The Art of Christmas Avoidance

Thirteen years ago, I attended a welcome meeting for incoming students at the University of Toronto, where I was about to start my graduate studies in linguistics. The conversation turned toward Jews and Israel and kosher food. One of my future professors, an observant Jew, announced: “In Israel people don’t keep kosher very much because they think they are Jewish enough without it.”

As the only Israeli in the room, I wasn’t sure how to react to that. Apart from the condescending undertones and the awkwardness of your people being referred to as “they” in your presence, I didn’t find anything offensive in her statement. Of course they feel Jewish enough without it, I thought; communities outside their home environment have to work harder to maintain their sense of identity.

Read full story in Tablet

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As a non-Indigenous student of Oji-Cree, I learned much more than a language

“You want to go where?”

The travel agent’s eyes slowly widened as his finger traced the map north, north, north … until the map ended and his finger was on the bare wall.

The northern Ontario community I wanted to visit was not even on his map. I was no less surprised than him.

Read more on CBC

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How Doing This 1 Thing Helped Me Truly Enjoy Spending Time With My Kid

As a parent today I feel as if I’m constantly inundated with fervent, well-meaning, parenting advice coming at me from all angles: in person, in magazines, on the phone, and all over social media.

Read full story on Rodale’s Organic Life

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The Silent Vampire Goes Trick-or-Treating

As my little six-year-old vampire approaches a stranger’s door, my heart shrinks with worry. How will it go?  I know he can’t yell “trick-or-treat” like he’s expected to, or even whisper it. Will people give candies to a silent little monster with an orange bucket?

Read more in Folks

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As A Soviet Jew, Yom Kippur Makes Me Feel Like An Outsider

For many years, I had my own personal tradition that I would observe on Yom Kippur. The day before, I would go to the big supermarket in our neighborhood in Southern Jerusalem and buy myself a watermelon. On the morning of Yom Kippur, I would split the watermelon in half, and declare the official beginning of Watermelon Day. And for the entirety of Yom Kippur, I would eat that watermelon and only that watermelon, scooping it out with a spoon from its shell like from a giant bowl.

Read more on The Forward

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Endangered Languages of Canada

Shekoli! k̓alhwá7acw! Gwetaʔaghunt’i! Hadih!

Not sure what those words mean? That’s because, sadly, they’re not spoken widely today. These are ways to say “hello!” in Oneida, St’át’imcets, Chilcotin and Babine-Witsuwit’en, four Indigenous languages of Canada that are all severely endangered.

Read more on Passport 2017

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I’m Still Co-Sleeping With My 8-year-old

I didn’t ever plan to co-sleep with my first baby. When I gave birth, we had a crib waiting for him at home, complete with Winnie the Pooh-themed sheets. But the thing was used for at most a couple of hours. On our first night home from the hospital, I diligently woke up every hour and a half for 40-minute feedings — then realized I valued my sleep too much to keep that up. So my son joined us in bed, where I could feed him practically in my sleep, and eventually, the crib got folded up and given away.

Read full story on Redbook

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