About Us

kvetch (kəˈveCH, kfeCH) – informal

  1. a person who complains a great deal.


  1. complain.

This blog is about an observant Jewish family that lives in the Maine woods.

Brian Kresge is an (often unsuccessful) observant Jew, a father, a husband, a programmer, a writer, a soldier, a musician, and an avid lover of the outdoors.  He ran for public office a couple of times, and worked for the Gary Johnson campaign in 2016 as National Director for Jewish Outreach.  He joined the Army in 1993 as an active duty paratrooper, and continued to serve in the Pennsylvania and now Maine National Guard, with breaks for college and graduate school.  He’s an alumnus of Southwest Texas State and Capella University.  Brian has three years overseas service, and doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon. He was stationed in Kentucky and Alaska.  He’s got a couple of sets of foreign jump wings.

Brian is currently President of Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine.

Leah Kresge is Director of Education for Congregation Beth Israel in Bangor, Maine.  She’s taught in numerous Hebrew and religious schools for most of her life.  Leah is a graduate of Elizabethtown College, and spent a number of years as a special educator in emotional support and inclusion classrooms in Lancaster and Lebanon County school districts.  She was elected to Manheim Central School Districts board of directors and served diligently until their move to Maine in 2016.

They live with daughters Amelia and Inez ‘Nezzie’ in Winterport, Maine, in the Midcoast.  Brian has an older child, Adrian, who lives in Florida. They moved to Maine in 2016, to a lovely A-frame in 12 acres of Maine woods. They’re on the banks of Cove Brook, which empties into Bald Hill Cove, just down the road on the Penobscot River. They’re still close enough to Bangor that they have easy access to yiddishkeit.

This blog is about their lives in the woods, about being Jewish in that context, and whatever else comes across their table.

Brian and Leah are available for speaking engagements and other queries at brian(dot)kresge(at)gmail(dot)com. They have interesting stories to tell.

* Note:  Technically we’re not really Down East here in Winterport.  We get lumped in with “Midcoast” and “Greater Bangor,” neither of which sound as Maine-ish or as cool as “Down East.”  We’re close enough.