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Every night, when we put Caila to sleep, after her bedtime story,the last thing she asks us to do is to go through a list of everyone who loves her. We rattle off the names of family, friends, class mates, teachers and therapists. She beams through the whole process and then turns onto a her side with beautiful look of pure content and off to dream land she goes.
Caila feels so loved and accepted. In spite of her challenges she is exceptionally confident and will always offer to lead…Continue
Added by Jodi on February 25, 2014 at 8:00am — No Comments
Recently I have travelled a lot even by my standards, I was in North Carolina, home 1 week then Miami, home a week and then South Africa for a family visit that included 17 hrs flight each way and 3 nights on the ground. Home a week and for my kids' winter break we are now in Arizona. Gavin and I realize that we have an unusual set up where we both can work from anywhere and we also make use of the miles and hotel points acquired on Gavin's frequent business travel. …Continue
Added by Jodi on February 14, 2014 at 4:04am — No Comments
February marks Disability Awareness Month and each year since I have joined this community I see hints of progress. In fact this link shares that even the fashion industry is rethinking the definition of a perfect body. http://www.upworthy.com/i-bet-these-people-never-expected-to-be-models-but-the-results-are-so-gorgeous-2?g=3&c=reccon1
Added by Jodi on February 5, 2014 at 2:00am — No Comments
What a journey! 3 countries, 9 cities and 27 apartments before making Manhattan home almost 14 years ago!
Our adventures included living in the outback in Australia and the most remote parts of New Zealand. We got married very young and we had aspirations to make aliya and move to Israel. Gavin had a large student loan from medical school and there was arbitrage opportunities working as a doctor in outback areas where they paid a lot and we could take these…
Added by Jodi on January 13, 2014 at 2:48pm — No Comments
I have been reading the book ‘I am Malala’, the story of Malala Yousafzai, the young girl shot in Pakistan by the Taliban for going to school, I heard her speak at the UN at age 16 and heard her TV interviews. Like many around the world, I was captivated by her bravery and passion and so was inspired to read the book.
Malala comes from a poor family in a poor part of the world with extremely repressive conditions especially for woman. Malala did not see herself as the victim but…Continue
Added by Jodi on December 31, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments
Although I left South Africa over 20 years ago I have still been caught up in the emotion and passion surrounding Nelson Mandela’s death. He was a true statesman and leader. He was a complex person who was more than a terrorist, freedom fighter and president. For those who did not live in South Africa at the time you may not appreciate just how on the edge the country was. It was his leadership as a peacemaker that allowed South Africa to be a success story.
Mandela's death has…Continue
Added by Jodi on December 17, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments
My kids come home from groups at shul with prizes. They go to birthday parties and come with goody-bags. Chanukah just ended and even though we only gave them one gift they got gifts from friends, the nanny and all the parties they attended. Candy is out of fashion and prizes are in. Like candy, in my view these prizes are also unhealthy.
We are raising a generation of children who have so much that they cannot appreciate anything. It's all about having and not about enjoying or…Continue
Added by Jodi on December 9, 2013 at 12:46pm — No Comments
I guess it's just a fact that it takes death to appreciate life. My friend, Lisa, died suddenly- she was only forty- left behind two beautiful children. What is at least a bit of comfort to all who know her is her children. Lisa lives on through her kids. They are her legacy.
It's true that there are…Continue
Added by Haleh Rabizadeh Resnick on December 5, 2013 at 11:49pm — No Comments
When I heard the news that Caila had Down’s syndrome I was naturally shocked. I had so many emotions, thoughts and fear raging through me. I was worried about how this would impact the lives of my other children.
Five years on the whole experience of parenting a special needs child is not…Continue
Added by Jodi on December 1, 2013 at 5:30am — No Comments
This week we had our monthly team meeting for Caila where all her therapists and teachers get together to discuss her progress and challenges. The ELC Principal asked us if we were smiling? She went on to say, “because I am smiling” While Caila has her challenges in an inclusion classroom, she is making wonderful progress with hard work, a dedicated and skilled SAR Faculty and lots of support. We are all delighted!
“Have you heard about the new Jewish special needs school in…Continue
Added by Jodi on November 22, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments
I was lucky enough to attend the GA - The General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America. This year's conference was in Jerusalem and provided the perfect opportunity to combine a business trip to visit my jdeal team with some inspiration for the work I do in the community.
I have recently attended many big Jewish conferences including AIPAC and…Continue
Added by Jodi on November 14, 2013 at 4:14am — No Comments
Last week I attended Kosherfest, the largest kosher food industry trade show. Every year, I find the whole experience fascinating. There are retailers, wholesalers, media, food bloggers, industry professionals and people just there to taste food. You also see every kind of Jew. Chassidim speaking Yiddish,…Continue
What a week! My annual gala for JICNY was on Monday. It is the one event that we use to raise money to fund our annual budget. It's always a stressful event as I need the funds and rely on the event. I work full time, so pulling this off as a volunteer is very stressful. We have also set the standard that people know our…Continue
Added by Jodi on October 27, 2013 at 8:50am — No Comments
We just spent Shabbat in Newton outside of Boston. Gavin's uncle started a family tree and found the Samuels branch in Chicago. One son Rabbi Samuels lives in Newton.
So many people asked us if we like living in a big city and I answer that I live in a village. I really feel that NY is a series of villages. You live, shop and socialize in a few block radius. There may be many nail places or dry cleaners but you use the local ones. I have lived on the same…
I read a blog last night about a family whose son started a new school and was sent home on the first day of school with the administration citing behavior issues. There were no formal assessments by experts just summary conclusions by people with 25 years of experience that this child should not return to the school.…Continue
Added by Jodi on September 25, 2013 at 6:43am — No Comments
I read a blog last night about a family whose son started a new school and was sent home on the first day of school with the administration citing behavior issues. There were no formal assessments by experts just summary conclusions by people with 25 years of experience that this child should not return to the school.
I read this in bed just before going to sleep and it was on my mind all night. It reminded me of our situation 4 years ago when we applied to the community day school…Continue
Added by Jodi on September 25, 2013 at 6:30am — No Comments
Fighting for Inclusion
One of my five New Year's resolutions included writing my blog every week. So far I have been somewhat more successful with my diet resolution. The reality is that I am been so busy because we launched jgives.com our new charity portal, just before Rosh Hashana. I also hosted almost every meal over Rosh Hashana in Tel Aviv where I did not have a kosher kitchen just foil trays, 1 pot and 1 knife and no help at…Continue
Added by Jodi on September 16, 2013 at 1:30pm — No Comments
Come check out my Thanksgivukkah giveaway!!!
Added by Becoming SuperMommy on September 3, 2013 at 9:11pm — No Comments
We are in the final leg of week-long trip to Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro. We decided on these countries after meeting a backpacker at a coffee shop in Turkey last year. When he realized we were also Jewish travelers he "bageled" us and we schmoozed. He had been on a 2 year travel and he said the Balkans were his highlight - cheap, friendly, beautiful, historically rich and relatively easy to travel.
I immediately started researching and I could tick off my criteria: Inexpensive,…Continue
Added by Jodi on August 20, 2013 at 2:43am — No Comments
Jewish families who are new to the area can find a home for the High Holidays with the help of the EZ Key program offered by the Synagogue Leadership Initiative of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey (JFNNJ).
Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are barely a month away, so reservations are already underway for people who want to attend High Holiday services for free. Tickets are available at more than 30 synagogues representing all streams of Judaism—Conservative,…Continue
Added by Nicole Millman-Falk on August 5, 2013 at 3:55pm — No Comments