Shoshana Kordova


Shoshana Kordova




Home, Mosque, and Synagogue: On Parenting and Sacred Spaces

Shoshana: In the synagogue I grew up in, the fringed white tallitot of the men’s section in the middle of the sanctuary were surrounded on both sides by the dresses, skirts, stockings, and wide-brim hats of the women’s sections to the right and left. When the Torah went around the borders of the men’s section, I often walked to the divider and held out my prayer book, touching it to the Torah and bringing it to my lips.

The Disturbing Science Behind Subconscious Gender Bias

We’re at my daughter’s preschool for an end-of-the-year party. She’s sitting in a circle with the other girls in her class, silently watching the boys lift toy barbells and show off how strong they are. I seriously consider stalking out in protest, but force myself to stay and make do with calling out “What about the girls?”.

6 Conditions That Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease

Heart disease is so prevalent—27.6 million American adults have it, and it's the leading cause of death for both men and women—yet many people still don't have a good grasp on how to protect themselves. Step one: You need to understand what, exactly, could be putting you in danger. "It's really important to identify at-risk people early so we can focus on prevention," says Erin Michos, MD, associate director of preventive cardiology at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.
Prevention Link to Story

A Cervical Selfie Might Save Your Life

When is a selfie not narcissistic? When it’s used to detect one of the leading causes of death in the developing world. It turns out that cellphone photos are one of the best ways possible to effect early diagnosis. Taking shots of your junk with your cellphone might seem inadvisable at best, but in the developing world, cervical selfies can save lives.
The Daily Beast Link to Story

The surprising reasons why wealthier people are more likely to survive melanoma

Money may not buy you happiness, but having more of it may be able to buy you a better prognosis if you’re diagnosed with skin cancer, according to a recent study. We already know that poverty is a risk factor for poor health and premature mortality, according to a 2004 meta-analysis of income inequality and health in the journal Epidemiologic Reviews.
Quartz Link to Story

The Secret Power of Our Daydreams

Staring into space may get a bad rap, but a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year found that cognitive capacity actually got a bit of a boost when scientists used electrodes to stimulate the part of the brain that caused the subjects’ minds to wander. “We showed that an increase of mind wandering as a result of our stimulation did not come in place of the performance of an external task,” said lead researcher Vadim Axelrod, a postdoctoral fellow at Bar-Ilan University’s Cognitive Neuroscience Lab in Israel.

You Really Can Die of Happiness

We smile at those comments and dismiss the hyperbole, but here’s the catch: Though it’s seldom life-threatening, too much happiness could kill you. Researchers have shown that our emotional state affects not just whether we get sick, but whether we live or die. But until now, only negative emotions were implicated, such as those associated with stressful life events like divorce or the death of a loved one.

The evolutionary advantage of feeling ashamed of yourself

Shame is a feeling that tends to punish us twice. First we get embarrassed for crying at work, getting too drunk at a party, or flunking a test. Then we feel bad for being ashamed in the first place when our culture urges us to be paragons of high self-esteem. But what if feeling shame is actually good for us?
Quartz Link to Story

Fighting Scientific Bias Through Crowdsourcing

You’ve probably seen (and even posted) these sorts of questions on social media—queries like “Does anyone near me know whether they finished the construction work at the post office yet?”. or “Help me win an argument: What are the first words that come to mind when you hear the name ‘Ferris Bueller’?”.

How One Museum Looks to Combat Ageism

I walk alone through the tunnel-like hallway, surrounded by large-lettered questions in stark black on white: “Is being old good or bad?”. “At what age will you be old?”. “Are you curious about the future?”. The future looms sooner than I expect, in the yellow simulation room at the end of the tunnel.
Smithsonian Link to Story

From Birthday Parties to Bomb Shelters

Thursday morning. Hundreds of rockets have hit Israel in the last few days, but for the moment, my city seems to be in a sirenless bubble, even though Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which lie to either side of it, have been targeted. We in Modi’in are an island of warlessness in a sea of war, reading on Facebook as friends report their siren stories.

Talking Death, and Promises, With a Preschooler

I recently had an unplanned death talk with my 4½-year-old daughter that left me wondering if my explanation of mortality should have stopped at worms and dogs, at least until she gets a little bit older. That morning, while Rimonit was at preschool — or gan, as we call it in Israel, where I live — a friend told me that the family’s (elderly) dog had died the night before.
Motherlode Link to Story


Shoshana Kordova

Shoshana Kordova is a journalist who has written for publications including Prevention, Quartz, Smithsonian, The Daily Beast, Catapult and New York Times parenting blog Motherlode, She is also the co-founder of Have Faith, Will Parent, a virtual meeting place for parents of all religions. (To see more clips, go to

Shoshana lives in Israel, is a former language columnist for Haaretz and Tablet Magazine, and serves as house mother to a small sorority's worth of daughters. She tweets mostly about science, health, religion and parenting @shoshanakordova, and can be reached at