Question:  I am completely flummoxed. I clicked on a website about “pinkwashing” expecting to hear about the price of tampons, and instead discovered the term is anti-Israel! The website claimed that Israel is using its queer liberalism to hide violence against Palestinians? I’m so confused!…

Question: I don’t know what to call my family. My husband was born into an historically Christian family, but was raised with no religious affiliation. He was not Christened or Baptized. His family traveled over Christmas break, so they rarely had a tree, and there was no hearth for Santa to…

Question: I keep thinking about your work in my college Parents Facebook group. There are so many grandparent issues. I cannot count the number of times I've recommended your books! It's funny, I see so many adult kids lamenting that their parents or in-laws aren't a certain way (eg: drop ev…

Isolation does not mean being isolated from one another. We are all finding new ways to reach out and communicate with each other. Just because we’re practicing physical distancing, doesn’t mean we can’t stay connected with our loved ones. 

Question: Here’s a question for you: What’s a trichitza?  I ask you because my daughter came home from college so excited that her Hillel has one. I had no idea what it is, even though I am an observant Jew.  When I found out, I felt I must educate more people about this nifty invention. My …

Question: It’s December, gift season, and I’ve been thinking a lot about who I owe a present to, and questioning why I feel I owe them. Shouldn’t gifts be about affection, not obligation? I’ve been thinking about the question of freely given affection versus obligation often lately. As a new…

Question: I was wondering if you might address whether Jewish mothers tend to be stereotyped as being more self-absorbed and emotionally self-centered, and whether these stereotypes have some truth? In my experience, the middle-aged Jewish women I know are obsessed with looks, makeup, and cl…

Question: I was scrolling through my news feed the other day and saw a Tweet which mentioned “code switching.” It said that words like “ain’t” are cultural markers, and should be applauded instead of corrected in the classroom. I’m confused – I thought we go to school to learn how to speak p…

Question: I am a Christian college student dating a Jewish guy. When I was in high school, my friends and I regarded Jews as a race. We were not as aware of the religious traditions. Now, I’m in college, and my friends attend services and there are several who look like different races. I am…

Question: I am new to Judaism. I became aware of Jewish customs at university (so long ago!) and, as I was working on my conversion process, I fell in love with a Jewish boy. I converted for myself – not for him! – but we did marry briefly and had a child. I am now a single mother, and I dec…

Question: College acceptances are rolling in, and I realize that I have about six months to “vaccinate” my child for what they will encounter at college. Hopefully, I have done a good job so far discussing sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. However, I read in the newspaper that I better start dis…

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Question: My mother is going to move to a nursing home. As I was cleaning out her attic, I found papers from her lifetime of Jewish communal work. Apparently, my mother kept records of her women’s Rosh Chodesh group, she documented her tenure as first woman president of the synagogue board, …

Question: I am a secular Jew. I went to #ShowUpForShabbat to seek solace in my Jewish roots after the Pittsburgh shooting. I do not usually attend Temple, but it seemed like the appropriate thing to do, and the only thing to do to deal with my feelings of horror after the Pittsburgh shooting…

Question: My world is shaken. I thought my children had a future in America. Now, I’m not certain. Are Holocaust analogies an easy exaggeration? Or are they the warnings that the prescient heeded when they left Nazi Germany in the 1930s? Are we Jews paranoid, or just wary because we’ve been …

Question: This month, there is only one question and everyone is asking it in many ways: How do I talk to my kids, my grandkids or my parents about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings? No matter your political persuasion or who you believe, difficult topics are now in our face: on the TV, in podcas…

Q: This month, I have decided to explore my own question: In light of the recent allegations of Stephen Cohen’s sexual misconduct, how do we, as a Jewish community, interpret his research? Cohen is the researcher who called our attention to the increasing number of intermarried couples and s…

Question: I was attending a program at a Catholic Church with my Christian partner. It was sponsored by the Voice of the Faithful, an organization of lay Catholics protesting sexual abuse by priests. A responsive reading and prayer sheet was handed out to all in attendance, affirming a stron…

Question: I am a mother of four, and I very successfully homeschooled my children throughout their preschool and early-elementary years. I lived in a liberal-leaning community and participated in homeschooling groups which were comfortable and inclusive: Parents of a variety of genders broug…

Q: I am a senior at the University of Maryland, poised to graduate this May. I’m an Orthodox Jewish woman, and my amazing boyfriend of a year and a half who attended Yeshiva University in New York. He graduated a year before me, and we have spent the past year driving to each other on weeken…

Question: My husband and I are in our 50s and living in small Midwestern Jewish community. We love to have company for Shabbat, because we love the conversation. It’s an easy way to entertain, in that it’s easy to throw a chicken in the oven with some potatoes. I’m a nervous host, and am not…

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Q: My daughter is about to have a baby, and of course my wife and I are thrilled. Her spouse is a Sephardic guy, and the kids just told us they are planning to name the child after my son-in-law’s father, who is still alive. I am horrified! I am also incredibly disappointed. My own father di…

Q: The granddaughter of a Cincinnati couple was one of the 17 students and staff killed in the Florida school shooting Feb. 14.

Q: I am an Orthodox Jewish girl, and the recent exposure of Jewish sexual harassers worries me. Are Jews disproportionately sexual predators – Is there something about Judaism that causes this behavior? Have so many Jews been exposed to public scrutiny because of anti-semitism, or are Jews t…

Q: I am a senior at a left-leaning university. Like many students, I’m interested in social justice. However, I am disturbed by much of campus conversation regarding Israel, and I’ve noticed that many other Jewish students share this feeling. How do I communicate with both Jewish and non-Jew…

Q: I don’t particularly like my daughter’s boyfriend. I thought I would like him prior to meeting him for the first time. I usually trust my daughter when it comes to picking friends. She had told me that he was tall, handsome, and Jewish! Unfortunately, I don’t like him at all. 

Q: I am about to have Jewish grandchildren, and I am terrified! Don’t get me wrong; we love our son-in-law. He has brought out the best in our daughter and they make sensible decisions together. We have never had any complaints; in fact, we are looking forward to learning about new holidays …

Q: It is with fear and trepidation that I send my son off to college. He is prepared socially and academically. He has always been at Jewish day schools, and has not had a great deal of exposure to mainstream America. I am uncertain he will be able to resist the secular temptations, particul…

Q: I cannot believe I am writing to you about this Jewish matter. It is the parents who are supposed to be concerned, not the kids, but I do not know how to handle this situation. My parents are in their late 70s and feeling like it is time to move to a continuing care retirement community (…

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Q: Q: My husband recently died, and I sat shiva. Two of my three children stayed for seven days; one child left after three days. He lives many miles away; his daughter had the lead in the school play, and he is not religious. Even though I understood his feelings of obligation to his child …

Q: Shavuot is approaching and all my friends are sharing their holiday table with their grandchildren. Mine live far away: one on the other side of the country, and another on a different continent. I am bereft, as I am every holiday, without my family nearby. I feel I cannot pass on to them…

Q: I am in my late seventies, and have lost several friends to cancer and heart disease. Some of them have had good end of life experiences and others illnesses have resulted in family feuds over who was doing the most care and whether or not to continue treatment. Because of these experienc…

Passover is coming, and many American Jews will be observing the holiday with a Seder. While most of us know the Seder as the ritual meal that structures the observance of Passover, Seder also means “order.” Every year during the Hebrew month of Nissan, as Spring and new life emerge, Jews ar…

Q: This question was posed by Kim Math, a temple administrator at a reform congregation. 

Q: I am 20 year old junior in college, and the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Neither my parents nor my grandparents are particularly religious. They celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Passover, but do not light candles on the sabbath or go to synagogue regularly. However they are …

Q: Since Chanukah and Christmas fall at the same time this year, my whole extended family is gathering together. On the one hand, this is terrific because my sister-in-law is Christian and we get to celebrate together. On the other, some of my family are Neanderthals and bigots and voted for…

Q: I am a Christian woman who has been married to a Jewish man for five years. I willingly agreed to bring up our children Jewish (if we ever had any). Mostly because I am not particularly religious and my husband and in-laws feel strongly about Judaism. I have no objection to my child learn…

Q: Recently, our twenty year old daughter called from college to announce that she is bringing home her first serious boyfriend for Rosh Hashanah. He is an A student, the leader of his a cappella group, and involved in community service. Before she introduced him to us, she warned us that al…

Q: I recently read that The University of Miami has created a chair for studying atheism, humanism and secular ethics.  The Pew Research Center's 2014 Religious Landscape Study  found that many atheists still identify as Jews. These two facts lead me to ask,  “Is a Jewish atheist different f…

Q: A close friend of mine recently told me she is sending her children to a Jewish day school. I don’t get it. It’s costly and it may be logistically inconvenient. It seems to me that it just separates our children from the mainstream of society. I don't understand why anyone would send a ch…