September 24, 2018

Thank you, mom – from the Jewish Journal staff

Rob Eshman, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Sari Eshman


At every age you are a rare beauty and a rare soul … and I’m a lucky son.

David Suissa, president

Meme Suissa


I’ve never seen Bob Dylan in a recording studio. But I can just imagine. He probably knows just what he wants. He can speak the engineer’s language, tell the bass player how to improve a rhythm, make changes on the fly, fix a lyric, add some harmonica when he feels like it. He’s in creative heaven. Within a few hours, a “Blowin’ in the Wind” or “Dirt Road Blues” is born.

That’s sort of my mother in the kitchen. The difference is she weighs more, she doesn’t sing, she doesn’t wear sunglasses, she has no angst, she doesn’t smoke or drink, she has no help and, once she’s done creating her art, it immediately gets consumed.

What remains from her creations is not a lifetime of playing and listening, but a lifetime of memories. More.

Ryan E. Smith, managing editor

Ryan Smith (right) with his mom and brother in an undated vacation photo


My mom always has been my chief navigator, both literally and figuratively. When I was young, she was the chief architect of our family’s annual summer RV adventures, the one who made sure we didn’t get lost en route to the Grand Canyon or the Liberty Bell or Nova Scotia. As I got older, I realized she was my moral compass as well, trying to pass on the values she developed growing up on a farm in rural Ohio — kindness, decency, hard work, patience and love.

Michael Janofsky, editor

Michael Janofsky with his mother Bernice


I love baseball, and part of the reason is my mother, Bernice Janofsky, did, too. when I was young, we had season tickets to the Baltimore Orioles. My parents and I attended hundreds of games, and at every one she – not my father – would keep an official scorecard, tracking hits, runs, errors, strikeouts, the works. This is a photo of us, around 1985s. We probably went to a game that night.

Danielle Berrin, senior writer

Danielle Berrin and her mother in 2010


This photo was taken in 2010, during one of my mother’s visits to see me in Los Angeles. Though she lived in Miami, she grew up in Southern California and missed it desperately, so whenever she would visit she would spend at least a month with me and we lived together as roommates. That evening we went to the Hollywood Bowl for their Fourth of July show and it was a classic California night: outdoors, velvety weather, good food and wine, and entertainment. Looking back, I notice how when my mother and I were photographed together we were always in a tight embrace. Anna Jarvis, who founded Mother’s Day in the early 20th century, selected the white carnation as the holiday’s official flower. Why? Because, she explained in a 1927 interview: “The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so, too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying.”

Eitan Arom, staff writer

Eitan Arom as a child with his mother


I was a momma’s boy. There’s no denying it. But from my post, hiding at her feet, I got my first good look at the world and thought, “I might put myself out there, take a stab at things.” I found what she would call, in her psychotherapist’s lingo, a “secure base of attachment.” These days, I stray far from my base, but I always know where headquarters are.

Esther Kustanowitz, contributing writer 

Esther Kustanowitz with her mother


My mother was also a writer, but – unlike me – she was also relentlessly organized. She tried to help me organize, usually to limited effect. But I have found myself returning to one trick she taught me: when ever you make a to-do list, make the first item “make a list”; then, when you’re finished with the list, you already have one thing you can cross off the list to make you feel accomplished. I’ve told that story many times, and I still have friends who send me photos of their to-do lists, with the first item – “make a list” – crossed off. It’s not her only legacy, but making those lists (and seeing the photos of my friends’ lists) has become an act of memory and tribute.

Tess Cutler, video producer

Tess Cutler’s mother and sister in 1988


This is my mom (with a perm), circa 1988 with my older sister Chelsea. I’m the bump in her shirt. My mother has driven cross-country (numerous times), flown thousands of miles – across oceans and continents (on a whim), canceled tennis matches (which is the kicker), for my sister and me. She always says, “I never thought I’d have kids.” But look at her, a world-traveling mother. Happy mother’s Day, I love you.

Jeff Hensiek, digital content manager

Jeff Hensiek with his mother Linda and sister Jill


I don’t know how she did it, but my mom made sure I was everywhere growing up. Baseball, soccer, football, boy scouts, choir – you name it. I will never be able to thank her enough for all of the opportunities she provided for me. Happy Mother’s Day.