Shalom From the Shabbat Lady

Posted on 29 January 2009 by admin

By Laura Seymour

Dear Families,
For the Dallas Community LearningFest, I was asked to do a session on “Love and Logic” and to add a Jewish twist. We too often see “regular” parenting and “Jewish” parenting as two different things, but truly our hope is that we teach values and behaviors the same way. Those who know a little (or a lot) about “Love and Logic” always talk about choices. For example, we ask our sons, “Would you like to wear your blue kippah or your Mavericks kippah to synagogue?” — but wearing a kippah is expected, not a matter of choice. As our children grow, we want them to make positive choices in their Jewish life and we must prepare them to make choices.

I will soon be going down to Austin for their version of the LearningFest. The topic they asked me for is “How to be a Good Enough Jewish Parent.” We are all thinking about the same thing: How do we parent Jewishly? For the record, I am not the expert (unless raising three children, working with thousands of others, talking with hundreds of parents and making lots of mistakes makes me an expert)! However, I do read lots of books and do a lot of thinking. Here is a list of many of the books I use as resources to help answer a variety of questions. I have put them in order of the year published. Yes, I have my favorites but you may discover others to be yours. As always, feel free to call me (214-239-7110) or e-mail me (lseymour@jccdallas.org) with any questions.

Jewish parenting book resources
“To Raise a Jewish Child.” Rabbi Hayim Halevy Donin. Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1977
“The Hadassah Magazine Jewish Parenting Book.” Edited by Roselyn Bell. The Free Press, New York, 1989
“40 Things You Can Do to Save the Jewish People.” Joel Lurie Grishaver. Alef Design Group, 1993
“The Jewish Parents’ Almanac.” Julie Hilton Danan. A Jason Aronson Book, New York, 1994
“Parenting as a Spiritual Journey.” Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. Jewish Lights Publishing, Vermont, 1996
“Becoming a Jewish Parent.” Daniel Gordis. Harmony Books, New York, 1999
“The Blessing of a Skinned Knee.” Wendy Mogel. Scribner, New York, 2001
“Can I Have a Cell Phone for Hanukkah?” Sharon Duke Estroff. Broadway Books, New York, 2007

Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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