Blogs That Inspire Me

In the year since I began “From Leslie’s Laptop,” I have become much more aware of all of the terrific writing that is out there on the internet. I’ve found many other bloggers whose writing makes me laugh, makes me think, makes me angry – in short, engages me. Having a laptop that I can carry around the house means I’m simply online more. I’m not sure whether all the time I spend reading and writing and yes, checking Facebook has interrupted my actual human contact levels; my job as Women’s Philanthropy President has certainly kept me in touch with all of the wonderful volunteers, donors and staff that make Women’s Philanthropy so special.

One of the things I’ve started reading is the online magazine Tablet ( It’s a lively presentation of news, literature, entertainment and other aspects of modern Jewish life. You can receive it as a daily digest and then go to the expanded version. I don’t always have time to read the whole issue, but there‘s almost always one or two pieces I find I want to check out. Yesterday’s issue caught my eye because of the featured article’s provocative title “Blogorreha: Why I Don’t Read Mommyblogs” and its author, Marjorie Ingall. Ingall aroused the ire of many Tablet readers a few weeks ago with a post about her “dilemma” about what to tell her children about Israel. I was very pleased and proud of Andrew Silow-Carroll’s commentary on that post, which you can read at

Ingall writes in yesterday’s Tablet that she was horrified to be included in a list of “top Jewish mommybloggers.” At first, I thought Ingall was making the point that the term “mommyblogger” was akin to “chick lit” – yet another way to diminish the contribution of women to literature. But she basically goes on to dismiss women who blog about their lives as mothers as not as good as hers and for either not disclosing enough about their families or disclosing too much.

Here’s the interesting thing: for the last year, I’ve been following two “mommybloggers” and it’s one of them, my friend Alia Ramer, who turned me on to Tablet! Alia writes with humor and with ahavat Yisroel, a true love of the Jewish people and Israel, at “Our Tribe and Joy,” which you can find at Oh – and the other blog I follow is my cousin Emily Mendell’s, called Mothers of Brothers,, (but is a great read for mothers or fathers or grandparents or anyone who was a child at some point). Both of these women are smart, funny, busy as possible and still able to write circles around anyone.

While my topics have not been about being a mother very often, Alia and Emily, and even provocative writers like Marjorie Ingall have been my inspiration and my unknown companions for writing honestly in this blog. My time as president of Women’s Philanthropy comes to a close on June 30, and more than anything I have loved, loved, loved working with other women, lay and staff, who are the best network and support anyone can ask for. I have no patience for women bashing other women (so back down, Marjorie, but keep making me think) and all the room in my heart for women supporting each other. Anna Fisch, the new Women’s Philanthropy president as of July1, has asked that I continue to write “From Leslie’s Laptop” so you will still hear from me, although sometimes it will now be from “Leslie’s iPad” - trying to keep up with technology!

Here’s to the start of new things!



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