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Showing posts from May, 2015

Ancient Auction Secret: If Chinese auctions are racist, why do Jews love them so much?

Ah, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews.  You sure do love your Chinese auctions, don’t you? It seems that even in an era of political correctness, within certain circles, this term just will not die . And frankly, I’m mortified. I’m not Chinese, but I have family who is Chinese.  Some are Korean, as well.  I guess this makes us more ethnically diverse than many Jews, but I suspect most Jewish families are moving in this direction.  Still.  Even if we don’t know a single Chinese person, we should still stop calling it that. First of all… is it actually racist to call it a Chinese auction? I figured I’d let Chinese people decide.  But when I turned to Google to find out how Chinese people feel about Chinese auctions, what I found was mostly… nothing.  Silence.  I did find some debate (presumably among non-Chinese people) over whether it was too far in the direction of political correctness to refer to these as a “silent auction” or (as in some parts of the States) a “tricky tray.”  (Ok

Visiting a synagogue for the very first time? 5 things you MUST know.

Maybe you’re invited for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah.  Maybe you’re drawn to Judaism and want to find out more.  Or maybe you just want to support a Jewish friend or family member? Whatever the reason, if you don’t know an alef from a bet (those are letters!), you might be wondering about going to synagogue and what you might see there… especially if you’re bringing kids with you.  Here are 5 important guidelines that’ll help you get grounded.  They’re adapted from my new book, Now You Know:  Rosh Hashanah for Kids , on sale for 99 cents until the end of June. The least you should know: Most synagogues ask men and boys to cover their heads, using a yarmulke (kippah) or some other type of hat. (Do this even if you’re not Jewish.) Girls and women should dress modestly, wearing skirts that fall below the knee. Most Jewish men wear a tallit - a striped white shawl that covers their shoulders. (In some communities, only married men wear a tallit.) Some synagogues provide these ne

Jews and Jobs: MAMALAND REVIEW of Can I Wear My Kippah on Job Interviews?: Career Guidance for Sabbath Observant Jewish Professionals, by Lavie and Rachel Margolin

Should you wear a kippah to your job interview? Well, yes.  In the year 2015, except in some places in the world (most of which don’t speak English), if you're a person who wears a kippah, you shouldn't NOT wear it if you're going to a job interview.  I mean, who would do that? When I saw a book called Can I Wear My Kippah on Job Interviews?: Career Guidance for Sabbath Observant Jewish Professionals from two authors who have built a business creating business- and employment-consulting books, it caught my attention right away (which I think is the point of the title).  I eagerly requested a review copy, and the author, Lavie Margolin sent one along. First of all, the book isn’t really about wearing a kippah or not. I quickly came to the conclusion that the cover question is mainly an attention-getting trick.  The Margolins never advise removing your kippah for a job interview – perhaps because they know that that would alienate too many readers.  (At one point, the b

True confessions of a (Jewish) mama sea turtle

Let me tell you a thing you might already know about sea turtles:  they live in the sea. Obvious, right?  Except the one time a sea turtle comes out of the sea is a female turtle, when she’s ready to lay eggs.  She crawls up onto land, digs a pit and lays her eggs there.  Then, it’s back into the sea with her. So what happens to the eggs?  They need a miracle, that’s what.  When they hatch, the baby turtles are on their own.  They need a mad dash to the sea to get themselves covered and protected by the water before Very Bad Things can happen.  Bad things like predators.  Like dehydration. Because they are sea turtles, they can only survive in the sea.  But their eggs can only incubate on land.  So the mad dash is inevitable – it is essential for their own survival. This is like us, as Jewish mothers.  (Hint:  the water, as always, is Torah.) I met a young couple once who'd adopted a baby from China.  I was waiting for my husband, who was meeting with the bais din for h