Where Are They Now?
Written by Debra Roth Kane
Amy Meltzer, Bryn Mawr class of 1985, has her hands full but in a very good way. She teaches kindergarten at a Jewish day school, the Solomon Schechter School in Northhampton, Mass. She is an author of children’s books and a parenting blog. She is devoted to her family, husband Keith Lepine, also a teacher, and daughters Ella, 7, and Zoe, 5.
Today, this Pikesville native, who graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, has settled in Northampton. She has also lived in New York City and Oregon.
iNSIDER: What is your blog about?
Amy: It;s called Homeshuling ( blog.beliefnet.com/homeshuling, ) and it’s a Jewish parenting blog. I started it because I wanted to figure out if I had a parenting book in me. I decided I didn’t, not at this point. I consider myself a teacher who writes, not an aspiring writer. Writing is a piece of what I do as an educator.
The name of my blog reflects my feeling, dating from when I was growing up, that synagogues were big and overwhelming. My Jewish identity came from home, and that’s what my blog is about.
You are also a children’s book author?
Yes. My first book, “A Mezuzah on the Door,” was published in 2007. It’s a PJ Library selection. “The Shabbat Princess” is due out in the fall.
Do your children attend the school where you teach?
Yes. Zoe is actually in my kindergarten because there’s only one kindergarten class. Sometimes it’s great having her in my class; sometimes it’s hard. She doesn’t call me ‘Mom’ during the school day; I’m ‘Morah Amy.’ It’s hard for her when she needs ‘Mommy’ and I can’t give her that. But the
other kids think she’s lucky.
You are juggling a lot of activities: teaching, writing and parenting. Why take on so much?
I’m busy, but I wouldn’t say that I’m juggling these things. I enjoy everything I do. I don’t have hobbies, but I love what I do for work and I love parenting.
What made you choose Bryn Mawr?
I went to Beth Tfiloh for fourth, fifth and sixth grades. The middle school was new then. I won a full scholarship to Bryn Mawr, which was a great school.
How does Northampton compare to Baltimore?
I’m not a suburbs person. In Northampton, when the weather is good, I can walk or bike almost everywhere. It’s a college town and offers a different kind of lifestyle. There are lots of people who have come here intentionally from New York City and elsewhere. It’s more casual. When I visit Baltimore, I’m struck by the cars, the traffic, the beltway. Northampton is less diverse than Baltimore but more diverse than Pikesville. Jewish living here is very affordable. I get why my mom loves Baltimore, but this is a better fit for our family. It helps that there’s the Internet, because there are no Jewish bookstores here. But I miss my mother. I wish she were closer.