Blogs

NPR’s Nina Totenberg reclaims dad’s stolen violin, now worth millions

From left, Jill Totenberg, Nina Totenberg and Amy Totenberg viewing their father's Stadivarius violin, which was stolen after a concert 35 years ago, at an FBI news conference in New York City announcing the recovery of the violin, Aug. 6, 2015. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

(JTA) — Jewish violin virtuoso Roman Totenberg enjoyed a long life, making it to the ripe old age of 101. But that wasn’t quite long enough to be reunited with the prized instrument that was stolen from him in 1980. The FBI officially announced Thursday that it had recovered Totenberg’s… Read more »

Get your kosher dogs at Dodger Stadium!

(JTA) — The Los Angeles Dodgers may never achieve the lore of their brethren in Brooklyn, but now at least they’ve brought a bit of Brooklyn to the West Coast — in the form of hot dogs. Earlier this week, Dodger Stadium opened its first kosher hot dog stand,… Read more »

Tucson Songstress

Julie Zorn, Tucson Jewish Community Center Jewish culture specialist and music specialist, writes  the Tucson Songstress blog. Enjoy her ruminations on family, Judaism, the song of the day — and more.  … Read more »

Kosher Chic: Oh, no … not Passover!

Passover foods. Two words. Oy vey! I start moaning and complaining about Passover weeks before its arrival. Seder foods aside, which I actually enjoy, the intermediary days can be dreadful, as far as dietary restrictions are concerned. Besides refraining from eating gluten, grains, etc., I do not eat meat,… Read more »

Finding religion in a Saturday morning buffet

Today is Saturday. Shabbat. What did you do? I went to Shacharit for the first time ever on Hannaton. I sang. After the 50 minute special chanting service, I snuck out before the Torah was taken out. I walked home. I drank coffee. I meditated in the morning sun.… Read more »

I wasn’t always like this

A well-thought out middle name is an underused tool. My middle name should be “in progress.” Jen In Progress. In my case, In Progress would remind me to be compassionate, to others, but mostly to myself. Mother In Progress Wife In Progress Friend In Progress It would remind me… Read more »

I’m really the farthest thing from a gardener

My photos on instagram paint a pretty picture. The above broccoli and cabbage are part of the harvest from our backyard vegetable garden. We took advantage of the beautiful weather today (70 degrees and sunny) to weed and pull. It’s the second season we planted; and the second season… Read more »

I can’t remember growing older

When you’re a parent, each day is a struggle not to live in the future. What if? What will be? What will she look like? How will he make it through? And some days are harder than others. The days when fear grips you. When headlines make you want… Read more »

Other people’s garbage

What I am about to say doesn’t apply to everyone. It doesn’t apply to the immigrant family just arrived from Darfur. It doesn’t apply to the disabled veteran living in a box on the corner. But it DOES apply to anyone with enough money and sustenance to afford a… Read more »

The marketing professional who went to vote

No one understands better than a marketing professional how much emotional triggers impact our decisions. Fear. Despair. Hope. A feeling that your choice matters. A hunger for power. A desire to belong. Competitiveness. Trust. A belief that you are smarter, more sophisticated, more right. Ego. Ego. Ego. I voted… Read more »

One Shabbat

Sometimes… All it takes is one Shabbat… One morning to clean One afternoon to cook One evening to shower and dress in your handsome clothes…   Just one Shabbat. One morning to sleep in … until 7. One weekly meditation group. One quiet admission. One hour to sit with… Read more »

Kosher Chic

A kosher food blog by Tucson’s own Lori Riegel, currently development director for Southern Arizona at Arizona’s Children Association, and a former AJP sales executive. Read it here.… Read more »

Earth changes (sung to Lara’s theme)

I'm lucky I brought my down jacket from New Jersey with its faux eskimo hood

Two years ago, it snowed like the apocalypse in Newark, New Jersey. Nevertheless, the airports were open the next day and early in the morning December 28, we packed our three kids and 15 duffel bags into a shuttle bus. As the sun rose, we headed up the NJ… Read more »

The long road to desire

Bragging moment: I was accepted into the University Honors Program in college. I even got a scholarship. That letter in the mail was likely the pinnacle of my academic career. That, or the poetry award I won from Mr. Schaeffer at the end of 9th Grade. I was your… Read more »

Star gazing

I’m a minor space geek. Minor because I’ve never fully engaged in studying the skies above me; rather remained content to swim in the magical mystery of it all: Glow-in-the dark constellations arranged haphazardly on my bedroom ceiling “Star light star bright first star I see tonight” Scanning the… Read more »

Taking a picture in my mind

A boy with his homemade sun scope, after observing the Transit of Venus in 2012

Back when this little guy was a tad bit younger than he is today, he used to “take pictures with his mind.” He’d put his pointer fingers up to his temples, lean down towards the object he wanted to focus on (typically a kitten or a flower), and snap… Read more »

Believing in your inner rock star

Tonight my son was the student of a lesson I’ve been actively trying to learn all week all my life. How to keep thinking you’re a rock star when the world hands you proof otherwise. The setting? My son’s soccer ceremony. The kick in the gut?  Instead of being awarded the… Read more »

A woman on the brink of death

(This was originally posted on the Times of Israel on 1.2.13) Sometimes I imagine I am a woman on her death bed. How else to explain the sense of wonder I have the minute I pull out of my driveway each morning to head to work? Before I even… Read more »

Dear 38-year-old me

Israel, 2012

Dear Jen: It’s a trend in the last decade or so for writers or celebrities to pen letters to their younger, seemingly more innocent and vulnerable selves. While sometimes introspective and poignant, this practice is a waste of time. Letters lead only to wistful and wishful thinking. Energy is… Read more »

Religous puzzle

Is it possible to move to the Jewish State and feel less Jewish? Yes. Yes, it is. Even when you’re acting a lot more Jewish than you did when you lived in the Non-Jewish Jewish state. (Not, no the Vatican. New Jersey.) Even though I moved to Israel and… Read more »