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Jodi's Blog (257)

Are you silent about the things that matter?

I recently took a JICNY group on a trip. When I met one of the participants, a few days before the trip, I put her in a box “Frum from a Flatbush”.

When I actually got to know this person during the trip, contrary to the my stereotyped role I had placed her in, she turned out to be anything but the insular, sheltered young lady with limited exposure beyond her community that I had assumed. She had decided to teach high school math in public school. She was placed in a rough,…


Added by Jodi on January 22, 2020 at 6:08am — No Comments

The Sad Reality of South Africa

We recently spent two weeks in South Africa. We had a great time traveling and spending time with family and friends.


Growing up in South Africa, as far back as I can remember, a frequent topic at the Shabbat table was about the future of South Africa. The discussion always focused on which country is the best to immigrate to and how long South Africa has before some apocalyptic event such as civil war or descent into economic disaster would occur. There were always die hard…


Added by Jodi on October 27, 2019 at 7:00am — No Comments

The message I was too scared to post on Facebook

The Facebook post I was too scared to write so I decided to share as blog post. People are drowning in sound bites, they are stuck in their boxes and only hear their own echo chamber. But some things need to be said and considered. A serious forum for more meaningful consideration and not just a quick social media post.




Added by Jodi on August 6, 2019 at 3:00am — No Comments

The message I was too scared to post on Facebook

The Facebook post I was too scared to write so I decided to share as blog post. People are drowning in sound bites, they are stuck in their boxes and only hear their own echo chamber. But some things need to be said and considered. A serious forum for more meaningful consideration and not just a quick social media post.


The original…


Added by Jodi on August 5, 2019 at 5:22am — No Comments

The Journey Home

I recall my very first Shabbat meal at an observant home. I had recently started hanging out with some religious kids and one of my neighbors invited me for Shabbat lunch.


Everyone went to do the customary washing for bread and sat in silence while they waited for the Head of the table to say the Hamotzi blessing over the challah. I did not know about the custom of not speaking between washing hands for the challah and eating it and found the silence a little strange, &…


Added by Jodi on July 29, 2019 at 5:00am — No Comments

Raising Caila

I recently went through a very stressful time. A combination of challenges and stressful events colluded to dent my polished things that made the “Supermom” facade. I felt like an elastic band about to snap.


In the last few months we had a major flood from a burst pipe in our apartment, followed by a renovation that required us to move out. Gavin started a new job requiring him to travel almost every week. I am still figuring out life in Israel which is a huge stress for me.…


Added by Jodi on July 10, 2019 at 1:30am — 1 Comment

Too Much Love

We all have seen the damage that a fractured parent-child relationship can cause. The long-term negative effects of physical or emotional deprivation can be disastrous for a child. But, in my experience dealing with singles and the singles crisis, it is also a problem to give our kids too much. Our children are more than loved, they…


Added by Jodi on May 26, 2019 at 10:23am — No Comments

An Extraordinary Lady

I recently went to a funeral for someone really close to me. A lady who in so many ways defined my destiny. One of her sons described her as “The Mother of all Mothers”.
This lady had a profound impact on my life, my Jewish journey and the life path I live now.
My Jewish journey began when I was living in South Africa as a teenager I grew up in a home where we had little Jewish life - we went to synagogue on High Holidays, participated in a…

Added by Jodi on April 24, 2019 at 8:00am — No Comments

My Big Weight Loss Challenge

It’s amusing to see people’s reactions when they see me after a long time? I look different as I have lost a lot of weight.  

People ask me all the time how I lost weight.  I eat a lot of protein bars and drink protein shakes.  I significantly reduced my junk food intake - I was a junk foodaholic and yes, a wineaholic as well.

A few years ago I was invited to a book launch for a book called The Secret of Skinny Chicks. I never read the book as I could sum it up in 1…


Added by Jodi on February 13, 2019 at 4:01pm — No Comments

Confused Priorities

I recently made a post about confused priorities when dating. Someone asked me what are the priorities and what should they be looking out for?

I have been married 25 years and I have spoken and counseled thousands of singles that attend my events. My suggestions below are from my experience of what things to look out for when dating and what’s really important.

People always ask how you can be sure about someone. You can never be 100 percent sure. No…

Added by Jodi on January 29, 2019 at 6:08am — No Comments

My Aliyah Journey - The 101 Things I wish I Knew Before (Part 2)

The end of summer is peak time for new Olim arriving in Israel and I am reminded that I promised part 2 of my blog “101 things I Wish I Knew before I Made Aliyah”

I often wonder how previous generations made it in Israel. I am not talking about the idealistic pioneers who drained the swamps, survived war, lived without air conditioning, endured shortages while the miracle of the State was becoming a reality. I think of the people just five years before us who made aliya without…


Added by Jodi on October 3, 2018 at 6:33am — No Comments

Secrets to a 25 Year Love Story

Many of you would have heard the story of how Gavin and I met on a street corner in Israel.  Gavin was lost and I gave him directions, he heard my South African accent and we started talking. Gavin jokes that I have been giving him directions ever since. That was 27 years ago and we are celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary this week. I'm sure you've also heard Gavin’s playful complaint that they give you less than 25 years for murder! He also always jokes that someone should build a…

Added by Jodi on August 8, 2018 at 2:57am — No Comments

Why I Love Traveling

I have just finished a five-week journey to Thailand, Australia and Myanmar with my three children traveling without my husband. I admit that it’s not common for an Orthodox Jewish woman to travel to exotic locations with three kids one of which has special needs. If you think you are surprised you should see what the locals think to see a white woman on her own with three kids. We travel to see the locals and in the end we are as much the entertainment for the…


Added by Jodi on July 23, 2018 at 8:00am — No Comments

Celebrating the Impossible

Several weeks ago, we were invited to an adults-only BBQ. It was Lag B’Omer when every teenager in Israel is out until 3am and there were no babysitters in the whole country. We declined the invitation because we knew it would be impossible to find a babysitter and our older kids would be out all night but our friend insisted we come and allowed an exception to the no-kid rule so for Caila  because she is so well behaved.



Added by Jodi on June 27, 2018 at 7:33am — No Comments

לחגוג את הבלתי אפשרי

לפני מספר שבועות הוזמנו למדורת ל"ג בעומר שתוכננה למבוגרים בלבד. …


Added by Jodi on June 27, 2018 at 7:33am — No Comments

The Crazy Mom

My kids think I am crazy. Probably also quirky, obsessive and a scatter brain. I guess I am all of these!

Those of you who know me probably think of me as a responsible, capable and passionate person who can do whatever she puts her mind to. Those who know me a little more know that I am actually quite shy, and I really have to leave my comfort zone to be a public personality. I guess I am like a musician who can perform on stage in front of a crowd even though…


Added by Jodi on April 17, 2018 at 3:30am — No Comments

My Aliya Journey - the 101 things I wish I knew before

Standing in a very long line to get my phone registered so that it could work while exploring Ethiopia made me realize just how efficient and first world Israel actually is.  Now, to be clear,  I am not suggesting that I have gotten used to Israeli bureaucracy it’s just that relative to Africa things are MUCH better.

When I first made aliya some people told me it would take 3 years to settle in. Others said 7 years and some said 20 years. Now that I am 3 ½…

Added by Jodi on March 29, 2018 at 2:30pm — No Comments

The Real People

I have this mental vision of Caila’s days at school - it’s of someone standing on tipped toes and stretching their arms out. The person does this for hours on end. I am pretty sure this describes Caila’s experience trying to keep up in an inclusion environment.

Many professionals have told us over the years that Caila should also engage with people who have special needs as well. Twice a week she attends an afternoon program with kids who mainly have Down…


Added by Jodi on February 7, 2018 at 3:55pm — No Comments


The past few weeks have been busy for my children and all their peers involved in the Bnei Akiva Youth Movement. My kids eagerly wait for Chodesh Irgun - the month when the leadership transitions to the next group of 15 year old madrichim. The whole month is defined by fun activities and the culmination of this excitement and sleep deprivation is a big weekend that goes from Thursday night to Sunday morning.

Our local Bnei Akiva recently started a group for people with special needs…


Added by Jodi on November 27, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Real Jewish Mothers

I have always been a working mom. I went back to work when my first child was 6 weeks old. I worked literally until my second child was born. I was so adamant to finish a project that Gavin sat in my office in Manhattan timing my contractions and we went straight to the hospital and I answered emails on my blackberry a few hours post birth.…


Added by Jodi on November 6, 2017 at 4:00pm — No Comments

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