I apologize in advance for the possible vapidity of this column. In my next piece I will discuss my plan for Middle East Peace, the fate of the Jewish people in an age of rampant intermarriage, and Martin Buber. But right now, I’m anxious about my hair. It’s getting gray, and I am not happy about it.Read More


Age of Afflictions: Disorder or Quirk?

By Marjorie Ingall

Maxine has quirks. She refuses to wear tights, turtlenecks, jeans or anything made of wool, claiming all those things are categorically “too itchy.” She hates having her teeth or hair brushed, wailing, “It hurts!” The texture of some moisturizers makes her shudder. When a street sweeper or Harley Davidson roars by, she grabs my leg with the intensity and ferocity of Dr. Phil leaping at an opportunity for self-promotion. (We live near the Hell’s Angels clubhouse, so there’s a lot of terrified leaping.) She won’t touch challah dough — the feeling of it freaks her out. Is something wrong with my child?Read More


Gender Matters: The Bell Curve of Girliness

By Marjorie Ingall

When Josie was 2, I wrote a column about my bafflement at her girly-girlness. How could I, a person unburdened by mascara or a blowdryer, have spawned someone who so loved nail polish, frills and Hello Kitty hair accessories? At the time, I expressed shock. Today, older, wiser, and most importantly, the mother of two girls instead of one, I have more insight into Josie’s condition. (Call it Polyprincesstic Ovary Syndrome.)Read More


Online Battles: Thoughts on Video Games

By Marjorie Ingall

In addiction, the first step is admitting you have a problem. And Josie has a problem. She’s jonesing for Toontown.Read More


’Tis the Season

By Marjorie Ingall

This should be an easy column to write. Blah blah blah, New Year’s resolutions, going to the gym, 1,000 words, yadda yadda yadda, file it, done. Yet I cannot seem to start.Read More


The Best Children’s Books of 2007

By Marjorie Ingall

The best Hanukkah presents are books. Even if your iPod-craving child screams in grief as she rips off the gift-wrap, smile serenely in the knowledge that you are a superior parent to the consumerist iPod buyers and your child will get into Yale while theirs has to go to a state school. Seriously, these books are awesome.Read More


Thank You, But No

By Marjorie Ingall

Thanksgiving is upon us. If I were a nicer person this column would consist of a list of all the things I’m thankful for, but alas, I’m a crank. Ergo: “Things I Am Not Thankful For,” by me, Marjorie Ingall.Read More


Study Break

By Marjorie Ingall

I just learned two new words, which is exciting, at my advanced age. They are: redd, a nesting area for trout eggs; and alevin, a newly hatched fish with its yolk sac still attached. (I also learned milt, but I’m trying to block it out. Google at your peril.)Read More


The Tooth Fairy

By Marjorie Ingall

Josie lost her first tooth. How is this possible? Only moments ago she was teething. (Cue the music: “Sunrise, Sunset.”)Read More





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  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
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  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
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