About Merri Ukraincik


I’m a writer – essayist, blogger, freelancer, and the Close to Home columnist at The New Jersey Jewish News. My essays have appeared in multiple publications, among them Tablet, Lilith, Hevria, Kveller, and The New York Jewish Week. I’m still excited that my tiny little story about an encounter with a medium, first printed in 1996, later made it into the book Metropolitan Diary: The Best of the New York Times Column.

Life has taken me places – I’ve lived in Israel, Croatia, and Hungary. During my 13 years with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), I traveled from Cuba to Albania, even to remote corners of Central and Eastern Europe. My first book, I Live. Send Help: 100 Years of Jewish History in Images from the JDC Archives, was published by JDC in 2014.

Since then, I’ve landed with my husband and our sons on suburban terra firma. My days now unfold in the company of books, yarn, and piles of laundry. Often, though, I’m busy decoupaging anything that doesn’t move. You can check out my decoupage gallery at www.mypaperedworld.com.

I’m currently at work on a memoir and am so happy you’ve joined me here.


4 thoughts on “About Merri Ukraincik

  • Merri ~ I just finished reading “Winter Nights of Awe” & am entranced by it! How charming & accurately you described my own influence by just such a moon. When in Tucson, AZ, I would drive up over a steep hill in the foothills at 5 a.m. & get a total face full of moon-shine on the other side. I thought I would be able to reach out & touch that beautiful orb, but couldn’t get beyond my gasp of “awe”. Many years ago, while still living in New England, I attended the marriage of a classmate that took place after harvest time in their property cornfield; under the “Harvest Moon”, I might add. The classmate was a 4th generation farmer so this was a true, spiritual event. You really captured the essence of that particular kind of “awe” & aroused the memories of that marriage that I thought had been forgotten. In addition, I was also reminded of the night my father, uncle, & cousins all stood in our field watching the skies that were only filled with the lights of stars & a sliver of a moon. Yet ~ we were rewarded for our vigilance with a pinpoint of light that got bigger & brighter & assured us that it was in fact, “Sputnik”. Talk about “awe”. I had forgotten that experience also until your lovely article was read. How does one thank someone for bringing memories back to life? Your article did just that & I am grateful to you! Indeed, thank you!!


    • Eilleen, What a beautiful comment! Thank you for sharing all of this with me. I’m so touched that my words sparked these lovely memories. By the way, I was delighted to learn that full moons have names, having never heard the term Harvest Moon until that night I described in the essay.


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