Friday, August 29, 2014 Elul 3, 5774

Miriam Steinberg-Egeth

Jewish Exponent Blogger

Dear Miriam,

I just got married, and I'm debating whether or not to change my last name. While I love my hubby, I also love my family, and my last name represents a lifetime of their love and my happiness. From an ease of paperwork / benefit of future children perspective, it clearly makes sense to change my name, but I get sad when I think of saying goodbye to such a big part of me. Also, I hate hyphens. What's a girl to do?

Signed,
Mrs. Something

Dear Mrs.,

If there were an easy answer to your question, I wouldn't have a hyphenated last...

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Dear Miriam,

Last week, I went to the wedding of my boyfriend's best friend from childhood. Neither my boyfriend nor any of his friends are Jewish. During dinner, one of these friends used an anti-Semitic slur. No one, including my boyfriend, responded or called him out on it in any way. As the only Jew at the table, I didn't say anything either. I'm still angry about the whole incident, but my boyfriend thinks I just need to get over it. What should I do?

Signed,
Only Jew at the Table

Dear Only,

It's understandable that you're upset, but in...

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Dear Miriam,

I've just been invited to an outdoor engagement party where guests are instructed to dress "summer chic." I have no idea what this means for me or for my boyfriend, plus it's going to be really hot out. Help!

Signed,
Sweaty Chic

Dear Sweaty,

Though I like being outdoors, I really dislike outdoor parties that are anything other than an impromptu get together with friends (or the occasional Shabbat picnic lunch). As I said when planning my own wedding, "I have enough to worry about without also worrying about the weather every day...

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Dear Miriam,

I need an all-purpose Jewish quote for a speech I'm making next week. What are some of your favorites?

Signed,
Most Quotable Quotes

Dear Quotable,

Here are some favorites, in no particular order, with thanks to my family for contributing to the list:

"We are not obligated to complete the task, neither are we free to desist from it." (Pirke Avot, 2:16)
"If I am not for myself, who will be for me?  And if I am only for myself, what am I?  And if not now, when?" (Pirke Avot, 1:14)
"It is a great mitzvah to be...

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Dear Miriam,

I'm currently seeing two different guys, both of whom I met online. The first is fun and seems interested in me, but I can't tell how serious he is about settling down. The second is a little older and more established, but because of his job, we won't be able to see much of each other for the next few months. How much time or attention do I give to either or both of them, and how do I tell if they're ready to make a commitment?

Signed,
Who to Pursue

Dear Pursue,

As long as you're having fun with the first guy, keep having fun....

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Profile

I am extremely proud to be a part of making the Philadelphia Jewish community the best it can be.

I am a co-founder of Minyan Tikvah (a lay-led prayer group in Center City Philadelphia that meets once a month for traditional egalitarian Shabbat services), a founder of a former matchmaking service for Jewish graduate students, a children’s book reviewer, a former elementary school teacher, a pretty decent cook and a mom to two beautiful children.

I spent years as the director of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia’s Jewish Graduate Student Network before resigning to spend more time with my family. My husband, Marc, likes to say that I knew more people within a week of moving to Philadelphia than he knew after six years here.

I’m originally from the tiny town of Fredonia, NY, and sometimes I still stare at the skyscrapers and marvel at how many Jews I know.

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