Sandra Waldman

Answer one question or many - using words, photos or other media.

What are some favorite memories you have of Sandy?

Steven Waldman
She had just recovered from cancer surgery. She was waking up and groggy. Literally the first words she uttered were, "Did you eat?"

I also for some reason have this impressionistic memory from when I was a little boy. I had come home from school or summer camp. It was raining out, and I was wet. I walked into the house and saw her over by the fireplace, and walked over there. She just beamed at me for no particular reason and gave me a huge hug. It wasn't a big life milestone moment or a holiday. And I have no idea why my brain remembered that instance as opposed to thousands of others but it's vivid and makes me smile whenever I recall it.
Jeff Janus
I share very fond memories of Sandy's wonderful, personal Passover Haggadahs, which she would re-edit and revise each year, and incorporate accomplishments of her children and grandchildren, as well as major events in the world, all while staying true to the message and meaning of Passover -- freedom and liberation for all people, everywhere.
Joseph Waldman
Eating snails at Jubilee every time I come home to visit! Plus having great political discussions and hearing stories about Walter Cronkite.
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What have you learned from Sandy?

Steven Waldman
Restaurant menus always need a good copy edit

It's never too late to start a new career or go back to school

Nixon was a bad man

Gezpacho is best with avocado in it

No one deserves to be treated rudely

You're never too old to hold hands with your mommy

Meatloaf must always have a layer of ketchup on top

Reproductive rights are a key to women's empowerment around the world
Amy Cunningham
I mean, with how many mothers-in-law out there, can you openly speak about contraception methods? Sandy loved her days at The Population Council!
Amy Cunningham
Sweet Potato Tzimmes!
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What six words best describe Sandy?

Steven Waldman
Joseph Waldman
Like Ruth Bader Ginsburg but cooler.
Joseph Waldman
Loving, intelligent, funny, tough, feisty, progressive.
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What are Sandy's greatest writings?

Steven Waldman
Sandy has written many wonderful things in her life. She wrote for Associated Press about the United Nations and Boston happenings. She wrote for CBS radio about problems of the world. She wrote about modern families and motherhood (in the 1950s). She wrote for 340Leader newspaper on union issues. She wrote a fantastic masters thesis about media coverage of contraceptive issues, and many important medical papers at the Population Council.

But I once asked Ma what she was proudest of and she said, The Haggadah. And I cant argue with that. Here's what I wrote about it for Beliefnet a few years back:

Passover is by far our favorite Jewish holiday — not so much because I’m pleased the Hebrews escaped Egypt (though I am) but because it is associated with the most loving, quirky family traditions and memories.
Like most traditions, they will seem banal or un-funny to those who aren’t there, but I cant help but smile when I think about…

The annual debate over whether gefilte fish is repulsive or divine (and the inevitable compromise that it all depends on how much horseradish you apply)…

The violent rush of screaming kids searching for the afikomen, and the increasingly teenaged reactions from the winner, “Pwnd!”…

My wife (who is Christian) worrying about whether her matzoh balls are Jewish enough and light enough. Her anxiety peaked the year she used a Heroset recipe from Martha Stewart, (“Fruit and Nut Spread”..).

Necktie or nice sweater?

Oldsters searching for reading glasses…

My brother’s annual suggestion that gefilte fish would gain more popular acceptance if we called it “European fish pate.”…

But most important is the Waldman Family Haggadah itself. My mom, a gifted writer, pulled this together years ago, and updates it each year. It’s an idiosyncratic collection of classic Passover stories and songs, contemporary Jewish writings (such as a passage from the Diary of Anne Frank), celebrations of family achievements, remembrances of friends and family who have passed, and a paragraph or two of hilariously inappropriate political commentary.
Joseph Waldman
This one's easy. Can't imagine Passover without our politically opinionated haggadahs.
Ben Waldman
I, unfortunately, have not had be chance to explore my grandmother's writings at great length. However, I can say with certainty that no single major essay, paper, or thesis that I have ever written would be legible without Grandma Sandy's beautiful, detailed, tremendously helpful, encouraging, and incredibly digestible edits, revisions, and suggestions.

Who does Chester love more -- Steve/Amy or Sandy/Marty?

Steven Waldman
The answer is obvious.

What were the most famous Sandy dinners growing up?

Steven Waldman
Mom never was taught to cook by her mom and is always a bit embarrassed by this topic but she tried hard and I actually have very fond memories of the Waldman family regulars:

Meatloaf with ketchup on the top

Filet of sole with butter

Baked potato with sour cream

Chicken cutlets baked with breadcrumbs

Hamburgers with hush puppies cooked in the toaster oven

Brisket a la tomato juice

Gezpacho with avacado
London broil (dad's specialty)

What concrete proof is there REALLY that mom was on vacations with us?

Steven Waldman

What were some of mom's hairstyles through the ages?

Steven Waldman