AN IMMIGRANT’S STORY: After Ellis Island

My family, like so many Jews fleeing persecution and harm, arrived in the U.S. scarred and having survived trauma. This was the early 1900s. I can imagine their enormous relief and gratitude to arrive in the United States and be allowed to stay.  Of course my grandparents would likely have been killed in the Shoah if Read More

THERE WAS NO MISTAKE: Yom Kippur take 2

 Same day, same Yom Kippur Service, 2019. I was innocently sitting there gently striking my chest, whispering the sins listed in the Yom Kippur Siddur, when another wild wonderful realization came.  Having experienced a share of trauma growing up, I had wished many times I could return to the happy, unself-conscious, young girl who was Read More

TRAUMA: Yom Kippur & freedom

On Yom Kippur 2019 I was in Shul hungry, standing, sitting, standing, sitting, and as usual not really understanding what was going on. I began to feel guilty about something I imagined I hadn’t done well. A close friend was going through a tough time and though I had tried to support her, somehow I Read More

DISILLUSIONED: and cracking open

Sam was extremely good looking. A very good dancer with a twinkle in his eye, dancing was big when he was growing up and he was a star on the dance floor.  While his good looks and light-footed charm earned him some ease in life, Sam also faced hard lessons. Rifka, his mom, had experienced Read More

ROSH HASHANAH: and self worth

September 18/Tishrei 1 to September 20 (Tishrei 2) L’ Shana Tova everyone. May it be a good year for all. This year of course is different. The Services in the Synagogues are greatly changed or not happening. Many are spending Rosh Hashanah at home, many alone. I found a place to go hear the Shofar Read More

SWINGSTER: that girl can dance

My long lost cousin of sweet childhood memories recently contacted me. She had been reading my blog and of course related to the “characters” since many are her relatives as well. What I didn’t know is that over the past decade, she has been steadfastly researching our family’s history through the U.S. Census. She just Read More

TELL YOUR STORIES: Build it and they will come

WHAT ARE YOUR STORIES?  I was going to wait until the influx of your stories came spontaneously flooding in. Then, the plan was to set up a special link just for your tales. The idea that we are bigger and better when we come together is ancient. Building community. Not just Vivi and each reader. Read More

ADAM SANDLER: Meshugana 2.0

Adam Sandler. I love him. I have lots of reasons. He’s funny, cute, irreverent. Just a “regular” guy. He puts his friends and his wife in his movies, and he seems to have fun doing it. “Happy Gilmore”, “50 First Dates” and “The Wedding Singer” are seamless. Many of his movies are crass. A few Read More

THE FORGOTTEN ONES: and stubborn hope

My father’s mother, Rifka, was a young woman living in Poland in the early 1900s. Pogroms against the Jewish people were common in her little community in Galicia. These recurring outbreaks of violence created desperate conditions and the Jewish people sought to escape. Little did they know it was to get much worse in Galicia, not better, in Read More

ZAIDY AND BUBBE: A love story

Here is the story of my grandparents, Sonny’s parents. Sonny as you may recall is my mom, the Bronx lady who loved a good hot dog, clandestinely shopped at flea markets, and who could make you laugh until you cried. I heard the following story many many times through the years from my grandmother, Yeta. I Read More