Executive Editor Stream

Off the Shelf: Family and finding a home by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

How do people determine what city or country feels like home? This question was raised by two recent memoirs: “I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir” by Esther Safran Foer (Tim Duggan Books) and “I Belong to Vienna: A Jewish Family’s Story of Exile and Return…

In My Own Words: Changing the police force by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I grew up with mixed feelings about the police. On the one hand, I was told that the police were the ones who would help me if I was lost or in danger. On the other hand, music from the Broadway show “Fiorello,” which tells the story of Fiorello La Guardia, regularly played in our househ…

In My Own Words: What defines our identity by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

I’ve written before in this column that I have no desire to have my DNA tested. That non-desire has been confirmed by the fascinating book “The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are” by Libby Copeland (Abrams Press). Copeland’s book contains a great deal of scientific m…

Off the Shelf: Wine, beer and other beverages by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

When you hear hoof beats, do you think of horses or zebras? Unless you live in Africa, the answer for most people is horses. Yet, according to Jordan D. Rosenblum, the ancient rabbis were more interested “in the anomalous rather than the mundane. In short, when they hear hoof beats, they t…

In my Own Words: Blaming the wrong people

What is wrong with our country? Two recent headlines – “Hate crimes and biases against Asians on rise”* and “FBI warns of potential surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans amid coronavirus** – make me question the basic tenets of American society.

I take these headlines and e…