Monday, January 30, 2012

the "a" word

i have always wanted to be a mother. even as a kid i always thought that if i couldn't have a child biologically that i would most certainly adopt a child. 
though i know many frum couples who have opted for adoption when they were unable to have a biological child i have yet to see any mention of the possibility of adoption on any frum dating website. i  know that there is  a "willing to adopt " box on e harmony .com,  so i know that there is at least one dating website that includes this "radical" option. obviously it is optimal to have a biological child , but what is wrong with putting it out there that one is willing to adopt ? nothing on frumster prevents anyone from writing this on their profile but i haven't noticed anyone who has listed this option. including myself. i suppose i should . but it is a shame that willing to adopt is not an automatic question in the multiple choice section of one's frumster profile. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Raid on Entebbe - Yoni Netanyahu fights Arab hijackers

follow me, the yoni netanyahu story

monday night i saw the documentary film  follow me : the yoni netanyahu story at the jewish film festival . i always knew about what happened during operation thunderbolt (raid at entebbe) but i didn't know a lot about the mastermind and and only israeli soldier who lost his life during this brave mission. now i do.
this movie explores yoni the son and brother, yoni the writer and yoni the warrior. this 35th anniversary tribute includes interviews by yoni's brothers bibi and ido as well as his father ben-tzion. many israeli dignitaries were interviewed as well. the most fascinating interviews were that of his ex-wife  as well as his girlfriend. there were interviews of the young men he led during raid on entebbe.  there were even home movies from childhood . i felt like i really got to know yoni netanyahu through this movie. who knows what he would have added to the world had he lived past operation thunderbolt.
follow me is the story of a young man's love and devotion of his country. its the story of a very handsome young man who was a great warrior as well as a sensitive writer. this was one of the most amazing films of this  year's new york jewish film festival.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tribute to Yoni Netanyahu

DOXA 2009: Inside Hana's Suitcase

i recently watched one of the most incredible stories ever on netflix. the name of the documentary is inside hana's suitcase.  this film begins as the story of a japanese woman named fumiko ishioka  who is an educator at the japanese holocaust education center in japan. ms ishioka taught  children about the holocaust and in 1999 she requested artifacts from the holocaust museum in auschwitz . she especially requested artifacts from children so she would be able to help the children she was teaching be able to relate to it better. one of the artifacts she recieved was a suitcase of  a little girl name hana brady. ms ishioka and the children wondered what hana's fate had been as well as what her life had been like before the war.
after much research ms ishioka found out that hana spent time in terezin and died in auchwitz. she also found out that hana had a brother george who did survive the war. ms ishioka also managed to find pictures that hana had drawn in auchsiwitz that acutally had her name on them. she also managed to locate george brady who was livning in toronto at the time.
george was very happy to tell ms ishioka about his sister. he felt such deep survivor's guilt. he wanted to share his sister's life with others so she would not be forgotten. he sent ms ishioka pictures of his sister. he eventually went to japan and spoke to children about his sister and about his life. his sister always wanted to be a teacher and now through her so many learned about the holocaust. all because of a suitcase that had her name on it.
a childhood friend of hanna's had gone to the holocaust memorial in auschwitz in 1962 and took a picture of herself with hann'as suitcase. she did this with much sadness as this was all she had to remember her friend. at some point it was realized when george saw this photo that the suitcase that he saw was not the same suitcase as the one he saw in the photo. hanna's real suitcase had gone to a holocaust museum in birmingham  , england to be displayed there and in 1984 neo - nazis burned the facility where the suitcase was kept. the museum in poland wanted to replicate hana's suitcase  because there were so few children's suitcases that survived. they replicated the suitcase from hanna's friend's photo. through this replica so many lives were touched by this little girl.
george brady saw his sister's artwork from terezin and was able to remember why she would have drawn these pictures. this helped other children learn about his sister's life , not just her demise.
this film intersperses commentary on hanna's life from children in japan and toronto who have learned about her life.
karen levine was inspired by this story to write a children's book called hanna's suitcase that has been translated into many languages.
this film is such an amazing journey about how teaching about the holocaust and tolerance for others that has  brought so many people from  around the world together. i highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


today i saw the most awesome film at the jewish film festival. the film was lea and darija  which is a historical fiction about the life of lea deutsch the croatian jewish shirley temple.  who's that you say? and if you are me you will say "there is a jewish community in croatia? " well.there still is a small jewish community in croatia and there was a much larger one before world war two .
lea deutsch was a famous tap dancer from croatia who travelled all over europe acting and dancing from the age of five. she was forced to stop dancing in 1941 when croatia was taken over by the nazis . many tried to help her and her family to no avail. she died in transit to auchswitz in 1943. only her father survived the war.
darija was a croatian german girl who danced with lea. she survived the war. she and her family fled croatia when the nazis took over croatia.
the filmmaker branko ivanda is the son of a  croatian partisan whose father survived three years in a concentration camp. he came to make this film after joining some of his friends who are jewish in a jewish coffee house in croatia. in this coffee house there was a striking painting of lea deutsch . he was intrigued by her life story which inspired him to first compile a documentary and then a historical fiction film about her. he felt it important for people to remember her life. even now there are still those in croatia who fondly remember her. she was a shining star and beloved by all at the time.
when the film lea and darija premieres in croatia it will be screened in the theatre lea performed in.
it is incredible that branko ivanda has created this tribute to lea deutsch so her memory can live on.

p.s. i have included a clip from the documentary that was created by branko ivanda and not the film that i actually saw. i would like to eventually see the documentary, but i think that the historical fiction version is amazing. it really brings the story to life.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

now i am one of "them"

 i have had a cell phone for ten years and i have finally updated to the iphone. i had resisted updating my phone service for various reasons. number one on my list of course was cheapness. i did not want to have to pay for  a data plan. the only thing is that  so many of the better phones require a data plan with their phone. and of course i wanted a better camera. the better phones have better cameras. i have a camera that i love and use, but for everyday i don't always want to lug around a camera , so its nice to have a cell phone with a good camera for those occasions when i spontaneously need a camera.
another reason i resisted getting a phone with internet service is that i was afraid i'd get too addicted to it. of course this has happened but i'm still glad that i have the data plan. it has already made my life better . i have weight watchers online at my finger tips and easier access to my e-mail when im at work.  i don't have a job where i sit in front of a computer all day. there is free wifi access at work which is a plus.
though i have gotten a little addicted to the internet portion of my phone i know that the novelty will wear off a little over time
 now i have joined the twenty somethings at work who are constantly checking their phones. the difference is that  they are checking and texting and i am checking and web surfing.
oh and the iphone has incredible reception when i make phone calls. the most important feature for a cell phone.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"I Am Jewish"

after seeing the anti-birthright israelers protesting at occupy wall street it was nice to watch a different version. i have met so many apathetic twentysomething jews that its nice to see someone with another attitude. everyone is not frum so we can only hope those who are not don't get totally lost to judaism. perhaps one day all jews will be observant but for now i hope for everyone being observant in their own way.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


when my dad passed away almost two years ago we called 911 before proceeding to the hospital. the paramedics who tended to my dad were the most kind individuals. they knew things were serious and they used low tones and gentle words with my family members. i will forever be grateful for their kindness. it took 9/11 for me to appreciate firemen , it took my father's death for me to truly appreciate the work of a paramedic. of course i would have preferred to have appreciated these professions without something dire happening

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Too Jewish by Patty Friedmann

i just finished reading the book too jewish by patty freidmann on my kindle. i was blown away to say the least. the book is about a holocaust survivor who ends up living in new orleans  and marrying a jewish woman from a very assimilated jewish family . to his wife's family he is too jewish. what i found startling was how assimilated these people are. i saw the play the last night of ballyhoo by alfred uhry which is also about the jewish southern experience and how assimilated they were as opposed to new york jews , but they did not prepare me for this book. the post ww2 southern jews portrayed here are so out of touch with judaism that it is hard to understand. i grew up in the midwest decades later and can't imagine jews , not even secular jews , being that out of touch. had i not seen the play the last night of ballyhoo i would not have believed it.
this story is  fiction , but its based on patty friedman's life. her dad was a holocaust survivor. her mom was a southern jew. her grandparents thought her father 'too jewish' . i do not want to give away the whole story , but it is worth reading. it is eye opening in a disturbing way.  i say read this book because there are jews so assimalated that they are out of touch with the jewish experience. in new york there at least is a jewish culture. other places not so much. this book is a best seller on the kindle.  read it and find out why.

Friday, January 13, 2012

jewish film festival

the jewish film festival often has films by jews instead of films about the jewish experience. i saw a film today that was a perfect example. the film was white : a memoir of color. 
white: a memoir of color is about a jewish couple who identify more as white than jewish who  contemplate adopting a child of color. not once in this film is there a reference to why they might think it would be difficult to raise a black or biracial child as jewish . this couple eventually end up adopting a biracial black child and a fully black child. not once do they reference this as being an issue for the adoptive child. though there are black jewish people they usually have black jewish parents who share their experience of being a minority within a minority. it must be more difficult for a white jewish person to have a black jewish child. . even if one is not a very ritualistically jewish person this could be a challenge. in fact the less religious one is the more the child will be thrown into situations where he/she is different in so many ways. again , not one mention of this in the film. i'm guessing this film is aimed at the general viewing public so religion is not mentioned. this film would not have even been in the jewish film festival had the filmmaker not been jewish. i found the film to be honest and informative, but not from the jewish standpoint, just the white standpoint. 
i consider myself to be more jewish than white.
i have heard that many young christian women who are putting their babies up for adoption want to know that they are giving their child up to a church going christian family, so im not sure why religion was not mentioned. then again perhaps in the case of a bi-racial baby the birth mother cares less what the religion of the adoptive parents making it less of an issue. who knows.
i admit that though i could see myself adopting a chinese baby or a hispanic baby  i would find it more difficult to adopt a black or bi-racial child. i don't think that i could handle it. i think that some people can handle it , and for them this is wonderful. i would have liked to have seen this film document more of what the experience of adopting a black child in the jewish community would be like.  i thought this movie was going to be like that . it wasn't.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Joy of Books

this is such a cool video. i like all forms of books as in e-books and physical books. this video is such a great homage to physical books. enjoy!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

married bloggers

a lot of people blog when they are single and cease blogging when they marry. its just the way it is. perhaps they had more time when they were single so they were able to blog then. married people who blog seem to  be those who started blogging when they were already married. i think that if i were married i would still blog because i have been blogging for four years . but who knows. only time will  tell. hopefully.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

rockets into roses

i just received this pendant from israel. it was created by an israeli blacksmith who transformed the remains of a kassam rocket that landed in israel into a beautiful pendant. when i was about to put it on i hesitated. at that point it hit me that the pendant i was about to adorn was once part of a weapon of destruction. i realized this when i ordered it, but i didn't think i would have these thoughts when i was about to put it on.
after a moment i realized that this pendant has been transformed and is now a pendant meant for adornment and that part of  the proceeds from this pendant will be helping  build shelters to keep israelis safe.  not too shabby.
i am hoping that this pendant will be of the very limited edition kind.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

cultural jews

there are religious jews and there are secular jews. let us not forget that there are also cultural jews.
there is more to a cultural jew than just bagels and lox. scoff as you may , cultural jews are important , mainly because so long as they remain cultural jews they are still identifying as jews.
new york city has a lot of cultural jews because so many jews live here. many new york jews don't even realize this until they go to other cities and then they realize how much they miss the jewish culture of new york city.
the cool thing about jewish culture is that it would not exist all all if not for the jewish religion. this is why the jcc , the 92st y , the jewish film festival, and the israeli film festival are so important. they are ways jews can connect to judaism in a non-threatening way. and from there who knows what can happen. the sky's the limit.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

when it comes down to it

when life get stressful  i make a point not to deal with stupid or annoying people because i am just too bogged down. often i wish that i was able to ignore these annoyances when i am not as stressed . perhaps avoiding these annoyances would prevent me from becoming too stressed in the first place. food for action.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

extremely loud and incredibly close

i saw the movie extremely loud and incredibly close  on thursday. it was very good. at first i didn't want to see it because it is based on a book by the same name by jonathan safran foer that i found incredibly boring and extremely difficult to read. i'm glad that i saw the movie in the end. the movie is about a little boy whose father dies in the world trade center . the little boy struggles to make sense of things and also to to find the owner of a key his father had.
the little boy refers to 9/11 as the "worst day" which i find interesting. of course it was the worst day. the hardest thing at the time of 9/11 is that they just called it 9/11 instead of giving it an adjective.this movie is somewhat whimsical because it is being told from the eyes of a child.
the film brought back memories of 9/11 and how the world changed . i  remember waking up 9/12/01 and thinking 'i'm still here, now what?'. just as there are children who are now nine years old who have never met their fathers there are also those who were  children  then who are now in their early twenties. these are children who grew up in a post 9/11 world. it is sad, but this is reality. unfortunately you can never go back.

happy blogoversary

its now been exactly 4 years that i have been writing this blog. i'm just as amazed as you are that i haven't run out of  things to write. thanks for reading. i am looking forward to more years of writing.