Adena Cohen-Bearak

Adena Cohen-Bearak

I am a freelance writer with a public health background, writing on topics such as spirituality and religion, parenting, and health and illness.

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The Confidence You Need: The Beginning Family Gardening Class | Needham Community Farm

A get-away. A community. A great place for people to come together. A different side of Needham. These are just some of the words that Susan Kirk enthusiastically uses to describe her participation in last summer’s Beginning Family Gardening Class at Needham Community Farm. I spoke with Kirk recently to find out more about her experience.

The Jewish Daily Forward

The Shaming of Rabbi Barry Starr |

As I see it, the issue with Rabbi Starr isn’t so much what he did sexually (and we don’t really know exactly what he did and with whom). It’s that he was so ashamed of what he did that he was willing to comply with a blackmailer to the tune of half a million dollars.

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Here's to the People Who Made My Son's Bar Mitzvah Special, Even If They Don't Remember Us | Kveller

I will never forget these folks, and that amazing day. But very likely they have already forgotten me.

The Jewish Daily Forward

Why Caleb Jacoby's Disappearance Is Our Business |

The fact that a 16-year-old boy left his house and traveled to New York without telling his family or friends is not okay. Something is amiss. It may be mental health issues (depression, anxiety or some other problem), sexual identity issues, abuse issues, or any number of things. But the fact is: everything is not fine.

The Raspberry Cycle | Needham Community Farm

It’s been at least 10 years now, and the raspberry plants have happily taken over half of my garden. This year, I had a staggering abundance of raspberries, enough to freeze several quart bags full, to make my first-ever raspberry jam, and to eat plenty (with some for the birds and chipmunks as well).

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dorothea von Herder | Needham Community Farm

“I felt this inner voice – I don’t like the way the earth is being treated,” said Needham resident Dorothea von Herder, expressing her deep concern for and love of the environment.

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It's Not Easy Having a Hyphenated Last Name | BlogHer

When I decided to hyphenate my name in 1996, I thought I was making a feminist statement. I didn't realize that I was creating a monster.

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Jewesses with Attitude

What's In a Name: the Dreaded Hyphen | Jewish Women's Archive

To be perfectly honest, I can't stand when someone asks for my full name on the telephone. Not only do I have an unusual first name (with an atypical spelling), I also have an unusual and hyphenated last name.


Entering Data | Journal of the American Medical Association

I'm at work, entering chart abstraction data into a database. It's not very difficult; actually it can be quite soothing to enter data. I don't have to think too much. But entering this kind of data always gives me pause.


When Celebrities Get Cancer | MotherThoughts

In case you've been living under a rock, you probably know that Good Morning America new anchor Robin Roberts was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer 5 years ago. While the good news is that she was treated and recovered from her cancer, the bad news is that she recently had a recurrence of cancer, called myelodysplastic syndrome, most likely a result of some of the breast cancer treatment.

Consider Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer | Needham Times

There is strong, growing scientific evidence that the cause of breast cancer is environmental: chemicals in our food, water, air, and soil. Pesticides, cleaning fluids, plastics, cosmetics, paint, furniture: many of these products have chemicals in them that either mimic or disrupt hormones. Many, many of these chemicals – 90 percent, in fact – haven’t been properly tested for their effects on humans.

On Being

The December Dilemma of Accepting Christmas | On Being Blog

Chanukah begins on Wednesday night this year. Tonight. December 1st. Yes, it is confusing. Even we Jews are confused. Why — everyone is wondering — does Chanukah coincide with Christmas some years and, in other years, Chanukah arrives weeks before?

Boston Parent's Paper

Crying | Boston Parents' Paper

My six-week-old baby was crying all the time. My ears were ringing from the sound. At night, my husband Arnie would take Jordan for an hour while I took a hot bath in our tiny green-tiled bathroom, trying to relax from another exhausting day of caring for an infant. I would close the bathroom door to crying, and when I opened it, I would hear the crying once again. It was endless; the baby was inconsolable.

parent talk matters

A Healthier Diet for Kids (and the rest of us) | Parent Talk Matters

I’ll admit that sticking to these new recommendations is not easy, especially with hungry (and picky) kids to feed. The first step is to change the environment of your home so it supports healthy eating.


Knowing Anne Frank | MotherThoughts

When you first walk in the house, the stairs are very, very steep. The house is surprisingly small, dark, and almost completely empty. You aren’t sure what you were expecting. But it’s so bare. There ...