Ask Aviva: Plumped up

February 4, 2015, by

Dear Aviva, I’ll just come out with it: I am an overweight person. I haven’t always been overweight, but after a few pregnancies, and the joys and distractions of motherhood, I’ve put on a few extra pounds that I’d rather not have. But, I choose to be happy and not worry about it at the moment where

Who Needs a Rabbi?

February 3, 2015, by

My wife’s grandfather, a Hasid who was trapped behind the Iron Curtain for decades before moving to Brooklyn, used to enjoy being asked who his rebbe was. After all, every good Hasid needs a rebbe. He would say that God is his rebbe, not any man. He answered to God and only God. That was

Lessons from a Father of a Special Needs Child

January 29, 2015, by

R3CA videos are a new format for teaching Torah and discussing important issues in the Jewish community. On June 30, 2014, at the annual Rabbinical Council of America Conference, 10 rabbis gave high quality TED-like presentations and were professionally recorded before a live audience. The short length (under 18 minutes) and entertaining quality of these

Ask Aviva: Sour Sibling-in-Law

January 28, 2015, by

Dear Aviva, I am having an issue with my sibling-in-law. Whenever said in-law comes to visit, she makes herself too comfortable in my home. She opens my fridge, eats whatever she pleases, and uses her own utensils at the dinner table to scrape off the food from the main serving utensil, which I find quite distasteful! This in-law

Why We All Need Holocaust Memorial Day

This article originally appeared in the Daily Telegraph. Today, Holocaust Memorial Day, will mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. This year we will also remember the 12 people killed in the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the murdered policewoman and the four customers in a Jewish supermarket, shot

Photoshopping Angela Merkel

January 21, 2015, by

There’s been a lot of buzz about the ultra-Orthodox Israeli newspaper HaMevaser photoshopping the women leaders out of a photograph of the unity march in Paris. People have had a number of reactions, largely informed by their already-existing positions on matters ranging from sexism to anti-Semitism. I’m going to share my personal reflections on these

Orthodox Jewish All Stars

January 15, 2015, by

Last month, Jew in the City selected their annual Orthodox Jewish All-Stars. From running a fashion company to being a Disney animator discover the surpriing indivudlas who, incredibly, are able to balance being an Orthodox Jew with a demanding, high-profile career. See more at Jew in the City.

When The Terror Hits Home

January 15, 2015, by

Last Saturday night, a day after the terror attacks in Paris, my father called to say that my uncle, Philippe Braham, was killed as he was checking out at the Hyper Cache kosher supermarket, just before Shabbos. He was murdered in a neighborhood I know well, Porte de Vincennes, a few minutes away from my

Ask Aviva: Dialectically Different

January 15, 2015, by

Dear Aviva, I’m a 40 year-old, Brooklyn-born convert and have since moved far from New York. B’H everything that has to do with Judaism has come naturally to me. But there is still one thing that keeps me from feeling like everyone else. My issue is that no matter how much I try when I speak I sound