PUBLISHED ARTICLES 2017-12-12T03:59:16+00:00

Published Articles

  • Shabbat Ima

Our First Shabbat Home

December 12th, 2017|Comments Off on Our First Shabbat Home

We gather around the Shabbat candles. My fourteen-year-old daughter holds T, who’s almost four. I motion for her to take one step back. I’m worried that T is still too close. I light [...]

After the Fall

April 5th, 2016|Comments Off on After the Fall

In years zero to 12 of expat life, I curated a series of standard quips in response to locals questions about what it is like to live here. A typical conversation would run something like [...]

Hong Kong and Israel have much in common

October 12th, 2014|Comments Off on Hong Kong and Israel have much in common

I took my children to Admiralty to the scene of the Occupy Central protests to teach them lessons about passion and persistence. I admired the incredible spirit, civility and intelligence of the protesters, but one [...]

My Liberalism Sits Hand-in-Hand with My Zionism

September 4th, 2014|Comments Off on My Liberalism Sits Hand-in-Hand with My Zionism

I first came out as a liberal as a teen in the 1980s. I sat around the finished basements of my friends’ homes and we “didn’t inhale”, if you know what I mean. I wore [...]

Sorry to the Israeli Holding My Camera

July 27th, 2014|Comments Off on Sorry to the Israeli Holding My Camera

I give my earnest apologies to the Israeli holding my camera. When it comes to Israel, I may have misspoken. Each time I come to Israel, some conversations have a certain recurrence, as regular as [...]

France Flashback

July 23rd, 2014|Comments Off on France Flashback

Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, my flippant response to questions about my safety in Israel was, “I am far safer here than I would be in Paris. Last night it was announced that [...]

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

July 22nd, 2014|Comments Off on Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Should I stay or should I go now? If I go there will be trouble And if I stay it will be double So come on and let me know. Should I stay or should [...]

Get Your Holiday BOOKED

July 1st, 2014|Comments Off on Get Your Holiday BOOKED

As a word of warning, this article is extremely biased and opinionated. As a general rule, I won’t read anything with the words princess or popular in the title (with the exception, of course, of [...]

Limmud China: A Generator for Next-Gen Engagement

May 14th, 2014|Comments Off on Limmud China: A Generator for Next-Gen Engagement

One week post-Limmud China, most of us are still on a high. Bringing together approximately 160 participants was a large achievement for the Jews of the Far East. The post-conference flurry of Facebook friend requests [...]

My Big Fat Hong Kong B’nai Mitzvah

May 9th, 2014|Comments Off on My Big Fat Hong Kong B’nai Mitzvah

Nearly thirteen years have flown by in a way I never anticipated possible. I have woken up to find that I am suddenly the parent of a boy who is definitely taller than me, and [...]

The Art of Identity – Weaving Indian Jewish Narratives (in Conversation with Siona Benjamin)

May 5th, 2014|Comments Off on The Art of Identity – Weaving Indian Jewish Narratives (in Conversation with Siona Benjamin)

The FACES jump from their frames, dance across the walls of the Flomenhaft Gallery. Life flows from the canvases, their stories swirl around them. It is clear that these are not mere pictures of people [...]

How Do You Say Horseradish in Cantonese?

May 5th, 2014|Comments Off on How Do You Say Horseradish in Cantonese?

 It is late in the day before the first Seder. I am not having guests until the next     evening and I stop to marvel at how organized my kitchen looks. Nearly  everything is [...]

The Asian Jewish Life Story

April 1st, 2014|Comments Off on The Asian Jewish Life Story

  The story of how and why Asian Jewish Life was founded is perhaps long overdue. Though I have recounted it numerous times, I have yet to tell it in our own journal, but it [...]

Read All About It: A Mother-Daughter Book Club

March 5th, 2014|Comments Off on Read All About It: A Mother-Daughter Book Club

Book clubs are a bit like shopping for hats and I have tried on many in the past two decades. While I am most certainly a hat person, not all types suit me. It has [...]

  • Levy's Rye

On Rye Please, Hold The Stereotypes

February 21st, 2014|Comments Off on On Rye Please, Hold The Stereotypes

  In an effort to procrastinate, I occasionally like to bounce some ideas around. As I work from home with only my two cats for company, this often means waiting until my children return home [...]

  • Christa McAuliffe

On Choosing a Hero

February 14th, 2014|Comments Off on On Choosing a Hero

Christa McAuliffe Anyone who has a child and anyone who ever was a child has thought about heroes of some sort, at some point. Of course, there are great variations between chosen hero [...]

Kung Hei Fat Choy from Our Jewish Home to Yours

January 30th, 2014|Comments Off on Kung Hei Fat Choy from Our Jewish Home to Yours

Shabbat Dinner Menu for 15: Egg drop soup with crunchy noodles, Stir Fried Vegetables, Dan Dan Noodles, Roasted Chicken with Duck Sauce, Garlic Broccoli, Five-Spice Glazed Salmon, Mandarin Oranges and Almond Cookies. This is not [...]

The Great Cohen Bacon Debate

January 1st, 2014|Comments Off on The Great Cohen Bacon Debate

My  father pointing to treyfe meats. I grew up in The Brady Bunch generation, or at least the generation that grew up watching The Brady Bunch in syndication. I can still hear Peter Brady intone [...]

  • Harbin-Old-Synagogue

Jews in China: Living in the Dragon’s Den for 14 Centuries

December 19th, 2013|Comments Off on Jews in China: Living in the Dragon’s Den for 14 Centuries

Today in China there are both synagogues without Jews, and Jews without synagogues, as in Beijing, where the growing community has created places of worship in renovated flats. The first reference to a Jewish presence [...]

  • Holy People in a Taxi

Holy People in the Taxi

November 8th, 2013|Comments Off on Holy People in the Taxi

The streets of Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district are bustling with traffic. Yet people seem to be entirely oblivious to the cars and wander across streets pushing rickety carts piled with colored plastic house-wares, flattened [...]

  • Father & Son at the HK Walkway Holocaust exhibit - photo credit Erica Lyons

In a Hong Kong Walkway, a Very Public Holocaust Exhibit

October 25th, 2013|Comments Off on In a Hong Kong Walkway, a Very Public Holocaust Exhibit

Students from two local schools create art to be shown alongside that of children from Terezin, for a mass audience with a lot to learn It is 6 pm, the height of rush hour in [...]

Sorting Through Old Things: Reflections On September 11th

September 11th, 2013|Comments Off on Sorting Through Old Things: Reflections On September 11th

I am a person made for the digital age. I save little. I throw away my children’s artwork and fail to understand why others complain that it has taken over their homes (though I am [...]

  • Harbin-Synagogue

Home to One Jew, Harbin Synagogue to Renovate

June 22nd, 2013|Comments Off on Home to One Jew, Harbin Synagogue to Renovate

A new tourism scheme by the Chinese government sets its eyes — and its funds — on an area once home to 23,000 Jews including a former PM’s grandparents HONG KONG — The Harbin Municipal [...]

  • Rachel-Friedmann - Principal-Carmel

Hong Kong Graduates its First Jewish High School Class

June 7th, 2013|Comments Off on Hong Kong Graduates its First Jewish High School Class

Though there are only four graduates, they are the realization of a communal dream begun in 1991 with a dozen toddlers HONG KONG — Hong Kong is a place where change can happen rapidly, small [...]

  • The Shoes at the Danube Promenade

Reflections On Jewish Budapest

June 7th, 2013|Comments Off on Reflections On Jewish Budapest

In the quaint and picturesque Hungarian town of Szentendre (Saint Andrew), just outside of Budapest, our group of five new friends who had gathered from throughout the Jewish world bask in the sunlight, seemingly frozen [...]

  • Emma Lazarus

Reading Emma Lazarus in Hong Kong

March 29th, 2013|Comments Off on Reading Emma Lazarus in Hong Kong

Emma Lazarus It started as my daughter’s third grade assignment: choose a person to write about, preferably an American, preferably a Jew. We were going to do just that. I intended to help my daughter [...]

  • Russian-Jewry

Studying the Future for Russian Jewry

March 22nd, 2013|Comments Off on Studying the Future for Russian Jewry

I come from New York and studied in Washington, D.C., so perhaps I took the existence of specialized Jewish organizations for granted. Of course communities consist of several houses of worship, academic institutions, communal organizations, [...]

  • 5 Star Refugees

Five Star Refuge: A Week at The Pen

January 1st, 2013|Comments Off on Five Star Refuge: A Week at The Pen

A refugee family at The Peninsula Hong Kong     The lobby of Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel (or “The Pen” as it is often fondly referred to as) suggests the height of colonial elegance, framed [...]

Alone On Ward C

December 20th, 2012|Comments Off on Alone On Ward C

I met Mr. E at a poetry reading. Hong Kong’s literary scene is small and two Americans reading in one evening was an unusual event. We became Facebook friends, generally “liking” the same local literary [...]

  • Sukkah 1

Chinese Lanterns in the Sukkah

November 16th, 2012|Comments Off on Chinese Lanterns in the Sukkah

A Hong Kong symphony of sounds fills the air as local laborers shout across the shul courtyard in Cantonese while tossing bamboo in a pile for the sukkah: Filipino maids chatter in Tagalog hovering over [...]

  • Limmud China

Networking the Great Wall

June 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Networking the Great Wall

  Connectivity and networks have certainly become buzzwords in the Jewish organizational world. While new global and regional networks are constantly being formed, expanded, analyzed and critiqued, for the Jewish communities of Asia, a robust [...]

New Sefer Torah For Hong Kong

June 4th, 2012|Comments Off on New Sefer Torah For Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s Ohel Leah Synagogue recently celebrated the dedication of a new Sefer Torah. Britain’s Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Lady Elaine Sacks joined Rabbi Asher Oser and Assistant Rabbi Ariel Zamir of Ohel [...]

  • Prof. William Kolbrener leads a session at the recent Limmud conference in Jerusalem (photo credit: Yehoshua Halevi)

Limmud Debuts in China

May 25th, 2012|Comments Off on Limmud Debuts in China

When Taste of Limmud China takes place June 3 near Beijing, it will be the first conference bringing together Jews living in the many isolated communities throughout the Far East HONG KONG — Along the [...]

On Matzah & Mohels

May 11th, 2012|Comments Off on On Matzah & Mohels

Pesach means bite-sized sweet kidney mangos and the return of the longon. Shavuot brings back the pomelo. Chanukah means miniature Mandarin oranges. And its always star-fruit for Rosh Hashanah. While our palates might have changed, [...]

  • Holocaust Center Hong Kong

Teaching the Holocaust in Hong Kong

May 6th, 2012|Comments Off on Teaching the Holocaust in Hong Kong

Inaugurated this week, the Hong Kong Tolerance and Holocaust Centre puts the atrocities of the Shoah into context by using Chinese national examples, such as the Rape of Nanking HONG KONG — In a nation [...]

  • Linda Cheung

Reflections from an Unlikely Witness

May 3rd, 2012|Comments Off on Reflections from an Unlikely Witness

Linda Cheung A Protestant woman from Hong Kong joins the 2012 March of the Living to ‘feel’ the Holocaust, not just remember HONG KONG – Linda Cheung’s journey to the 2012 March of the [...]

  • Yaakov Kirschen

Comic Strip Diplomacy

April 1st, 2012|Comments Off on Comic Strip Diplomacy

Sketching Chinese and Israeli history Yaakov Kirschen photographed by his wife, artist Sali Ariel. I suppose I should not have been surprised to open my friend's DIY child-friendly Haggadah and find a prominent Pesach Dry Bones cartoon. [...]

Purim in Hong Kong

March 23rd, 2012|Comments Off on Purim in Hong Kong

A traditional Purim in Hong Kong requires an obligatory visit to Pottinger Street in the bustling Central District. Also known locally as Stone Step Street, Pottinger Street is more of a steep, irregularly paved pedestrian [...]

Candlesticks and Family Tales: What We Carry With Us

February 19th, 2012|Comments Off on Candlesticks and Family Tales: What We Carry With Us

It was a single course my freshman year in college, Jews and the Immigrant Experience in America, that sparked the centrality of Judaism to my identity. This was no longer an identity forged by years of [...]

The Whole World is Jewish

February 17th, 2012|Comments Off on The Whole World is Jewish

I make my way through New York City’s busy diamond district with my children in tow. With only a few days in the city every two-years on a return visit from our home in Hong [...]

  • In The Works

Frozen Pizza and Other Cultural Misunderstandings

February 1st, 2012|Comments Off on Frozen Pizza and Other Cultural Misunderstandings

  "I am English,” I heard my then six-year-old son proclaim to his friend. “English?” I asked him. “Why would you say English?” “It’s really the only language I can speak well,” he stated simply. [...]

  • Laura Margolis

Laura Margolis in the Spotlight

January 1st, 2012|Comments Off on Laura Margolis in the Spotlight

Portrait of a heroine in Shanghai The story of Laura Margolis reads like an epic novel. She embodies what larger-than-life literary heroines are made of, though without embellishment, exaggeration, panache or hubris. She was the [...]

A Very Hong Kong Chanukah

December 23rd, 2011|Comments Off on A Very Hong Kong Chanukah

To explain to my children what Chanukah was like for me as a young girl, I find I am just as inclined to recount what it wasn’t as I am to describe what it was. [...]

A Jewish Home in the Far East

December 11th, 2011|Comments Off on A Jewish Home in the Far East

On Saturday morning, the courtyard of Hong Kong’s Ohel Leah Synagogue is filled with a diverse and colorful mix of Jews. Sounds of Hebrew, Portuguese, English, and French fill the air, but language and nationality seem irrelevant. As kiddush lunch [...]

  • When Past and Present Collide Reshaping the future of the historic Shanghai Ghetto

When Past and Present Collide

September 1st, 2011|Comments Off on When Past and Present Collide

Reshaping the future of the historic Shanghai Ghetto Site of the former JDC office Street view of the former Jewish Ghetto areal Seemingly there is a real tension in Shanghai's Tilanqiao district. The tension is [...]

Aging Out of Generational Divides

June 6th, 2011|Comments Off on Aging Out of Generational Divides

Recent articles in the Jewish media have cited critical differences between Jews under 40 and ”older Jews” and have made reference to “stark generation gaps”, “deep generational divides” and certain ideas “not resonating with Jews [...]

  • And then they came for me

How the Anne Frank Story Captured China

June 2nd, 2011|Comments Off on How the Anne Frank Story Captured China

And then they came for me - being performed in China The Chinese have become unlikely fans of the Anne Frank story: a London theatre company is to take its production of And [...]

  • Young Bene Israel

Siona Benjamin’s Interviews on Canvas

June 1st, 2011|Comments Off on Siona Benjamin’s Interviews on Canvas

Faces of the Bene Israel When artist Siona Benjamin, an American, set out on her trip back to the India of her childhood in 2010, she arrived with an intense sense of purposefulness heavily laden [...]

Moshe Rabbeinu Lego: A Hong Kong Pesach Special

April 21st, 2011|Comments Off on Moshe Rabbeinu Lego: A Hong Kong Pesach Special

In Hong Kong, there are certainly some inconveniences involved in finding every last product necessary to recreate the Pesach we had in New York. But, we have found it is merely a matter of mastering [...]

  • Haim Dotan

Replanting Roots in Shanghai

April 2nd, 2011|Comments Off on Replanting Roots in Shanghai

Architect Haim Dotan’s Journey Architect Haim Dotan To understand the importance of the Israel Pavilion in Shanghai, it is necessary to understand the history of the ties that bind these two ancient peoples. The story [...]

Zionism – Made in China

January 20th, 2011|Comments Off on Zionism – Made in China

It’s true. My Zionism was made in China. I grew up in New Jersey in a town that was nearly one third Jewish. Everyone on my street was Jewish. Half my soccer team was Jewish. [...]

Paradise Found

January 1st, 2011|Comments Off on Paradise Found

Backpacking and families do go together, especially on the laid-back island of Phi Phi, says Erica Lyons. We used to go on adventures, backpack, travel without an itinerary, carry only one bag between two of us for a [...]

Rescuing Shipwrecked Ancestors

October 21st, 2010|Comments Off on Rescuing Shipwrecked Ancestors

A story in three generations  Sadia Shepard Nana & Sadia in Denver, 1975 Sadia & Nana in Newton, 1977 Nana at eighteen It started with a promise to rescue a memory. Nana’s voice and the [...]

  • Jewish Girl Juz Hao

Animating Jewish-Chinese Relationships

June 1st, 2010|Comments Off on Animating Jewish-Chinese Relationships

A story of lasting friendship Judaism and Israel are hot topics in China. Over ten Chinese Universities now offer programs in Judaic Studies, at least one offering a doctoral program. China’s state-owned television network, CCTV, [...]