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Archive for the ‘children’ Category

Obit for a fish

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It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Clyde Carp the 18th, descendant of the famed gangster, Fish Bowl Charlie, and his consort, starlet of the great reflective pool, Goldie Carp.

Clyde led a colorful life as a student in the local fish tank hopping from school to school. His final gig was in a Jewish house of worship where he met Bonnie Cyprinidae Hadassah who was performing as Queen Esther at the Purim carnival. They settled down together in the home of Aaron Newirth, a student at the synagogue Hebrew school.

Mr. Carp died peacefully in the middle of the night nestled between the large colorful marbles in the spacious fish bowl that Bonnie & Clyde had moved into just the day before his untimely passing.

When questioned by authorities the two cats who reside in Aaron’s home, Calypso & Zephyr, were found to be innocent. “I had nothing against my fine finned friend,” Calypso was overheard saying “in my humble opinion he really added to the enjoyment of my day.”

Clyde is survived by Bonnie Hadassah.

Condolences may be posted in the comments section to Aaron Thomas Newirth who was truly distraught this morning at having found the dearly departed.

A private burial will take place for immediate family at sundown.

Jewish Hipsters in Training / or / My Latest Project

My latest project is a non-fiction film. Many have asked so here is the treatment. Production is well underway and first round grant proposals are submitted & under review. Watch for updates about clips to be posted on YouTube this fall.MMN


Creating Community (WT)

A non-fiction, short-form film

With the memory of bar and bat mitzvah parties faded into history, eleven teenagers who have basically one thing in common, a Hebrew School in lower Manhattan,  come to the realization that there is, indeed,  Jewish life after middle school.

An extraordinary group of ordinary teens attending diverse secular schools in New York City choose to study together beyond their bar and bat mitvah’s to prepare for a trip to Israel. This group soon realizes more than a trip is being planned; community is being forged. As they spend a year together learning and taking on adult Jewish responsibilities they face challenges none could have predicted or ever asked for.  This bonds them into a community that transcends race, class or level of religious observance. It is one where they support and strengthen each other as they make the transition into high school and early adulthood. Their work culminates in an extraordinary journey through Israel, a first visit for many in the group. Their lives, the lives of their families and those of the community around them are forever altered by what they have created together.

Noah, Sigal, Tiye, Jordan, Max, Noya, Lexi, Alix, Haley (David & Daniella couldn't make the shoot)Photo by Scott Newirth

Noah, Sigal, Tiye, Jordan, Max, Noya, Lexi, Alix, Haley (David & Daniella couldn’t make the shoot)

This short-form documentary captures the essence of community these kids have forged on their own initiative and celebrates the rising generation of Jewish men and women who are the link for future generations to come.

Produced by MSM&A Productions

A Quick Note to my Sons on their Future

Max & Aaron

Today we are looking at your future. It has become clear that the job we thought we were doing well needs an overhaul. I am just one person and for too long I have used that justification to not get involved, or comment on the sidelines as a spectator. The truth is I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’ll say or do the wrong thing and then I’ll have to be accountable for that. Well, that’s what being an adult is…being responsible for what I do (or don’t do) and for what I say.

Today I take a stand: I am accountable for your future. What I do belongs to you, your friends and your future. This is not to say I won’t benefit from what I do for I believe you want happy, healthy parents. I promise to think of you first before I make any decisions. Before I buy that dress, I’ll think of you; before I throw out that glass bottle in the garbage can, I’ll think of you. I’ll think of you and ask myself – is there some better decision I could be making right now? It is only by paying attention to the meta moments in life that I have any hope of impacting the massive world out in front of me so that you both have a world you’ll want to raise your grandchildren in.

I love you both more than you will ever be able to imagine, until you have children of your own. I will do what I can to make sure you get that chance.

Here’s to the future – here’s to your future.

Love Mom

Snickerdoodles for the Masses

Some of you who’ve been following me on Twitter or Facebook may have noticed a fair amount of recent commentary on my postings surrounding a certain signature cookie that has come to define my greater moments as a mother. Yes I am a mom who’s identity as such is partially linked to the making and sharing of Snickerdoodle cookies. Just to show I’m a generous person who likes to pay it forward when she can, I am posting my own personal recipe here for you wonderful people to make, eat and share this holiday season.  I composed this for a PTA cookbook some years back when my first born was in elementary school.

Peace!

CARRIE’S SNICKERDOODLES

A favorite childhood memory of mine was baking Snickerdoodles with Carrie, a wonderful woman who helped take care of my family when I was a little girl. I loved to mix everything together and roll the dough balls in cinnamon sugar. Carrie always cleaned up after me, God bless her soul. Now my sons, Max & Aaron, love to help mix everything together and roll the dough balls in cinnamon sugar just as I did. It is my turn to do the clean up and I think of Carrie every time I do. Her memory is certainly a blessing to me. Oh, and the cookies are by far the best around. Each one is crisp on the edges and soft on the inside with a perfect balance of flavors that leave an indelible mark of deliciousness on the taste buds.

Note: I always find that cookies come out best when mixed from scratch by hand. All that work manufactures a secret ingredient you can’t buy in any store – love.

~

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup (two sticks) of sweet, unsalted butter – room temperature

1 ½ Cups Sugar

2 Eggs – also room temperature

2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

2 ¾ Cups All-purpose Flour

3 Tablespoons Double-acting Baking Powder

¼ Teaspoon Salt

2 Extra Tablespoons of Sugar Mixed with 2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon – set aside for later

MATERIALS

Two kitchen bowls

Two stirring spoons

The requisite measuring devises

Two standard baking pans

One three-pronged fork

Two or three ramekin bowls

At least one enthusiastic helper for you to clean up for afterwards

~

DIRECTIONS

Preheat your oven to 400° F.

Put the eggs in a bowl of warm water if they are cold to bring them to room temp.

Cream together the butter and 1 ½ Cups of sugar until they are light and fluffy.

Add the eggs and vanilla to the butter/sugar fluff (I always allow the vanilla to overflow a bit as I’m pouring – yum) stir well but don’t overdo it.

In a separate bowl combine the flour with the double-acting baking powder and salt. Be sure there are no clumps of baking powder, it can tend to stick together.

Incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet. You will quickly end up having to kneed the cookie dough with the back of your spoon as it gets rather stiff but don’t worry, it doesn’t take too much to get it mixed together well.

In a small bowl or ramekin, combine the additional sugar and cinnamon. Prepare two or even three ramekins so your enthusiastic onlookers can join in on the fun. (note: be sure all help wash their hands thoroughly before the next step.)

Pull a small amount of dough and quickly roll it into a ball. Drop it into one of the ramekins and swirl the ball around until it is well coated with the cinnamon sugar. Place the prepared dough ball on an ungreased baking tray and repeat until the tray is full of little round Snickerdoodle dough balls, generally four across.

With a fork (I like to use the three pronged fork my mother gave me for my 35th birthday) gently push the dough balls down into a 1” disk.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes and remove immediately from the baking tray as you don’t want them over cooked.

Tell your kitchen help to wait an excruciating five minutes before sampling.

Enjoy and share with your neighbors, co workers, PTA volunteers and local grocery clerks; they’re people too.

Marianna Mott Newirth

New York City 2004

Editor’s note: this recipe is culled from a wide array of suggestions posted on line, jotted down in old note books and pulled from childhood memory. Like the great chocolate chip cookie fiasco on line a few years ago I cite this information as Public Domain and available for all to use and enjoy.

MMN

Launching a Self Study in Economic Sociology

I’m officially beginning a self study in economic sociology. Having recently earned my Master’s degree in Media Studies from The New School I am pulled towards the economy and our communal reactions to its changes as the news unfolds every morning. I work for a bank – banking is a new career for me. It is a hell of a time to move over into this field and I am taking the opportunity to learn as much as I possibly can as reform sweeps over us all.

My area of interest has always been in sociology. I have spent a life time observing people, working out an understanding of why we do the things we do and how we get the things we need. My master’s thesis – completed over the summer – was on The Medium of Money and the Women Who Wield It which can be found on my LinkedIn page. My desire to combine my love of human behavior with economic theory is an expression of my own path toward an enlightened understanding of this economic world I live in. We use money every day in our society, money is as vital to our existence as water and food. It is worth looking into the behaviors that influence and direct the money we use, borrow, loose, lend, give, take and save. May it help shed some light upon the decisions we make over the next year for these decisions will have a far reaching impact upon my great grand children. I want a say in how it goes.

I will be posting periodic articles and critiquing various books that I’m reading. It will be slow going as I’m jamming this in amid a full time job, a full time family and a desire to boost my volunteerism in my community, but posts will be made. My goal is to observe the ways we are handling the economic melt down from a social point of view and bear witness to the new thoughts, ideas and actions that rise out of the ashes of our existing situation. While I am writing this particular blog post very much off the cuff I will be presenting a body of more finished work as I progress. For those who may be so inspired to follow my work, I welcome your comments and critique.

This particular posting is my way of “throwing the hat over the fence” on a project that I’m more than a little intimidated by. I have been thinking of starting this for a while now. I may be off the mark, I may be silly, I may even be down right wrong but I’m going to be in action.

Here’s to the future.

MMN

from Discourse on Women by Lucretia Coffin Mott Dec 17, 1849 | Thoughts from the great, great, great, great grandaughter of an outspoken woman

September 21, 2008 2 comments

For some time now I have been reading the letters and speeches delivered by Lucretia Mott, best known as a founding mother of the women’s movement and an impassioned abolitionist. My reason for doing this is to understand the initial core of the feminist movement and learn from the struggles and thoughts the founding mother’s grappled with.

I have no answers – there is an elusive element to this which I cannot yet catch a hold of. So here, in this web log, I am beginning to explore the thoughts, ideas, circumstances and sociological settings that informed the first wave of the feminist movement and start to map that history to where we are now, early in the 21st century.

I am also mining the rich past of my personal history. Lucretia’s blood runs through my veins and I have a feeling that right about now she is tapping her little Quaker foot and looking at me with an eternal question; “‘well, granddaughter, what is thee going to do now?”

Here is a quote concluding her Discourse on Women first delivered at Quaker meeting on December 17, 1849.

Let woman then go on – not asking favors, but claiming as a right the removal of all hindrances to her elevation in the scale of being – let her receive encouragement for the proper cultivation of all her powers, so that she may enter profitably into the active business of life; employing her own hands in ministering to her necessities, strengthening her physical being by proper exercise and observance of the laws of health. Let her not be ambitious to display a fair hand, and to promenade the fashionable streets of our city, but rather, coveting earnestly the best gifts, let her strive to occupy such walks in society as will befit her true dignity in all the relations of life. No fear that she will then transcend the proper limits of female delicacy. True modesty will be as fully preserved, in acting out those important vocations, as in the nursery or at the fireside ministering to man’s self-indulgence…In conclusion, let me say, credit not the old-fashioned absurdity, that woman’s is a secondary lot, ministering to the necessities of her lord and master! It is a higher destiny I would award you.*

She goes on in her conclusion to an end which I do not yet completely understand so I leave it here at the moment to reflect upon.

Lucretia Mott circa 1848

Lucretia Mott circa 1848

What Lucretia Mott was doing was calling upon the ability and inner strength of all women-kind. For too long were women content to be kept in sitting rooms stitching and watching the world pass them by. This is what initially moved her – along with some stupid rules that banned women from an international anti-slavery conference. She wanted women to stop being mamby pamby pretty play things. She wanted their power, their inherent, natural power to shine. Not over shine, not conquer, but to shine.

Clearly much has changed since 1849. But what has yet to shift is how we hold ourselves. Don’t wait for a hockey mom from Alaska or a Senator from New York to speak for you – SPEAK FOR YOURSELF. Do not be lured into a false sense of security because a woman might some day soon be president – gender is not the issue, gender is a smoke screen.

As much as it pained me to not pull the leaver for Hillary Clinton [and I promise you it DID pain me] in the primary I was not going to be swayed by a reason shouting at me saying “She’s a woman and you should vote for her.” NO! The reason I did not vote for Hillary is that I believed the other guy had a few better ideas. Sorry Hillary, but it’s true. I will vote for a candidate whom I believe in and the day it is a woman…hallelujah.

I will always vote the issues and that takes work & time of which I have precious little. I owe that much to Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who, in partnership, penned the Declaration of Sentiments and launched a future for generations of women and men to live into. These women had families, way more than five children and no running water, electricity, washing machines or the Internet! Look at what they accomplished.

What are WE going to accomplish for our great, great, great, great granddaughters and sons?

MMN

*Hallowell, Anna Davis: James and Lucretia Mott: Life and Letters The Riverside Press, Cambridge 1884

What do they say about the apple falling not far from the tree?

October 29, 2007 1 comment

My beloved progeny is beginning to spread his wings and take flight.

Max Newirth, a very tall and handsome 12 year old, caught the video bug not too long ago from his parents and now he’s producing video shorts all on his very own…say it with me…AWWWwwwww. Now say…Are you out of your mind Mama?? Send that kid to dentistry school!

But seriously, a pricey summer session at the New York Film Academy has given him the know-how and confidence to pick up the camera and call a few of his buddies over for an afternoon of story-making. This video short – Tennis Ball – was shot and edited Sunday afternoon, October 28, 2007. The idea of this story came from actual events experienced two months ago while walking down the streets of New York. The production crew and on-screen talent (plus a cameo from good-ol-dad) are school mates who are all growing up in the city together. If this is what they can produce in one afternoon now, imagine what they will be capable of producing twenty years from now!

MMN

http://youtube.com/profile?user=MJMPproductions