Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parents Night Out...This Saturday!

Hi, that's me (Deanna, Lucca's mom) and Carla (Anna and Joey's Mom) and we hope you are planning to join us this Saturday for the EHNT Parents Club "Parents Night Out" this Saturday, October 24 at HaShalom, at 2905 W. Devon. (Okay, don't be scared by the picture--we're much better in person!)

We'll meet to enjoy a meal together, perhaps a toast (it's BYOB) and good conversation, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (No specific end time, although the restaurant does close at 9 pm).

The restaurant is casual and not too pricey, and they're fine with separate checks, to make it easy for us. It is not officially kosher (sorry--I believed the Yellow Pages!) although they keep milk and meat separate. Rabbi Ginsburg has 'blessed' us as long as we keep our selections parve/vegetarian, which should be easy given the great variety and selection offered on the menu.

So, it's me and Carla, our spouses (Geno and David respectively), and Charlie and Miriam (Stav, Dalia and Oren's parents) who have RSVP's so far. Won't you join us too? Please let me know, at 773/775-3967.

p.s. If you know anyone in our group who may not have gotton the email, please share! This is great for Hebrew School Parents, or perhaps Gan or other families who are considering joining EHNT.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Halloween...Is it Jewish?

Rabbi Ginsburg has shared this article from the blog Windows and Doors by Rabbi Brad Hirshfield. While for some, the religious connection to Halloween may long be forgotton, but there's no denying the pagan origins. Read on to see what Rabbi Hirshfield has to say. What do you think? How or will your family celebrate?

Halloween 2009: Tips from a Rabbi About How To Celebrate
by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

On October 31, children across America will don their capes and masks and go door-to-door collecting candy and treats to celebrate Halloween. But for many traditional Jewish families and even for some Christian ones, Halloween is a time of unease and discomfort. Parents may question whether or not to let their children participate in a ritual which they see as Gentile, having roots in Christian and/or Pagan culture. These tips will help families navigate this issue in ways that respect both their own religious sensibilities and their kids' desire to have fun. I know, because they work for me and my family. (read the full post at the source, here)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Eat, Pray, Love.Jewishly

by EHNTJC Parents Club Member Amy Claver

I hear a movie is in the works of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love: Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia with Julia Roberts as the main character. I haven’t read the book but –eating praying, loving—what’s not to like? Throw in reading and learning Hebrew and there are my new year’s resolutions.

I love the new year and its promise of new beginnings. Rosh Hashanah began on September 18 and Yom Kippur was Monday, ten days later. What better time than at the beginning of the year to take stock, reflect on your own shortcomings, forgive yourself, forgive others, and move on? I am inspired (once again) by Rabbi Ginsburg to eat Jewishly, to pray Jewishly, and to love Jewishly.

A few weeks ago I bought a pork tenderloin. I have never bought a pork tenderloin before but it was on sale, we were having guests, and it was something I could cook in my slow cooker and would be ready in the evening. When the day came, I cooked the pork tenderloin for the guests and also ran to the store and bought chicken for our dinner.

I couldn’t serve the treif/pork tenderloin and ended up throwing it away. When Rabbi Ginsburg on Rosh Hashanah asked us to consider making more of an effort to make Jewish choices when we eat, I felt like he was talking directly to me. No more pork tenderloin.

I am looking forward to reading The Israel Test by George Gilder about the remarkable achievements of Jews and Israel. I am also looking forward to learning more Hebrew. I just completed a Hebrew reading course, and a dear friend of mine recently gave me the Rosetta Stone language course for Hebrew. At my eye exam a few weeks ago, I read all of the charts backwards.

As we begin the new year 5770, I hope you too are experiencing the joy of a new beginning. As we recite on Rosh Hashanah, Help us, O God, to look forward with faith, And to learn from whatever the future may bring.

L’chaim and Shanah Tovah!

Amy and Bruce Claver have been members of EHNTJC since 2007. Their daughter, Sarah age 4 attends the Gan, and their son, William, age 6 graduated from the Gan last year. As a Roman Catholic, Amy’s education in Judaism began with meeting Bruce more than 10 years ago. According to Amy, her commitment to raising her family Jewish has been both an exciting journey and a work in progress.