Hi, everyone! I’m a brand-new parenting columnist for JewishBoston. I’ll write about news, books, current events, juicy debates and other issues that relate to family life through a Jewish lens. As such, I imagine you might have some questions about my identity. So, as an introduction, I thought I’d interview myself. (Don’t worry. Down the road, I’ll interview other people.) Let’s start, shall we?
First of all, who are you?
I’m a journalist based in Boston. I write a parenting advice column for The Boston Globe (and I also write a lot about family life, real estate and food for them, too). I also contribute to Boston Magazine. I used to work for New York Magazine’s food site, Grub Street and for The New Republic. I got my start working in TV news at NBC in Washington, D.C., where I hung up on Tom Brokaw (twice). I live outside Boston with my husband and 5-year-old, who has two loose teeth, a passion for Ninja Turtles and a stuffed ewok named “Yub Yub.”
Cute! But why are you writing for a Jewish site?
So, I’m half-Jewish. I wasn’t raised religiously, though my family celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. I was very close with my mom’s side of the family, which is Catholic, but didn’t know my dad’s Jewish side quite so well. As I grew older, I wanted to connect more with that part of my heritage, both personally and professionally. On the personal side, I began volunteering with Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters here in Boston. On the professional side, I served as editor and assistant rock-and-roll curator for the late, lamented Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website. (OK, maybe that was a personal interest too.)
Now, as a parent, I’d like my son to have a more complex understanding of his own background. This hits home every time he calls my dad “Zeyde,” at my dad’s request, the same thing my father called his own grandfather. He also really looks up to his Jewish cousin, Alec, who’s almost a teenager. At the moment, he thinks Hanukkah means that it’s someone’s birthday—you know, candles and all—so we’ll see how things progress. I want my son to have a sense of his mixed cultural identity, and I’m eager to grow more in that realm too.
What are you going to write about?
Current events, noteworthy books, profiles of people making meaningful contributions to the community, news, innovations, deli sandwiches, thorny philosophical topics, you name it. I’ll post multiple times per week, so I hope to cover plenty of ground. As such, I’d love ideas, so feel free to send me some!
Who’s your favorite Jewish rock star?
That’s easy: Donald Fagen from classic 1970s yacht-rock band Steely Dan. (Aren’t you glad I’m not writing about music?)