Posts tagged writing

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My Jewish Journal Life…


Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.02.17 AMSince February 2015, in addition to my various other consulting work, I’ve been a contributing writer at the Jewish Journal here in Los Angeles, and have had the opportunity to tell some amazing stories – some about myself, and some about other people.

You can read all of my past stories – including a few “classics” from years before I even moved to Los Angeles! – at my author page on the Jewish Journal website. And here is a curated list of some of my 2016 favorites so far.

Jew-by-choice Mandie Davis also chooses homeless children: Southern Baptist-raised, and now Jewish, Mandie found love on Skid Row, and co-founded an amazing organization with her husband that brings joy to homeless children for their birthdays. (June 2016)

Today’s Jewish TV characters come into their own: An exploration of how Jewish identity is totally a thing on television these days, as characters own their cultural identity, traditions and even Hebrew in an unprecedented manner. (April 2016)

Finding meaning in Passover prep pain: A personal piece recalling how much pain my late mother endured in creating Passover in our home, and how I created Passover in my home this year. (April 2016)

Reconsidering Kaddish: Profiling four new approaches to the mourner’s prayer, which expand access to Kaddish as a ritual and imbue it with new meaning. (February 2016)

More available at my author page, and in the future, as I cover additional topics…

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It’s Been A While, But I’m Back…


Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 4.17.14 PMThanks for your patience while we worked out some technical challenges with – I’m looking forward to bringing you more writing, advice and food for thought in this space over the next few months, and hope you’ll be here to think, learn and laugh with me. Until the fresh content is fully baked, I wanted to share these two videos with you.

I’ve started working as freelance community manager for ELI Talks, a program designed to bring TED-style talks and weekly on-air conversations to people who want to explore Jewish engagement, literacy and identity. Most of the time, I’m behind the camera, live-tweeting the weekly conversations (you can see past editions at the ELI Talks website under the section for ELI Talks on Air). But my first run was as an intervieweee – I spoke about my writing on everything from Jewish singles to life after loss; and my next one was as an interviewer, as I spoke to the guys behind the Jewish video site Shmideo. (The links in the previous sentence will take you to MyUrbanKvetch, for the minute-by-minute breakdown, in case you’d like to see a part of the video without sitting down to watch the entire thing. :))

More content to come – looking forward to sharing with you in this space soon! (And a happy Jewish new year to those of you who are celebrating…)

"Writing My Novel" - photo by

“Write It Down”


"Writing My Novel" - photo by

This Sunday, I had two separate, long conversations with friends who I don’t often have long conversations with. Each of them was processing something major – one of them a business betrayal and a major life transition, and the other a longtime breakup and a loss of faith in community. While mourning the changes (mostly by not thinking about them or diverting into other pursuits – I mean, these are men we’re talking about), they both seemed a bit stuck as to how to move on. “Write it down,” I said, to each of them, separately and with the suggestion of a different context.

I have no idea whether they’ll actually take my advice, but I really believe in the power of written (or typed) articulation of feelings, analysis of desire to move forward, steps for progress, and getting through something emotional by naming it – and owning it – verbally. It’s kind of like a contract for change:  you write this down, making it real and tangible where it was previously amorphous, and create the legal structure for your own progress.

For the one who experienced a business betrayal and disappointment, i suggested what is referred to as a “post-mortem” – an after-the-fact analysis of what you’d intended or expected to achieve, what actually happened, how, and what lessons you learned for next time. And for the one who was experiencing some discontent with the community and a breakup, I suggested he write down some thoughts, maybe as an op-ed piece for the local Jewish paper, or perhaps just for himself – to outline what his thoughts about his situation really were, what kind of challenges he was experiencing and how they could be fixed or improved by community engagement.

Writing it down almost always helps me process. What about you? What are your tricks for processing life’s disappointments?

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