Compiled by Sharon Wisch-Ray
Courses offered to teach how to embrace, improve distinctive parenting styles
Being a parent can be overwhelming, especially in today’s modern world with so many places providing “expert advice” at every turn. But becoming a parent isn’t about perfection; it’s about experiencing the longest relationship of discovery in anyone’s life and one of the most demanding roles (with a HUGE learning curve). With this in mind, The J is excited to partner with renowned Jewish education organization Ayeka to offer a sampling of its “Becoming a Soulful Parent” workshops to the North Texas community. These unique, hands-on seminars led by education experts are helping change the conversation about parenting using the principles of Jewish wisdom to explore and discuss topics such as becoming a soulful and more self-confident parent and becoming a more appreciative partner.
“Our enterprising society, keenly aware of our parenting anxiety, floods us with books, articles and courses that claim to help us feel ‘in control’ over what is usually most decidedly out of control — raising kids,” says course creator Dasee Berkowitz. “‘Becoming a Soulful Parent’ is a program that is changing the conversation about parenting. There are no ‘quick fixes’ that will get childrearing ‘right.’ Being a parent to your child (or children) is not about solving problems. (At Ayeka, we believe) that our children are not projects to manage. Each one has a soul and a unique role to play in the world. And so do parents. It’s the parents’ job to nourish their children’s souls and in the process to grow their own soul, too.”
“Becoming a Soulful Parent” shifts the focus from a “success/ accomplishment/ achieving” mentality to an evolving parenting style filled with examples from external experts mixed with the experience of listening to one’s own intuitive wisdom. Every parent struggles. The challenge is to see one’s children, and by extension other people, as “souls” — not as personalities to like or dislike, egos to tread on or discipline; but as spirits that are unique, precious, and created with genuine divine light. When parents can slow down, accept the present, and honor their children and themselves by listening, every interaction can become an opportunity for growth, learning and creativity for the whole family.
During the “Becoming a Soulful Parent” workshops, attendees will have a chance to take a break from external pressures, including work, to surround themselves with like-minded people interested in coming together to discuss the essence of raising children with the infusion of wisdom from Jewish texts. The workshop will also teach attendees how to embrace their different parenting styles (including those of their partner or spouse) and to appreciate, with gratitude, the contributions their styles make to their child or children’s life.
The workshops samplers will be led by Dasee Berkowitz, The J’s early childhood expert, Tara Ohayon and Ayeka educator Chani Rodin, who have applied many of these principles to their own lives and families. The courses are offered free of charge during three, convenient one-hour times at 9:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m. or 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, 7900 Northaven Road in Dallas. The workshops are open to parents of children of any age (with or without their parenting partner). However, RSVP via the online form is required for each class to ensure adequate space. For more information, visit http://www.jccdallas.org/earlychildhoodcenter/becoming-a-soulful-parent-sampler/.
— Submitted by Jef Tingley
Consul General Gilad Katz at JCRC Town Hall
The Jewish Community Relations Council and AJC will welcome new Consul General of Israel Gilad Katz to the Southwest at a Town hall breakfast meeting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the Aaron Family JCC. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Consul Katz will share his first impression of Texas and give an update on the Houston Jewish community following Hurricane Harvey. The event is complimentary to attend, but registration is required at email@example.com. A light kosher breakfast will be served.
Daron Babcock to speak about urban farms at Beth Torah
Daron Babcock, executive director of Bonton Farms, will be the guest speaker at the Congregation Beth Torah Men’s Club monthly lox-and-bagel breakfast on Sunday, Oct. 22.
Babcock heads one of the nation’s largest urban farms that turned a vacant lot in South Dallas into a project that grows food, provides jobs and restores hope in a disadvantaged part of the city. He will discuss how the farms are transforming a “food desert” into a source of healthy produce — and pride — for the community.
The breakfast starts at 9 a.m. at the synagogue, located at 720 W. Lookout Drive in Richardson, near the crossroads of Bush Turnpike and Central Expressway. The cost is $10 — $5 for students — and the public is welcome. For more information, call the synagogue at 972-234-1542.
— Submitted by Michael Precker
Levine Academy names new ECC director
Stacey Behrendt has been named the new Levine Academy Weinreb ECC director. She will begin Nov. 13.
Behrendt has extensive early childhood leadership experience in Dallas and Boston. Stacey served as director of the Primrose Schools in Dallas and Frisco for the last five years. For five years prior to moving to Dallas, she was director of the Mosaic School in Boston.
Get Back to shul at Shearith Israel’s Beatles Shabbat
Cantor Itzhak Zhrebker and the Shearith Israel choirs will lead a Beatles-themed Kabbalat service at 6 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Beck Family Sanctuary at Shearith, 9401 Douglas Ave.
There is nothing like davening to Cantor Zhrebker’s clever scoring of the prayers to Beatles songs. After services there will be a Shabbat dinner for the entire family. Laura Miller will share speak on the topic “What I have Learned Battling Breast Cancer Twice.”
Reservations are required for dinner and cost is $13 for adults, $8 child and $40 maximum per family.