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Rose Pastor Stokes: Jewess with Attitude

On April 5, 1905, J. Graham Phelps Stokes —Yale graduate, businessman, scion of one of New York’s “Four Hundred” families, social worker at the University Settlement on the Lower East Side, dabbler in progressive politics — announced his engagement to Rose Pastor — Russian Jewish immigrant, cigarmaker-turned-journalist, self-identified girl of the Jewish ghetto. Dwelling briefly […]

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Make A Felt Birthday Chair Slipcover!

What can you do with some pom-poms, felt yardage, and sequin trim, that can create happy memories for your family for years to come? Wouldn’t you like to have some ready-made decorations on hand, to honor birthdays or other important milestones? Have you ever had a guest who suddenly announces that today is her birthday? […]

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My first days of pesach were awesome

My nose was filled with sweet cologne as two men sat in back of me, I could smell them as soon as the door to sanctuary swung open, before they proceeded to sit down and insult my nose with their overdone cologne and rapid fire whispered Hebrew I could tell they were Israeli, I wondered […]

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Matzah: It’s What’s For Dinner. And Lunch. And Breakfast.

So about now you’re probably entertaining thoughts of gooey crust pizza and Wonder Bread sandwiches, am I right? Eight days is a loooong-ass time to not eat bread or any other poofy pastry, but I figure it’s not nearly as hardcore as running away from Egypt and wandering around a desert wasteland for 40 years. […]

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More Passover Memories

The other day I blogged about celebrating Passover on my great aunt’s dairy farm outside of Baltimore. I sent the link to my aunt and uncle (on the other side of the family). They read the latest books on their Kindle and have digitized all their old LPs, but it didn’t occur to my 80-year-old […]

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You’re Not Jewish. Deal With It.

When I lived in Ireland and I would tell people I was Jewish they invariably got all excited and were like, “The Irish are the Jews of Europe,” which presumably was them trying to say, “Hey, we Irish people identify with the way the world has been pooping all over the Jews since pretty much […]

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Why Water And Booty Shaking Should Be Part of the Seder

Look, Moses had a stutter and Aaron was busy having bells sewn on his robes, so who do you think really kept it together during the exodus from Egypt? Miriam, that’s who. (That would be Moses’ and Aaron’s older sister, not the Mexican transsexual entertainer, for those unfamiliar with the haggadah.) She was clever enough […]

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Stuff Jewish People Like

So I was under the influence last Saturday night when I had an epiphany, I’ve never had an “under the influence” related epiphany, mostly because I rarely become under any influence, besides that of a very good speaker. So I’m hanging with my Mexican Jew friend and we are talking about conversions and I think […]

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Make Your Own Wall Decals From Fabric!

Today I am not at the computer, I am celebrating and observing the first day of Pesach! Of course that doesn’t mean that I’ll be abandoning the blog, I’ve got a whole series of posts lined up that will automatically post even though I’m enjoying the holiday! This is not my project (You’ll forgive me […]

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Passover on the Farm

How many kids growing up in Baltimore City in the 1950s celebrated Passover on a dairy farm? How many little girls hunted for the afikomen in a house that had once been home to slaveholders? How many children heard the sounds of cows mooing when they opened the door for Elijah? Not too many, I […]

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Best of the Week

It has definitely been a strange, strange week. Mid-week Passover seders really can throw you off. Besides staying up to ungodly hours in the night, when the chag is finally over, all you want to do is go outside, be active, and get ready for the beginning of the week. The problem is that the […]

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Surviving the Seder – Guide to the Very Perplexed

Years ago, Maxwell House Coffees used to give out free Haggadahs at all the grocery stores, a nice way of reminding people that Maxwell House Coffees are Kosher for Passover. Those Haggadahs were actually quite nice (with charming illustrations) and were really helpful, with clear translations, a picture of the Seder plate layout, and easy […]

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