Reflections

Gratitude: an antidote to emotional distancing

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Since March of this year, we have been forced to reassess and restructure how we think about and interact with the world. From empty calendars and stockpiled closets to work, family, and social lives that resemble nothing we have ever known, we bear witness to living in a COVID-19… Read more »

Celebrating Passover in a corona world

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Passover is the holiday when Jews come together for Seder with families, friends and community to retell the core Jewish narrative which goes like this: We were slaves for over 400 years in Egypt, then God  brought us out of Egypt “with a strong hand and an outstretched arm”… Read more »

On Hanukkah, like a moth to the flame

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

It began as a typical Jewish Christmas Eve. To borrow a quote from Elana Kagan: “Like most Jews, I was at a Chinese restaurant.” As I walked through the restaurant, I passed table after table of Jewish friends and acquaintances happily sharing fried rice and eggrolls with family and… Read more »

Israel is a nuanced, complicated country, as JFSA interfaith trip affirms

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I recently returned from a fantastic trip to Israel — an interfaith delegation sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona. Our group consisted of 28 dynamic and open-minded people — a vibrant and deeply engaged mix of faiths, ethnicities, and professional backgrounds. Together we walked, climbed, and explored… Read more »

Unveiling reveals more than a headstone

Harold Hirshberg’s great-grandsons painted rocks for friends and family to leave on his headstone. (Photo courtesy AMY HIRSHBERG Lederman)

We gathered together in the warm September sun at my father’s gravesite, just 10 days shy of a year since he died. It was the coming together of the family clan, the manifestation of four generations of the legacy that this almost 100-year-old man had inspired. But the unveiling… Read more »

Everything has a season: dealing with change

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

In October 1965, Columbia Records released a hit song by the Byrds called “Turn, Turn, Turn.” While my friends and I loved its beautiful harmony, I never suspected that its words would accompany me through life, spanning decades of historical and personal events from the Vietnam War to the… Read more »

In 21st century, could Tevye change his tune?

In 1966, when I was just 13 years old, my parents surprised me by taking me to New York City to see Zero Mostel star as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” I was enchanted by Shalom Aleichem’s inspiration, “Tevye the Dairyman,” which was written in Yiddish in 1894.… Read more »

Israel provides medical assistance and dignity across a war-torn border

Metal silhouettes of soldiers positioned as if they were protecting an abandoned Israeli outpost overlooking the border with Syria.

Driving up the mountainous road to Mt. Bental, I feel the temperature drop and the wind pick up as we reach the 3,800-foot peak where an abandoned Israeli army outpost, complete with bombed-out bunkers, sits. Anyone willing to ascend this mountain will be treated to a better understanding of… Read more »

Reflections: Learning to embrace uncertainty

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

In 1980, I began my career as a law clerk working at the Arizona Court of Appeals. My job was to research issues for the judge and work on draft opinions, which would then be fully reviewed, analyzed and edited until he was satisfied with the result. I spent… Read more »

Email unlocks treasure chest of family history, new possibilities

Family members in Paris in April 2017 (L-R): Lauren Lederman, Amy Lederman, Ema Nachmani, Bella Bernard and Mariyam Nachmani (Courtesy Amy Lederman)

It all began in 2001 with my mother’s insatiable desire to discover more about her background and family.  I had heard stories since I was a young girl about her parents who had tragically died within a month of each other, leaving my mother an orphan before her third… Read more »

The spirit of the vine: lessons from travels in Burgundy

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I recently spent five days hiking and biking through the Burgundy region of France, where my appreciation for the vineyards and vintners of that region was nothing short of inspirational. The two main grapes of Burgundy, pinot noir and Chardonnay, generate hundreds of varieties of wine for all of… Read more »

Current events, ancient query: Am I my brother’s keeper?

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I have always loved books. As a child, I treasured my hardcover editions of “Heidi,” “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” and “Black Beauty” and loved the nights when my mom and I would snuggle on the couch as she read me chapter after chapter of “Little Women.” And in 1965, at… Read more »

Reflections: Shabbat beckons us to let our burdens go

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Recently, I heard a talk on stress management where the lecturer, holding a glass of water, asked: “How heavy is this glass of water?” The audience called out answers that ranged from eight to 24 ounces. The lecturer replied, “Actually, from my perspective, it doesn’t really matter. What matters… Read more »

Reflections: Flying high and judging fairly

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I travel by air quite a bit and to be honest, it isn’t fun. Besides the stress of getting to the airport in sufficient time to remove half the clothing I put on just hours before, I generally arrive at my destination half-starved and sleep deprived. But the real angst… Read more »

Sitting shiva offers a guide by which to live

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

My husband Ray died on June 15, 2015, exactly three years, seven months and six days after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. From the beginning, we were a team and it became “our” cancer. We discussed everything, from chemo and hair loss to how to share difficult news… Read more »

Playing hide and seek with God

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

When my be­loved husband of 32 years died after battling cancer for three and a half years, family and friends did their best to comfort me. It didn’t take more than a few minutes to realize that, with the exception of a first kiss, there may not be a… Read more »

Living and loving with no regrets provides lesson for High Holiday season

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

When my husband, Ray, was diagnosed with cancer almost four years ago, we became a team, determined to face the challenge of living with cancer head on. From the onset, we talked openly about risks and probabilities as we aggressively researched and pursued treatments and clinical trials. We sought… Read more »

Bring your light into the world at Chanukah

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

Chanukah is a holiday with many names. Some call it the Festival of Lights, while others refer to it as the Feast of Rededication or the Holiday of Miracles. Its multiplicity of names suggests a variety meanings. The historical version of Chanukah, recorded in the Book of Maccabees, chronicles… Read more »