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I recently attended and spoke at Limmud one of the largest Jewish conferences. The mission of Limmud is Jewish learning across all ages and affiliations.


I was quite inspired to be in a place where men with black hats and payers learn and teach along side Reconstructionist Rabbis. Such a breath of fresh air.


This is even more amazing when you contrast this with the hatred emanating from places like Beit Shemesh in Israel where fellow Jews fail to have basic tolerance. While we don't need to agree with each other opinions our fundamental values of Jewish philosophy to love your fellow man is not qualified with the condition that he or she follows exactly the path that you do.


I also loved the fact that people were so motivated to learn. At meals they had take out containers so that people could learn through lunch and dinner. This was the "People of the book" drawn to the book.


One of my topics that I presented was the secret of being Super mom - mom, wife, advocate, community activist and entrepreneur. I will be sending out a copy of my talk soon which includes the value of creating a tolerant society and value for learning. Tolerance and a thirst for knowledge are two Jewish values we should all aspire for.


However, if we want our children to internalize these values we have to not only create a vision for your child to aspire to but model it for them as well.


Metroimmas, how do you model these values for your kids? Are there other values you think are key?

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Comment by Jamie Stolper on January 19, 2012 at 10:41am

Here's two ways I pass on my values to my children (now mostly grown and on their own - but it's never too late!):

1.  Our family is what I call "family-centric."  Too many families these days are "children-centric," in which parents focus the majority of their energy on their children.  Their children's education, social and athletic activities, and quality time with parents are their main priorities.  In our family, we value all members of our family, which includes the children, the parents, and the children's grandparents (and when they were alive, great grandparents) pretty much equally.  For example, if my mother really needed me, this took priority over getting a child to a play date.  My older sons recently defined this term "family-centric" to me and told me how it was definitely the way to go.  They are now 33, 27, and 19, and they never question when I put my time and energy into my mother or in-laws.  They even say that I am a really good model for them in this respect.

2.  Despite my MBA and business experience, I took a long hiatus when my 3rd son was born, and then, when I went back to "real work," it was all Jewish-related.  I started and still manage a website call, which serves the needs of the Greater Boston Jewish community, and I re-entered the world of Jewish education.  I've now been teaching second-graders to learn to read Hebrew and appreciate their Judaism for many years, and am also in supplementary religious school administration.  I am trying to make a positive difference in the lives of as many people as I can, inspiring them to learn about their religion and heritage and to love and treasure it.

It goes without saying, that I express, and try to model, my love of Judaism and its values in our home as well.


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