Posts by Rachel Hercman

Apologizing to Mrs. S

Until I got to college, I was a fairly lazy student and found most classes to be unstimulating. Looking back, I certainly had good teachers, but between the many school rules, academic pressure, and being forced to sit at a desk for hours, it just didn’t do it for me. I spent much of class…

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Watching Grandparents Age and Holding On To The Goodies

“Bubbie, do you remember all those amazing desserts you used to bake for us for Pesach?” We are sitting at my grandmother’s dining room table on a Sunday in March. At the sound of “desserts” my children briefly look up from their coloring and then resume with dedication. Bubbie shakes her head apologetically. “Sorry, I…

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Put to the Test: Why We Need to Talk About BRCA Genes

If there was a bingo board listing sensitive issues in the Jewish community today, the conversation about BRCA mutations would hit every box: Ancestry. Fertility. Modesty. Marriageability. Mental Health. Privilege. Secrecy. Intermarriage. Family Planning. Sexuality. Family Dynamics. Mikvah. Stigma. These issues floated through my mind when I attended a recent panel on this topic, entitled…

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The Layers of ‘How are you?’

How are you? Three little words that just roll off the tongue.  We say them, we hear them, we deflect from them.  They are a greeting and an invitation, but an invitation that is often declined. The real answer is probably more than a sentence but we typically keep the response brief and superficial.  Stay…

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