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Life in the Present Tense :
Reflections on Family and Faith

by Rifka Rosenwein

“A treasure trove of wisdom from one of American Judaism’s most beloved and lamented voices.”
—Publishers Weekly

Rifka Rosenwein’s column, “The Home Front,” about her suburban, soccer-mom life, appeared at the back of The Jewish Week for seven years.

Her brave approach to her cancer, and her decision to share her experiences in her column, resulted in readers taking Rifka into their hearts.

Her reflections — on topics ranging from her son’s first kindergarten girlfriend to living on “cancer time” — are a death-defying celebration of life.

Reading her work you can see your own friends, your parents, your children, your co-workers, your spouse . . . and yourself.

Rifka Rosenwein, journalist, wrote and edited for The Wall Street Journal, American Lawyer, and Brill’s Content. Her monthly column, “Home Front,” appeared in The Jewish Week. She died in 2003 at the age of 42.





“Rifka Rosenwein writes with energy, passion and a clear-eyed sense of perspective.”
—Steven Brill, founder, American Lawyer

“This work collects Rosenwein's articles for “The Home Front,” a column that ran in the New York Jewish Week for seven years. With unfailing fluency, humor, and an accessible style, Rosenwein wrote about her children, New York, the fall of the Twin Towers in 2001, Israel, her battle with cancer, and more. Through it all, Judaism informed her outlook and gave her strength. She rightly perceives herself as belonging to a “conduit” generation, i.e., one falling between her parents' Holocaust sorrows and the American pleasures of her children's lives. Rosenwein's writings exemplify the pleasures of reading journalistic columns dealing with daily matters that touch on universals.”
Library Journal, Oct. 1, 2007

“Dispatches from a life unfolding... unwaveringly honest, wry, gentle, and reflective.”
—Tova Mirvis, author, The Ladies Auxiliary

“Before her life was cut short by cancer at age 42 in 2003, Modern Orthodox writer and editor Rosenwein had been a beloved columnist for seven years for the New York Jewish Week, reflecting once a month on child-rearing, careers, love, holiness and Jewish tradition.

With equal parts humor and heartache leaping from the page in the columns written after her cancer diagnosis, Rosenwein deals with aging parents, challenging modern schedules, timeless holy days and the joys of raising her three children. The columns address the quotidian concerns of a suburban Jewish family as well as more global issues: the fear and sadness after 9/11 and the sense of anxiety that some American Jews have about Israel.

...this is a treasure trove of wisdom from one of American Judaism's most beloved and lamented voices. Rosenwein's husband, Barry Lichtenberg, provides a touching afterword, and novelist Tova Mirvis (a former intern of hers) the foreword.”
Publishers Weekly, Sept. 23, 2007







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