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

About Face, About Facebook

March 30, 2011, by

In military jargon, whenever the drill sergeant commands his troops to do an “about face”, he’s instructing the formation to pivot clockwise 180 degrees. I only mention this because a favorite Jerusalem relative recently did an about-face about Facebook and commanded his “troops” (his children, who are my nieces and nephews), to shut down their

Brave New World

March 11, 2009, by

My mom just called to announce that she’d taken herself “off the grid”. This is the psychological equivalent of a drug addict going cold turkey, but you’ll have to trust me since you’ve never met her. The trigger was an outrageous invoice from a cable company that had, in league with the devil, convinced my

WAR GAMES (and lottery numbers)

January 15, 2009, by

In my hands, I’m holding a photo that was taken twenty years ago. The snapshot is of a small boy, about four or five years old, dressed up in a miniature version of army fatigues. The boy wears a plastic helmet on his head, a set of imitation field binoculars around his neck, a fake

The Tree of Life

April 24, 2008, by

I like to think of them as the “bad” boys and girls of Eilat, a group of Israeli friends who tend to be in their late twenties and early thirties with a peculiar culture of life that I don’t follow: they all drive motorcycles and are avid chain smokers, they all sport multiple body piercings

The Numbers Man

August 8, 2007, by

“I’m a numbers man,” he said the first time I met him, “Always have been, always will be. I live by the numbers. If you want to know what I think about a deal, don’t talk about location, and don’t tell me about the bricks. Just show me the numbers.” So for seven years I

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