By Julia Olson 

Assistant Editor 

Every week at The American Israelite we feature columns from different people who contribute monthly to our paper. While we rarely pull back the curtain and talk about ourselves in our own paper, we wanted to share some information about the names and faces you see in your paper every month. 

Our columnists for the first week of each month are Lorie Kleiner Eckert, Sheryl Pockrose, and Rabbi Gershon Avtzon. 

Eckert writes a column called “Living and Learning,” a lifestyle column that reflects on life challenges, like her article about acknowledging she finally needs hearing aids, to celebrations, like the recent trip to Morocco that she wrote about in our most recent issue. Eckert was a motivational speaker for ten years and considers herself a cheerleader for her Israelite readers. 

Sheryl Pockrose reviews books for the paper. Each month, Sheryl writes comprehensive reviews of books relating to Judaism and Jewish life. Her most recent column featured a section of children’s books, but she writes reviews of books for older audiences as well. Pockrose has a masters degree in library science from Indiana University. She has a passion for music and has performed publicly in Cincinnati, including as a member of the choir for the dedication of the new Torah scroll at Isaac M. Wise Temple. 

Rabbi Gershon Avtzon writes our Orthodox column, “Lessons For Life, From Life.” He often links important Jewish lessons to Cincinnati or Ohio history, like the counting of the omer and its relationship to the invention of the cash register just up the road in Dayton. Rabbi Avtzon has written about everything from the Ohio origins of Gorilla Glue to adventures in Podiatry. Originally from Crown Heights in Brooklyn, Rabbi Avtzon now lives in Cincinnati and is the founder and Dean of the Rabbinical Yeshiva of Cincinnati. 

In our second week of the month, we run columns from Gayle Schindler, Dr. Ruth Nemzoff, and Cathy Hollander. 

Gayle Schindler writes our kosher food column, “Foody Fun.” She shares tasty recipes for drinks, dinners, and desserts. She also educates our readers about the best ways to prep for holiday meals without wasting food. For example, do you know how much turkey an average Thanksgiving guest eats? In her recent Thanksgiving column, Gale included tips and tricks to prevent overbuying on food. 

Dr. Ruth Nemzoff provides our monthly advice column. Recently readers have written in to ask Dr. Nemzoff about their concerns about finding Jewish communities in rural towns, celebrating holidays with interfaith families, and marriage ceremonies for young people. Dr. Ruth is an expert in family dynamics and is a lecturer in sociology at Brandeis University. She has a doctorate in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University and currently lives in Massachusetts. 

Cincinnati social happenings are covered by our columnist Cathy Hollander. Cathy keeps our community in touch with marriages, births, and other celebrations that happen in the greater Cincinnati area. She is a local Cincinnatian and has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from UC. She has been writing for newspapers since 1997 and also teaches creative writing to children. Cathy’s column is a great resource for knowing what’s what in Jewish Cincinnati. 

Our third week columnists are Iris Ruth Pastor and Dr. Jordan Finkin. Iris writes the column “Incidentally Iris,” and strives to push the envelope and do the unexpected. She focuses on her life experiences as an “aging baby boomer” and applies them to greater life lessons that we can all learn, despite our age. She tackles issues like reliving your high school past, family dynamics at events like reunions and funerals, and what to do when one feels overwhelmed by horrific news headlines. Iris presents her authentic self in every column and aims to motivate, inform, and entertain Israelite readers. 

Dr. Jordan Finkin writes our monthly Yiddish column. Ever wondered how to call someone a dunce in Yiddish? Want to know how lion imagery figures in Yiddish literature throughout history? Dr. Jordan Finkin has the answers to all your Yiddish questions and teaches Israelite readers the nuances of the Yiddish language every month. Dr. Finkin is the Rare Book and Manuscript Librarian at the Klau Library of Hebrew Union College here in Cincinnati. He recently received a prize from the Modern Language Association for his work with Allison Schachter, with whom he translated stories by Frail Shtok, a Jewish American poet and writer. If ever you have a question about a Yiddish phrase, a Yiddish book, or anything else Yiddish, Dr. Finkin is the Cincinnati authority to turn to. 

In our fourth and final week of columns each month, we run columns by Dr. Ken Manges and Richard Katz. 

Dr. Ken Manges writes “Psychologically Speaking” for the American Israelite. His recent column topics include our brain activity that takes place during conversation, decision making processes, and overcoming obstacles. Originally from Long Island, Dr. Manges received his PhD from the University of Maryland and now resides right here in Cincinnati. When he is not writing for the Israelite or working as a forensic psychologist, he enjoys collecting all types of locks and keys. 

Richard Katz writes our sports column every month. Some of his recent columns have focused on the growing popularity of pickle ball, interviews with famous sportscasters, and the changing landscape of college sports. A local Cincinnatian and graduate of UC, Richard runs Katz Management Group, where he represents professional and college athletes. He has also played on the JCC Men’s Adult softball league. 

We occasionally feature other columns too, like a history column by Daniel Hoffheimer, an attorney and Cincinnati historian, whose most recent contribution to the Israelite was an in-depth history of the Freedom Center. We also have a legal column written by Michael B. Ganson. He writes about legal issues, and has most recently written an article (featured in this week’s issue) about the new distracted driving law in Ohio. We also feature a column called “Long Journey Home,” by Steve Rosedale. In this column, Steve writes about his lifelong journey as a Jew, his struggles in Vietnam, and his journey to his current religious practices. 

Each of The American Israelite columnists brings something unique to the table. If ever you have a question pertaining to one of the subjects our columnists writes about, feel free to send it our way. There’s no better way to generate good column content than direct interaction with our readership base. If you’d like to ask our columnists a question, or have something you’d like them to write about, you can find their information on the staff page on our website. 

We are also hoping to feature our columnists on The American Israelite Podcast “Let There Be Light.” This way, our readers and listeners will be able to get to know our columnists even better. We are also considering a “Meet the Columnists” event for the public, which could possibly take place this coming fall. 

American Israelite columnists
Row 1 (from left to right): Lorie Kleiner Eckert, Sheryl Pockrose, Rabbi Gershon Avtzon, Gayle Schindler, Dr. Ruth Nemzoff; Row 2: Cathy Sachs Hollander, Iris Ruth Pastor, Dr. Jordan Finkin, Dr. Ken Manges, Richard Katz; Row 3: Daniel Hoffheimer, Michael Ganson, Steve Rosedale