The East Village Mamele

Long Lost Twins, Reunited

By Marjorie Ingall

Human beings have always been fascinated by twins. Romulus and Remus, Jacob and Esau, Mary-Kate and Ashley. We love ultrasound images of twins hugging (or punching) in utero, stories about shared secret languages, notions of twin-to-twin ESP, movies like “The Parent Trap.” (But c’mon, identical cousins? That’s crazy talk!)Read More

The Joys of Sukkot

By Marjorie Ingall

Sukkot gets a raw deal. So many marketing opportunities left on the table! You got your plagues masks for Passover, your chocolate gelt and cloying ceramic ballerina menorahs for Hanukkah, your hamantaschen for Purim. But where are the adorable sukkah dollhouses with Velcro branches and hanging fruit? Where’s the make-your-own-garlands craft kit? Why isn’t every Jewish kid given his own plush lulav rattle and scented etrog?Read More

Good Enough Parent

By Marjorie Ingall

In our tradition, we often compare God to a parent, and ourselves to clueless, wayward children. Our expectations about God’s parenting can teach us a lot about our own responsibilities as Godlike figures (uh, sometimes) to our own children. As Rosh Hashanah approaches and we begin the introspection and self-inventory that are as much a part of this season as brightly colored leaves and sharp new pencils, we consider how to emulate God in our role as parents. Perhaps, as we prepare to launch into the litany of ashamnus and breast-beating that characterize the holiday, we should consider exactly how guilt-ridden we need to be.Read More

The Power of Theater

By Marjorie Ingall

I watched Josie watch the stage. Lucy was entering Narnia for the first time. The furs in the wardrobe were becoming trees. The mothballs, crunching beneath her feet, were becoming snow. Suddenly she was in a strange new land, and there was a faun.Read More

Animated Adventures

By Marjorie Ingall

In my last column, I railed against the blight that is “Higglytown Heroes.” Today I come not to bury another television show, but to praise it: “The Backyardigans” rules.Read More

The Heroes Who Aren’t

By Marjorie Ingall

Like all boringly self-congratulatory hipster parents, I force my children to absorb the pop culture I deem groovy. Maxine, at 2, wears her Coney Island Mermaid Parade shirt; Josie, 5, bops around the house to the Ramones. We avoid eye-singeing tacky microchippy toys in favor of the Lincoln Logs and Tinkertoys of my own childhood. Yes, I embrace my own bobo clichedom, thanks.Read More

The C-Word

By Marjorie Ingall

‘I have cancer,” Jonathan said. Thyroid cancer. A nodule the size of an egg. Jonathan’s primary-care doc found it during a regular checkup. Neither of us could believe we’d never noticed it; now we could clearly see it pressing on his throat when he swallowed. He got hoarse easily, and felt pressure in his neck and shoulder, but he’d assumed he’d pulled a muscle.Read More

Out to Eat: A Restaurant Guide

By Marjorie Ingall

Everyone has a kids-in-restaurants horror story. My friend Lily watched two grade schoolers methodically finger-painting with ketchup all over the walls and window of her local diner. My friend Idit watched two boys loudly playing catch with packets of jelly in front of the swinging doors to the kitchen. At a family-owned fish place in Newport, RI, I watched three tweens open the tops of the plastic ketchup and mustard dispensers on the table and pour in hot sauce, tartar sauce and a half-drunk can of ginger ale. (I waved frantically at the manager, who rolled his eyes and mouthed, “I saw!”) And at this point in my life, I’ve lost count of the number of babies I’ve seen having their diapers changed right on the dining table. Appetizing.Read More

Notes on Camp

By Marjorie Ingall

My little girl is starting “real” day camp this summer. Last summer she went to the 14th Street Y for part of the summer, and to Central Park’s Zoo Camp for a week. (I particularly enjoyed her telling me after a day at Zoo Camp, “Boy peacocks have big fancy tails so they can wave them at lady peacocks and say, ‘Hey, look how pretty I am! Don’t you think that means I’ll be a great daddy?’” Hey, it worked when her father shook his tail feather at me.)Read More

In Praise of Small Schools

By Marjorie Ingall

I have written so many letters lately, it is as though I have become a neurasthenic Victorian shut-in. I should be wearing a bed-jacket. Ordinarily I correspond in all-lowercase spews of e-mail strewn with run-on sentences; I am slightly too old to use “l8r” in closing, but only slightly. So when I get involved in actual punctuation and salutations, something must be important. And it is.Read More

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  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
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  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
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