Michal’s Story: Lost and Found

(1/7) “In My Head” I was blessed throughout my entire life to lead a relatively normal life with no real drama. While certain things took their time, other things happened rather quickly. But I was happy and life was definitely good. I felt physically invincibile, and I was always able to perform. Professionally, I was…

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Zissie’s Story: Never Lose Hope

(1/6) “A White World” “When I was 19 years old, I went to Vermont with a bunch of friends to go skiing. It was my first time, and I was so excited because it turned out I was a great skier. One of my friends suggested that we go snowmobiling. I responded, ‘Cool! What’s that?’,…

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My Mother’s Kaddish

.יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ שְׁמֵהּ רַבָּא Waking in the dark beneath the heavy cloak of dawnֿ I wait for the soothing rhythm of the words, always the same When my world is not. ,בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא כִרְעוּתֵהּ וְיַמְלִיךְ מַלְכוּתֵהּ בְּחַיֵּיכון וּבְיומֵיכון וּבְחַיֵּי דְכָל בֵּית יִשרָאֵל בַּעֲגָלָא וּבִזְמַן קָרִיב In synagogues near and far, day after day In…

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Widowhood as a Single Mom

The hardest thing I have ever done was when I had to tell my five year-old daughter that her father had died. They had a special relationship. She adored my husband and looked up to him as a role model for everything. The moment that I was forced to tell her that he was gone-…

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“Overweight” and Loving Myself

I have been overweight my whole life. For as long as I remember, I’ve been “the fat girl.” It’s so firmly a part of my identity that I can’t even imagine life as “a skinny person.” My first memories of being aware of my body are from early childhood, age 6 or 7. I still…

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Nikki’s Story: Humans of Judaism

(1/6) “Grief”  “Around this time of year, in November of 2013, just before Thanksgiving, my father passed away suddenly. I was stopped in my tracks. I had a few friends around that time who also passed away, and so suddenly I was thrown into a tremendous amount of loss. Losing a parent is truly its…

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Alana’s Story: Seeking Spirituality

(1/6) “iMPRINTS” “When I was a child, I remember having romantic and beautiful feelings about Israel. I was deeply in love with and yearned for Israel. Anytime a family member or friend went on a trip to Israel it felt like a really big deal. Why? I don’t know for sure – but I do…

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Leah’s Story: Unconditional Personhood

(1/6) “Agency” “My mother grew up without a lot of agency, with little say in what happened to her in her life. At a certain point, she took life into her own hands. She raised me to always be 100% true to myself. I was a very passionate, feisty and fierce young woman growing up…

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Aliza’s Story: The Ultimate Gift

(1/7) “You May Need A Transplant” “In my mid-twenties I had not been feeling well. I went to the doctor, who after some blood tests, told me that I was very anemic. While this is pretty common in women, I was so anemic that he wanted me to get a blood transfusion. When I entered…

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A Jew Is A Jew: Lessons From Anti-Semitism

When I turned on my phone after Shabbat here in Israel, a nightmare scenario unfolded on my newsfeed. During a brit milah, in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, a gunman burst into the shul and went on a murderous rampage. As he was shooting he shouted out, “ALL JEWS MUST DIE.” By the time I…

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Learning to Advocate For My Health

I was 16 when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, and 23 when she died. I was 27 when I found out that I had PCOS, and 28 when I found out that I tested negative for the common genetic markers for BRCA. The combination of having a family history of breast cancer and…

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