Sharon Rosen Leib Sharon Rosen Leib

The Activism of Dee Rudolph and her Seacrest Sisterhood


“My kids were worried. My youngest daughter told me, ‘Mom, you’ve lost your fire,’” says Dee Rudolph, an 86-year-old resident of Seacrest Village, a Jewish retirement community in Encinitas. That changed last November. Donald Trump’s election reignited Rudolph’s internal spark. “I was drifting and couldn’t see a purpose for my existence. Then along came Trump.… Read More »

Family Politics


We’ve been a unified American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) family until now. AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying organization, aims to empower activists across the racial, religious and political spectrum to engage politically and promote the U.S.-Israel relationship (per their website). I joined AIPAC in 1991 as a member of its San Francisco Young Leadership Council.… Read More »

The New Reality


As a native of Southern California blessed to live in laid-back coastal communities throughout my life, I never worried much about my personal safety. Times have changed. Now, being a female Jewish journalist equals three strikes against me. Beyond my own concerns, San Diego’s Jewish community has been on high alert after recent bomb threats… Read More »

Hearing the Voices of Elders Lost


In this scary alternative-factual world, I long for the wisdom of elders. I miss my 102-year old Bubbe and 92-year-old Great-Uncle Paul, who both died with their wits intact. Unburdened by the weight of Attention Deficit Disorder-inducing Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds, text messages and email, they had plenty of time to watch reputable tv… Read More »

One People with One Heart


“I know you’re a doctor and I’m worried about my baby girl being so far away from home,” I said, protectively wrapping an arm around 22-year-old Oldest Daughter’s shoulders. I was about to leave her in Sofia, Bulgaria for a 10-month stint as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. What would happen if she got sick? When… Read More »

Rebirthing Bulgaria’s Jewish Community


In matrilineal Judaism, Jewish women birth Jewish children. In Bulgaria, young Jewish women are rebirthing Jewish communal life.  Bulgaria’s two-millennia-old Jewish community lay dormant between 1944 and 1989 while the ruling Communist regime imposed a strict secular ideology forbidding religious practice. When the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) returned to Bulgaria in 1990, after… Read More »

Let’s Get Constructive


To start binding our radically divided United States together this new year, we need to emerge from our anxiety-fueled, post-election anger/despair and work on making America whole again. When we become so entrenched in our blue state/red state silos that we close our minds instead of opening our hearts, we all lose. Wise beyond her… Read More »

Out of the Mouths of Mothers and Daughters


From high-gloss pearls of wisdom penned by power moms to the raucous humor of one Jewish mother/daughter pair’s outlandish escapades, two new books capture the tangled web of mother-daughter relationships. Nina Tassler’s “What I Told My Daughter: Lessons from Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women” is a collection of 54 essays written… Read More »

The Little Pink Suitcase


“See that suitcase. It’s been unattended for at least eight minutes,” the man in line behind me at Frankfurt airport’s crowded security checkpoint told the guard. I swiveled and saw a child-sized, wheeled pink suitcase like those I bought my daughters years ago. Preoccupied people swirled around it while shoving their jackets and watches into… Read More »

The High Holiday Dilemma


Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur both fall on school days this year, leading to another round of debate over whether to send the kids to school.  In elementary and middle school, before the kids had more freedom of choice, the answer in our family remained clear. They missed school and attended children’s services at our… Read More »