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Joyce Schur

Beauty is False

September 13, 2011, by

A Friday night, a “Woman of Valor” and a table of family and friends check the tears and remind her that true beauty lies far beyond the grasp of chemotherapy; it lies within.

The Tuition Crisis: A Personal Reflection

September 6, 2011, by

The word “tuition” may not have preceded the word “crisis”, but the circumstances were so similar and the consequences so identical that it’s probably worth a lead-in… In the late 1980s, the U.S. was experiencing a devastating economic downturn. With only one school age child at the time, and because luxury lifestyle choices took a

The Jewish Heritage Experience

August 16, 2011, by

In retrospect, a lot has been said and written about enhancing the Tisha B’Av experience. For many of us the “loss” of our holy places is very abstract; we know that historically we’ve suffered national catastrophes, but feeling it on a personal level is another matter. For that reason, and for many years running, the

Rebel With a Cause

August 2, 2011, by

I’m going back to the 70s and a wicked winter in St. Paul, Minnesota. Winters in St. Paul can be brutal, especially if you’re a teen from another saint-city that’s over 500 miles further south. The trek from St. Louis to St. Paul meant a Greyhound bus all-nighter for the thirty of us who wanted

Is a Woman’s Place in the (Kosher) Kitchen?

July 6, 2011, by

A recent Jewish Week article, “A Woman’s Place is in the (Kosher) Kitchen” by Amy Spiro caught plenty of attention. When Donyel Meese, a pre-med undergraduate and NCSY alumnus, was offered student employment in kashrut supervision (Ohio State University’s Hillel Cafe), she first consulted her Rabbi regarding halachic issues. It’s a common misconception that a

A Pauper at the Wall

May 24, 2011, by

A pauper……is a very poor person without means of support, a person who lives upon the charity of the community. The difference between a pauper and a beggar is this: The beggar is one who is making a request. The pauper, however, has such obvious need that people frequently give without even being asked. In

Pride, Prejudice and Perfection

May 11, 2011, by

As a post-script to Mother’s Day, and given today’s cultural manifestation of the Orthodox Jewish “superwoman”, what do King Solomon and Jane Austen have in common? Well, how about the following bit of repartee from Pride and Prejudice: Darcy: “I cannot boast of knowing more than half-a-dozen (women), in the whole range of my acquaintance,

Around the Dining Room Table

May 11, 2011, by

In 1988, the world was shocked at the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland. All 259 passengers and crew were killed, including Joseph K. Miller (z”l). Miller, a lawyer and accountant who was active in Jewish concerns, had also been serving as the OU’s treasurer. He was 56 years old at the

Empathy, Support and Japan’s Outpouring of Appreciation

May 4, 2011, by

Maybe it wasn’t expected, but within hours of the March 11th earthquake that rocked Japan, the Orthodox Union had organized a relief fund. It was a basic humanitarian gesture, and immediately following that, a professional gesture: Rabbi Menachem Genack, rabbinic administrator of the OU’s kashrut division since 1980, drafted a “Letter of our Feelings and