September 22, 2014 / 27th of Elul, 5774
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Mimi Arbeit

  • Barbara, 60, keeps it fun and exciting with her husband, Larry, 65. They have been together for 10 years, got married seven years ago, and have a house (and a hot tub) in Boston.

    Tell me about your relationship with Larry.

    When we were deciding to get married, our very cool faith leaders, a rabbi and a Methodist minister, both said to us in different ways: “You don’t have to do this. You have done this before. You are definitely old enough to make your own dec...

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  • About one year ago, Dorise Gruber wrote a post for The Debrief titled “Dating by the Numbers.” It wasn’t a forum for outlandish stories or grievances, but rather an opportunity to analyze her experiences, quantify them and learn from a particularly steep “n” value—125 first dates in five years! Today she provides us with an update on her love life.

    At present, my fiancé is curled up in bed and I’m trying to type quietly so as...

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  • Jeff Herman, 22, says he is young in age but old in spirit. He’s a recent Brandeis grad now in Somerville, getting into behavioral health research. He also likes teaching about sex and pleasure.

    A fellow educator at The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health first introduced the idea of pleasure-focused sex to me using her sexual version of “Candy Land.” You heard right—sexual “Candy Land.” The game had spaces like any board game, but at c...

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  • Several months ago, Chanel Dubofsky asked me to do an interview with her at Jewschool. Then I asked her if we could flip things around. Today she debriefs her creation of The Marriage Project. Chanel’s writing can be found at Cosmopolitan, RH Reality Check, The Billfold, The Jewish Daily Forward, The Toast and more. She’s an MFA candidate at Vermont College of Fine Arts. She blogs at Diverge, plus you can follow her on Twitter at @chaneldubofsky.

    During and right...

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  • Susie, who is 45 and lives in Allston, reflects on her challenges dating men she meets online, mainly using


    I sit across from Eric at Trident Booksellers & Cafe. I’m not sure if it’s a date or a friendly lunch. I’ve done my hair and makeup just in case. He starts telling me about his new girlfriend (guess it’s not a date!). He also rants that there’s something wrong with all women over 40 who haven’t been married...

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  • Just over a year ago, Michelle and Asher met at a Shabbat potluck, where they were co-leading the blessings over wine. They knew it was something special after spending the night talking about polyamory and the concept of “lashon hara” (evil tongue) and how it affects being in community. Asher is a 28-year-old queer trans Jew, originally from Wisconsin. He has been living in Jamaica Plain for the past five years and is a student at Simmons School of Social Work. Michelle is a 24-year-...

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  • Saturday morning at 11:30 barely counts as morning. So when my friend texted me that her date from the night before was still asleep in her bed, I have to admit I was surprised. It’s impressive, really, being able to sleep in like a college student home for winter break. So I asked: What’s your favorite way to get someone out of bed in the morning, or to be woken up yourself?

    Some people like it slow…

    “I need to be woken up in increments: ‘L...

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  • Yael is a 28-year-old marketing coach and former Jewish communal professional. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies and a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication. Yael lives in Melrose with her husband, Jeff.

    Last week, I hit my breaking point. It was after I had been personally insulted by a stranger with whom I share a mutual Facebook friend. Until that point, I had tried to engage others in productive, respectful conversation abo...

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  • I had tea with Beth Leventhal, a 54-year-old Jewish lesbian who is the director of The Network/La Red. As we stood up to leave, she commented that she had told me a lot more stories than she has in other interviews because she associates telling stories with Jewish learning and culture—the midrash, or oral tradition. Here are some of her stories. (Trigger warning for depictions of physical and emotional abuse.)

    “She used the smallest kernel of truth to hook me, t...

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  • I’ve started inviting partners to contribute stories or conversations together. (I think I’ll call it a “We-brief”—let me know if you and your sweetie are interested!) Today Eve and Kevin, 28-year-olds from Somerville and Jamaica Plain, respectively, reflect on how they worked through an apology as they started dating a few months ago, inspired by this article on teaching children to say sorry (yeah, adults have a thing or two to learn, too!).

    Eve: ...

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Mimi is a Ph.D. candidate in child study and human development at Tufts University, focusing on adolescent sexuality and sexual health. She is a freelance sexuality educator and also works locally to promote and strengthen sexuality education in public schools. Before starting The Debrief, she wrote her own blog, She loves dancing, taking walks around the city, and listening to people share their stories. Email or tweet @mimiarbeit.

Latest Comments

Mazal Tov! Adi -- it takes a brave man to marry any writer, especially someone who writes publicly about her love life. My hat is off to you. May you both enjoy many years of happiness.
The Debrief: An Epilogue for “Dating by the Numbers”
Great article. I totally agree with you. I come from a very happy family life yet I have never married. It seems to me that most married people are not joyful and my parents enjoyed each other so much. Marriage should be fun - and yet most people are not having any. I would love to be married to the person who would have the zest in life that I do, but I have not found that. And, so, I remain happily single, really enjoying my life. I get out of bed every morning with enthusiasm and joy. What more can you ask?
The Debrief: Choosing Marriage, or Not
I thought the video was hilarious because I never even considered the girlfriend's viewpoint. (Yes, I'm now that guy) Great video and great writing.
The Debrief: Marry My Way
The Debrief: Marry My Way
I am so grateful, every day, that The Network/La Red is in the world, doing this holy work. Loved this interview/conversation with Beth Leventhal, thanks Mimi Arbeit!
The Debrief: Midrash with Beth Leventhal
I am so deeply grateful that The Network/La Red, Beth Leventhal, and all the TNLR staff exist in the world doing the amazing work they do. Definitely check out this conversation with Beth!
The Debrief: Midrash with Beth Leventhal
This is wonderful stuff. I'm so glad Beth's perspective is out in the world, and when other people are willing to listen, I rejoice!
The Debrief: Midrash with Beth Leventhal