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Hanukkah 2023 / 5784

Hanukkah this year came together beautifully. A huge part of crafting a successful holiday was that I took a week off from work following Thanksgiving. In addition to all the boring house stuff I did, I was able to prepare for Hanukkah. The first thing of note is that I did more decorating than I […]

Hanukkah 2021

Another Hanukkah with us fully in California. So many years had us splitting Hanukkah between San Francisco and Philadelphia, so it’s still a little unusual for us to spend it all here, with no plans to head back east. On the bright side, my father-in-law and his wife are coming to visit this week, so […]

Seasonal smoke, high holidays, and getting back outside

We were having a delightful summer. Back yard tidied up enough to play outside. Regular cadence of farmer’s market on Saturday morning and playground on Sunday morning. Every weekend we’d also look up local garage/yard sales to walk to. Then the smoke started to roll in on August 18th. Our cars and outdoor furnishings quickly […]

Three weeks in and Hanukkah 2020

It’s now been almost three weeks since we had our little Aaron. Everything has been going well, Aaron gained weight at a healthy clip and is healthy. I’m recovering on schedule, though definitely slower than with Adam, in no small part because having a toddler and a newborn is more difficult than caring for just […]

Adjusting traditions in 2020

We are living through a global pandemic. Today, just days after Thanksgiving, the US is enduring the biggest wave of the virus yet. Cases and deaths are increasing in areas that haven’t seen powerful previous waves before. Even where we are in northern California, where cases have trended high, but manageable, hospitals and public health […]

Sunshine and Video Conferences

This is the post I had intended to write when the other one popped out. I was just going to write a quick aside about the cultural side and our frustration over the situation, and it turned into a whole thing! Let’s get back on track by talking about our day to day life during […]

A Gateway, a Synagogue and a Museum in Mumbai

Last Saturday I arrived in India for the first time. A conference was on my schedule, but since this was my first time visiting this country I decided to do some touristing around Mumbai. Unfortunately it’s monsoon season, so it’s been an incredibly soggy trip. I joked that coming from drought-ridden California, I was coming […]

Sharing the Beauty: Organ Class

This past Sunday MJ and I went over to Congregation Sherith Israel to learn about the organ that graces the sanctuary. The organ has always been a big deal for me. Even though I’m not religious, I do have warm feelings and memories surrounding the stunning, old cathedrals that have organs and I’ve made an […]

Sharing the Beauty: Stained Glass Class

On Sunday, March 2nd MJ and I headed over to Sherith Israel to attend a class by Ian Berke to learn about the stained glass throughout the historic building. I didn’t know anything about stained glass, so the first thing we got to learn was the two main types of glass that are featured throughout […]

Sharing the Beauty: Architecture Class

Back in December I attend a couple classes at Congregation Sherith Israel here in San Francisco aimed at teaching congregants and potential docents about the physical and historical aspects of the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Previous posts: Sharing the Beauty: History, art, and architecture of Sherith Israel class […]