Reflections

Money and happiness: appreciating the real cost of living

Recently, my husband and I went to a Beatles musical revue and had a wonderful time singing and dancing in the aisles with other middle-aged ex-hippies to tunes like “Yellow Submarine,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Michelle.” In the car on the way home, we sang some… Read more »

Reflections: Israeli secret to business success: Don’t fear failure

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I recently returned from a fantastic trip to Israel — an interfaith business and leadership delegation sponsored by the America-Israel Friendship League. Our group consisted of 29 dynamic Tucsonans — a vibrant mix of faiths, ethnicities and professional backgrounds. Together we explored the religious, archeological, business and cultural sites… Read more »

A moment in time: my New Zealand Shabbat

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

It wasn’t easy to get there but the effort was well worth it. A bus trip winding our way out of Queenstown took us to our first destination where we boarded a catamaran and crossed Lake Manapouri, its surface shimmering in the late morning sun. A second bus ride… Read more »

Readers answer: ‘What drives the Jews?’

Several months ago I asked a question in one of my columns and invited readers’ input. Answers came from all over the country and were as diverse as Jews are themselves. The question was originally posed to me by my 23-year-old daughter: What drives the Jews? In keeping with… Read more »

Words of wisdom never grow old

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

I grew up in a house where words were the currency by which my brother and I gained recognition. Unlike most of our peers’ parents, whose approval was dished out for making the varsity team or getting straight A’s, my dad’s highest form of praise came as a result… Read more »

Shehecheyanu: Committing to a year of firsts

I am a closet card-aholic. It’s true. Some people eat when they get stressed. Others shop. Me? I head straight to the card aisle at Walgreens or CVS. If I’m really lucky and Hallmark has declared a holiday, like National Take Your Pet to Work Day, I can get… Read more »

Finding meaning in the sound of silence

I talk a lot and I can’t deny it. I was one of those babies who didn’t say anything until the age of two, but once I uttered my first word (which my mother swears was “beet”), I never stopped. This was a huge source of embarrassment for me… Read more »

Seeking a good leader? Look for a mensch

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

The other night my husband and I sat down to review the sample ballot in preparation for the upcoming election. It took less than two minutes before a mild depression set in and I started looking for that glass of wine I hadn’t finished at dinner. I was upset,… Read more »

What drives the Jews? Your opinion wanted

I opened the e-mail from my daughter Lauren, who has been living in Guatemala for almost a year. I cherish the “conversations” we have in cyberspace because they give us a chance to share differently than we do in our phone calls, where we tend to discuss more immediate… Read more »

Hasty judgments can cloud our vision and limit our relationships

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

“I’m ashamed of myself,” she whispered into the phone. “Oh hi Mom, good to hear your voice,” I responded. My mother often begins our phone calls in the middle of a conversation she started before dialing my number. “I played bridge today,” she continued, “and was stuck with a… Read more »

Rosh Hashanah reminds us that we have the power to change

Amy Hirshberg Lederman

It’s that time of year again. Backpacks and school binders tumble off the shelves at local stores, crossing guards in bright orange vests patrol the roads and parents are bemoaning the frenzied schedules that “back to school” requires. But there’s a positive energy in the air as kids, tanned… Read more »

Small change inspires big changes

It was almost 5 o’clock when Susan realized she didn’t have the fresh basil and black olives she needed for the chicken dish she was preparing for dinner. Guests were arriving at 7 o’clock and she still needed to shower and change. Scribbling the few items down on a… Read more »

Keeping kosher: food fetish or holy path?

In an age when no self-respecting American would be caught without a dietary restriction, from low-fat and high-protein to vegan or gluten-free, Jews have the proud distinction of being the first group to claim an Official Food Fixation. Since biblical times, the Jewish relationship to food has been more… Read more »

Honor your parents — and believe in them

America is big on holidays, especially those that relate to family members. There’s a holi­day for mothers, a special day for dads and a national grandparents’ day that usually includes a pancake breakfast at preschool. But what inspires these holidays is more than a positive earnings statement from Hallmark… Read more »