A Parent in Israel

Multifocals and the wisdom of Inside Out

August 21, 2015

“Let me take care of him. He’s very sensitive,” my optometrist Nadine whispered to her coworker in Hebrew behind the counter as she brought out my new glasses. “I heard that!” I snapped back, indicating that, while my Hebrew is famously fragile, I had command of enough basics to know when I was being insulted. […]

Read the full article →

Standing up to the online bullies

July 22, 2015

When I was growing up, I was frequently bullied. I had all the stereotypical markers for bullies to pick on: I was overweight, socially awkward, a klutz in sports and inevitably last to be picked, bespectacled and brainy. It didn’t help that my first name could be twisted to spell out the very insult that […]

Read the full article →

Mystery Maladies and Quality of Life: Is 75 Enough?

July 7, 2015

It’s common to divide people into two opposing types. There are optimists and pessimists, extroverts and introverts, people who love cilantro and those who think it tastes like dirty dishwater. Add to this, people who run to the doctor at the first sign of something wrong and others who wait, trusting that the body will […]

Read the full article →

Pick and Choose-daism

June 21, 2015

Jacob’s Ladder is my favorite weekend of the year. The spring version of the semi-annual music festival, which was held last month, presents an eclectic mix of country, folk, bluegrass and, lately, local indie rock bands over three days at Kibbutz Nof Ginosar north of Tiberius. Over the past several years, I’ve noticed an increasing […]

Read the full article →

In praise of datlashim

June 7, 2015

Datlashim are some of my favorite people. I admit I’m partial. All three of my kids are datlashim. That said, datlashim may represent the very future of Judaism or, stated with less hyperbole, may help an increasingly fractured Jewish community find common ground between religious and secular. Datlash is an acronym that stands for dati […]

Read the full article →

How to Make This Year’s Seder Not Like Any Other Night

April 7, 2015

The run up to tonight’s Seder included a remarkable – and decidedly disturbing – discovery in the Blum house: no one in our family really likes Pesach. Actually, it was worse. Some of us really hate Pesach. The preparation, the cleaning, even the Seder itself doesn’t rank highly on our list of peak Jewish experiences. How […]

Read the full article →

Resilience in the Face of Uncertainty

November 30, 2014

When we made aliyah 20 years ago, did we come expecting that there would be war in our future? On a certain level, I suppose we knew that we were moving to a dangerous neighborhood and that conflict was probable. But we repressed that kind of thinking. You had to – why would we willingly […]

Read the full article →

Ireland, Identity and Avoiding Anti-Semitism

September 24, 2014

“If anyone asks where we’re from, say America, not Israel.” Those were the instructions I gave to my wife and children for how to minimize friction while traveling outside of Israel after a summer where protests bordering on (and sometimes overtly embracing) anti-Semitism raged across Europe. Our vacation – ten days in Ireland, hiking, drinking […]

Read the full article →

Hair No More

November 26, 2013

The queue (well, more of an amorphous, fast talking crowd) was already 30 girls long when my daughter Merav arrived at the Malcha shopping mall in Jerusalem. The girls – teenagers and young adults mostly – were from all kinds of different backgrounds, from completely secular to haredi. But they all had one thing in […]

Read the full article →

Jerusalem Youth Chorus Records with Israeli Pop Superstar David Broza

January 31, 2013

I’m not sure what who was more excited – our 15-year-old-son Aviv who was about to meet one of Israel’s biggest pop stars, or his parents, given that Aviv had actually never heard of said star. But we had – my wife Jody’s mom even has a picture of her with David Broza from a concert he […]

Read the full article →