Thursday, August 29, 2013

#BlogElul 23 Love: Name your city

When I think of a picture of love I think of this beautiful sculpture from the Billy Rose Sculpture garden at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.  Here is its predecessor sculpture in New York.

Two great cities and I love them both probably for the same reason; they both have a lot of Jews.  It is exhilarating to be in Jerusalem and study with great scholars.  It is also exhilarating to be in New York amongst Jewish and secular scholars and to be in the midst of Broadway, the Met and all of the other great museums.  


Can you love a city?  I suppose if I did it would  be a three way tie and the last city being Chicago.  I love coming back to Chicago after spending time away.  It is home and I do love it.  We may not have a love sculpture but we do have the BEAN




This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

#BlogElul 22 Dare to see the World Through Jewish Eyes

What's the biggest dare you have ever taken?  I am not much of dare devil.  In fact I am sure my family would tell you that I should be described as the opposite of Dare devil.  I do like taking  a chance in my work and in the educational lessons, curriculum and projects that I plan. I love to try new curriculum, find out the latest speakers in the area or just plan a new program.


When I taught Religious School, many moons ago I used to change grades every year.  I got bored teaching the same grade and dared to take on a new set of program, students and text books.  Taking a dare with a new idea coming to a new service or trying a new Jewish experience is something I dare you to do.  

I have stayed with the Chai Curriculum from the URJ for many years.  I like it.  I have tweaked it, added to it and made sure we cover new ideas.  I dare myself to make it new and current every year and throughout the year.  

20 years ago the Union of American Hebrew Congregations published a new curriculum, "To See the World through Jewish Eyes" I was trained to use it over a long period of time and believe me it was not user friendly. As soon as teachers were trained on this curriculum it was gone.  In fact I could not for the life of me find any graphics from this curriculum to show here.  It was over and one with before you could typeset the title in your school handbook.

 I did use the title countless times over the years as I have always loved it.  It dares you to see the world through Jewish colored glasses and I do.




This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

#BlogElul 21 Change Again

Oy Change again.  As I said last week, no one likes change and here we have another blog on change. In the end though, change is good, very good in fact.  Here is my story about change which I forgot about last week so I am glad I have another opportunity to blog about change!

David Bryfman
  I have heard David Bryfman, Director of the New Center for Collaborative Leadership at The Jewish Education Project in New York at an ICenter conference and his words have haunted me ever since.  He told us that if our organization had not changed in the last 5 years that in 5 more years your institution might not exist.  

I think about the organizations I belong to NATE; or my home institution Lakeside or even OSRUI andI actually think that we have made changes in the last 5 years and we plan on making more changes that will help enhance our institutions.  Sometimes we resist change but when it is successful we are eager to embrace it.  As we head into 5774 change something in your life whether it be at work, camp, home or when you pray.  One change could lead to another.  



This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Monday, August 26, 2013

#BlogElul 20 Judge or maybe not.


At this time of year, before the High Holy Days when you see the word judge I think about God, Book of Life, judging your actions for the past year.  It is an awesome time for Jews as they sit in synagogue.  I like to see the world through Jewish eyes and now is also the time for You to be the Judge, just like the book from Torah Aura.  

Here is the description of the book from the website:
You Be the Judge books pose real-life situations and their Jewish answers. These legal cases are perfect as part of family or Shabbat programs, as the trigger to fun class discussions, equally usable at the dinner table and in the classroom. Here are three chances to share values, discuss ethics, and take a first look into the Talmud, the codes, and the wisdom of the Jewish legal process. 
There is also You be the Judge 2 and 3.  These are great books and are wonderful triggers for Religious School class.  I wonder if they would be interested in a new book line called:  Don't be the Judge.  I think too often we tend to judge other people, colleagues, students, teachers, fill in the blank.  I sometimes jump to conclusions and then I stop myself and say wait a minute.  Who am I to say what is right or wrong or who is right and wrong.  It is not easy to sit tight and not make a snap judgement. Over the next few weeks I will be thinking about God as Judge and trying not to Be The Judge. 




This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

#BlogElul 19 Ask

Over the years I have had some bone mishaps, some planned and some very Unplanned.  I had foot surgery and a few years ago I broke my wrist.  It is not easy asking for help.  I find  it something that is hard to do and have seen other people having that same hard time asking for help when the community around them would be more than happy to help.  When I broke my wrist the first thing I thought about was how was I going to put on my bra..with help I did it.






Today there are many websites and apps that can help a family keep loved ones and their community up to date.  The two I have used and participated in include:  Lotsa helping hands and Caring bridge.  These sites have become more sophisticated with calendars and many other add ones which help keep people informed and also help those coordinating all the helping efforts.  These calendars are very helpful and can make sure that no efforts are being duplicated for the family who needs help.

It is not easy to ask for help, if you are sick, healthy or just getting by.  People like to help it makes them feel good.  We teach our children that tikkun olam, repairing the world, means visiting the sick.  Sometimes we feel funny making a sick call.  It has taken me 30 years working in Jewish education and at synagogues to realize that you just need to visit someone sick...you don't really need to say much.   When you make a shiva call and you should make a shiv call when someone in your community, not just your family dies, you can just sit with the family.  You can ask if they need anything but usually your company is enough.  I encourage everyone one to ask for help, answer the calls and be there for one another.


This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

#BlogElul 18 Pray, T'filah in a Kehillah, community, Kehillah

I love T'filah and I especially love t'tilah at OSRUI.  I help our chanichim, campers lead t'filah every night.  We usually have all of the chanichim right about each prayer.  It is beautiful and so prayerful for everyone at t'filot.  

One of the reasons camp works so well and t'filot at camp work well because we pray together as a community for 3 weeks (at least in Kallah Gimmel, in other units it is 2, 4 or 7 weeks).  These kids and madrichim, counselors really know how to pray.  I am including in this blog a sample of one cabins readings before a typical evening t'filah.


Opening: Tzrif James A Garfield


R:  Welcome to tonight’s first Tzrif T’filah.  We are Tzrif James A. Garfield, and tonight we will be leading Kallah’s  T’filah. 
A:  Our Tzrif will be giving modern explanations of our prayers.  Please enjoy our t’filah lead by James A Garfield Tzrif

Barechu
C and A:
We begin with the Barechu.  This is the call to worship. Please rise for the Barechu on page 4, amud arbeh

Shema
Hi I am M and I am J Our Tzrif is writing about the different prayers in our T’filah.  The Shema means to me that we believe in one God

People in different religions and different  beliefs think differently. Some people say there is more than one God as we have learned from Greek stories.  You don’t have to be Greek to believe in more than one God.  We should respect all religions.

Michamochah: M and L
M:  The Michamochah is the song sang by the Israelites after the Red Sea parted.  It is talking about the miracle of the Red Sea, and how we wouldn’t be here today if the sea did not part.  This was a miracle from the past.

L:  And a miracle in the present that is happening right now is that we Jews are all at camp together and getting along as community, Kehillah Kedosha.  

Silent Prayer
R and S
We believe that silent prayer is your change to connect with God.  Your time to thank God for all the miracles in the world and at camp.. To pray for peace in Israel.  And now we’ll pray silently as a community.  

Oseh Shalom
D and J
The Oseh Shalom prayer is about peace .  Making peace at camp can be described as being nice to one another.  

Kaddish and 
Closing Song





This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Friday, August 23, 2013

#BlogElul 17 Awaken

I awake this morning the mother of a 25 year old and the other two are 22 and 17. How did I get to this place?  It does seem that just yesterday I had 3 little kids, going to school, carpooling to here and there.  The last child has just started his last year of High school.  Really when did this happen? With the explosion of blogs, twitter and all things social media everyone at this time of year is talking about taking kids to the first day of school from Kindergarten to University.  I feel it really I do. The first day of school, the pictures, the letting go of your children.  It 's that time of year.

I suppose you could say I always feel it as I have opened my own school for the past 29 years and yes 25 at Lakeside Congregation.  This time of year  is always frenitic with opening school, the High Holy days and at least one birthday to plan.  I planned some good parties in my day; maybe because I would rather focus on a great birthday party and not ordering enough Hebrew school books and pencils.

I will awake tomorrow and it will be Shabbat and another day closer to the opening of  school and the High Holy days.  To be awake and aware of everything is certainly a blessing one which I will think about tomorrow.
My 25 year old baby


This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

#BlogElul 16 Change: No One likes it, Change that is


I have two great stories about change which I tell all the time and in Jewish tradition you should always credit who told you a story when you pass it on.  Here are my stories with pictures of the person who taught me.


Prof. Sara Lee
The first lesson I have on change I learned at CAJE 12 in Georgia in 1987 (yes and I looked that up). I had a class with Prof. Sara Lee, Director of the Rhea Hirsch School of Education for Hebrew Union College.  She offered a class for new Religious School Principals and I was pretty new Educational Director.  She told us if we didn't remember anything about her session we should remember 2 things, 1)  get to know the Rabbi's secretary (which if the Rabbi has a secretary still holds today and 2) Only change one form per year.  Now we don't really have  so many hard copy forms but we certainly have on line forms and procedures and not changing things up drastically every year also still holds.   Now I want you to know that I studied with Prof Lee many times after that class and she teaches on many wonderful topics and you can click on her name to get an idea; but this blog deals with change.  

My second story is one my Cantor, Michael Davis tell us when we contemplate changing
Cantor Michael Davis
music in our t'filot at Lakeside.  One service Cantor Davis began with a tune which was new to the congregation.  At the end of the service he repeated this same song.  An older man came up to Cantor Davis at the end of the service to comment on the service.  He had liked Cantor's voice but made the following comment, "I didn't like the song you sang at the beginning of the service but I loved the one you ended with."  Yes, it was the same song and first time we hear something we may not like it but hearing it a few times it can grow on you.  Just something to think about when you think about change.  








This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.



Wednesday, August 21, 2013

#BlogElul 15 Learn and if asked if "Do I HAVE to go to Sunday School?" The answer is YES!


I am passionate about learning; all types of learning including school and text book learning and learning from experience.  I hope that as we approach the beginning of our Religious School and Hebrew school year I can encourage everyone no matter what your age to try out some "new" learning.  

My post B'nai MItzvah students please come and see what we are teaching in our pre-confirmation classes as an old commercial advertised: try it ... you'll like it.  Parents, come out to adult enrichment on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am  and you might like that as well. These are just a few of the offerings we have for this year.  

 I also advise that if your child asks "do I have to go to Religious school?"  The answer is YES you have to go.  This is a decision you won't regret.  I can tell you and give you witness after witness of teens now older adolescents who are glad, beyond glad they continued with their Jewish education. They enjoy their time with Rabbi Serotta, our 10th grade trip to New York city and their time with one another.  Come in and talk to Rabbi and me and we can tell you more.  





Many times I am asked what my job encompasses at Lakeside Congregation.  I reply that I am responsible for Education from birth to death.  We believe that education never stops and I try to continue my own learning through my professional organizations, Book clubs, and attending Adult Education at Lakeside.  

So for today and for the High Holy days and for this year I say:





This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

#BlogElul 14 Remember

I am trying to catch up on all of my blogging and I am almost there.  Yesterday's word was Remember and it hit me today as Ethan went to his first day of his last year of High School, I remember taking him to Kindergarten.  I remember taking Lital to kindergarten and now she teaches 2nd grade.  Those things I can remember.  

I don't always remember everything from conversation to conversation and sometimes I can't remember the conversation.  I have calendars with appointments and reminders for the appointments on my phone, my computer almost everywhere.  

I like to remember and enjoy looking at pictures and as I write things down it makes me remember even more.  

So here is a picture when all my personal children as I call them were in school, OK, Ethan in pre-school but still in school somewhere.



This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer. 

#Blogelul 13 Forgive
















http://www.escgoat.com/#home


I think that this website from g-dcast is great.  The escape goat allows you to write anonymously what you need to ask forgiveness for this year.  You can then see a list of what other people have written and if you follow Escapegoat on twitter you will get updated tweets of what other people have submitted. 

Some of the submissions are very very funny:  I told my rabbi I went to the pez museum on Sunday, but it was really Shabbat or  I fart on airplanes. It's gross.

Some were sad and more serious:  I am having a passionate, thrilling extra-marital affair, entirely via email.  If you are so inclined to do your forgiving this way check it out. 


This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

#BlogElul 11 and 12 Count and Trust

I think what counts is how you treat someone and how they treat you and those around them.  The measure of a person or how you can "count" on someone is something I have witnessed  many times at school, synagogue and camp.  When a camper is nice to the odd person out, when a student stays behind to help the last child who can never seem to get their books packed up no matter how much time they may have to accomplish this task.  I have seen acts of kindness and sometimes the person I am observing has no idea how much their kind words mean.

 The real way you can "count" on someone is how they treat a someone who is challenged by life.  When every day brings new situations which can throw you off and people stop and are kind to you it makes all the difference.  Be the person who counts. 

 I hope that this is something I have taught my kids.  It is not always easy to be nice to your siblings but I think my kids have done a pretty good job. I have to trust them at this point to do the right thing and be good to one another and to those around them.    I am proud of all three of them and their accomplishments, all in different areas. I trust they have made it count. 


  I could write more and more but am falling TOO far behind in BLOGELUL. 























This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Friday, August 16, 2013

#BlogElul 10 See (to believe)

Here are a few things which you must see to believe:

Instead of Men and Women on the bathroom at the local Deli this is what they have:




















Have you ever seen a Tisha B'Av Tree, here you go:



Oh, and I found my Save Soviet Jewry Bracelet; that's not too old. 


This post is part of #BlogElul, a series of social media posts created during Elul, the month preceding the High Holidays. During Elul, it is customary for Jews to prepare spiritually for the upcoming new year. An annual project, #Blog Elul is the brainchild of Rabbi Phyllis Sommer.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

#Blog Elul 9 Hear, O Israel

Shema Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Echad.
Hear, O Israel, Adonai is our God, Adonai is One!

The notes our Kallah Gimmel campers write when they lead t'filot
We say Shema every time we pray.  Our campers over the summer pray/sing/ Shema not just during t'filot but many times with their bunk mates at night before bed.  Saying Shema before you go to sleep is very peaceful and hearing a whole cabin of girls or boys doing this for me pulls at my heart strings.  This is a prayer we rarely hear our students say they don't know or every question why we say it.  A favorite task of mine at OSRUI is helping our chanichim, campers, lead t'filot.  They usually write a short introduction to the prayer of their choice.  I know they feel confident and comfortable at camp and share their feelings willingly.  I have always wished their parents could Hear and See them as they lead t'filot.  They would be so proud of their children and grandchildren.  I know occasionally I get teary, and yes I cry at the drop of a hat but I love this part of the day at camp and with my chanichim.  They are also proud of themselves for standing up in front of their peers and madrichim and it is their first introduction to well, Making Israel listen. 

I look forward to this year as I start the school year to praying Shema with a new set of voices.  I close my eyes when I sing Shema and I always try to "hear" the voices of the people who are surrounding me.  
When I am at camp I can hear the sounds of nature and the our chanichim.  Listen or Hear next time you pray Shema.
Our beautiful Beit T'filah at OSRUI for Kallah and Gesher


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

#BlogElul 8 Believe

Remember Space Jam? the Movie?
 This is the chorus of the theme song that played throughout the movie. Space Jam was also incidentally released right before Michael Jordan came back to play for the Bulls and they won 3 more Titles.  I always liked the images and the words to the this song:


I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly
I believe I can fly


I loved to think about kids watching this film and thinking that whatever they believe would allow them to be able soar and fly.  I loved that Michael Jordan spoke to Bugs Bunny and Daffy and gave them a pep talk and they won the big basketball game.

As a Bulls fan I was also happy when Michael Jordan came back to the Bulls.  I like to believe that if you try hard enough you will fly through life.  As the start  of  public school is almost here now is definitely the time to dream about flying!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#BlogElul BE a Dugmah, Example, Dugmah (Clap)

When I saw Be as the word to blog today, I thought Dugmah, meaning example or BE AN EXAMPLE.  I suppose that comes to mind as I have only been back from camp for a week and when I am at camp and even at Lakeside I realize that not only am I a dugmah but also my madrichim, (counselors) and my teachers are dugmaot (plural of dugmah) for all of the children (and their parents too).

Dedicated 2013 Kallah Gimmel Staff 
It is not always easy to be a dugmah,   When everyone is tired you need to be awake and peppy, when everyone is bored you have to be interested, when everyone is supposed to be quiet but they are talking, you have to quiet.  Our Madrichim at OSRUI are trained and work hard all summer and are great dugmaot for our kids.  Campers love their Ivirt, (Hebrew) classes because they are taught by madrichim as is our limud, (education period at camp).  Anything our madrichim do in front of our campers is "cool". I thank them from the bottom of my heart for being so enthusiastic all summer long.

Teachers are also hard working and  are great dugmaot for our students.  They come to t'filot, (services), they plan for hours for their weekly/daily lessons.  I am happy to be a part of both groups at camp and at home and realize that I am a dugmah.  I think about what I do and hope that my actions along with my words speak for themselves.

Lakeside Teacher, Denise Goldberg
Being a dugmah is a concept which is not easy to teach and sometimes when either a teacher or madrich falls down in this area it is especially hard to watch.  Lessons can be learned but I think the lesson comes home when a madrich sees a camper who wants to become a counselor and teachers see their older students become teacher aides.  During Elul I thank all of our madrichim, teachers and all those engaged in education.  We are all dugmaot.

Lakeside Teacher, Sheri Bulwa




Sunday, August 11, 2013

There are the things I know for sure...


These are the things I know for sure:

If I am not working on Sunday it must be summertime.

If all of my children are not in the same room with me my cell phone is on.

If it is the end of camp season  it is time to start working on next year's camp limud.

If I don't plan for it to rain it will rain and if I do plan for rain it will be sunny.

If it is August I will talk to many people looking to join a synagogue.

If it is summer it seems I have more time to read a book here and there.  (check out my books on my Goodreads page)

Sami and Brian
During the summer my simchas are usually weddings, B'nai Mitzvah to start soon in the fall.
Ronnie, Benj and Cousins















During August I need to order books, register  students, look for teachers' contracts in the mail and just get ready for school.

If it's Elul I must be blogging.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

To Accept or not to Accept #BlogElul

IT WAS 1984...I can't change the title on this picture
Blogging every day is not as easy as it appears.  Tonight I asked Arthur, what comes to his mind when I say accept.  He immediately told me that he accepts me for all my faults. After thinking about this I promptly told him that I accept him for all of his faults as well.  Our 29th wedding anniversary is coming up in a few weeks, September 2.  Both of us do accept one another and of course our kids as we go through life.

A-Rod answering questions




I pushed Arthur  more on the word accept and he said A-rod, Alex Rodriquez has not accepted guilt for  his cheating, for his use of performance enhancing drugs.  Sports figures whether we like it or not are also heroes that our children try to emulate.  When someone like A-rod can't accept that he has done something wrong this does not bode well for society.  What lesson does this teach?  It is not always easy to accept what life has given us.  I see family, friends and newsmakers accepting life events sometimes with grace and sometimes with whatever is the opposite of grace.  During the month of Elul I certainly think about  what I need to accept and what I have the strength to change.  Good thing I have a partner who keeps me on my toes and has helped me keeping up with blogging Elul.
My family, who I accept and accepts me.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Act like you are 80 and feel blessed! #BlogElul

Wedding picture, Marian and Jerry Michaels
January 1955
Yesterday was my mother's 80th birthday and hence the delay in posting for blog Elul.  I think the rules are lenient enough to take a DOUBLE POST.  My mom, Marian Michaels turned 80 yesterday and was surprised by her friends with a birthday luncheon.  The luncheon was hosted by her walking group and other attendees included  her book group, family and friends from 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 years ago.  My mom knows the meaning of ACT.  Just last week she worked a McHenry Country Citizens for Choice booth at the County Fair which is not an easy task.  She volunteers yearly and this is the first time she was not accompanied by her 90 year old friend who passed away during the year.

"The Walkers" Skit







My parents have always acted and stood for all things Jewish and liberal.  They hosted coffees, went door to door and tried to get their candidates elected.  Our house modeled the idea to act and get out there.  There was no question about voting, wearing a button for your candidate and of course supporting your candidate financially.

 Everyone sitting in that room is a testimony to my Mother and her actions and how she acted over her life.  She made a comment about everyone in the room and knew not just their stories but also the stories of their families, their grandchildren and their great grandchildren.  She is remarkable and I know she feels blessed.  My parents have 5 grandchildren and are involved with each and every one and their friends as well.  They are blessed and we are blessed to have both of my parents in all of our lives.  Shabbat Shalom.

Marian and Jerry Michaels and Grandchildren
Marian and MJ

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's Elul; time to PREPARE and BLOG

Lakeside at OSRUI second session 2013
Today is the first day of Elul, the Hebrew month before Tishri, the start of the Jewish year and Rosh Hashanah.  If you attend morning t'filot during Elul you will hear the Shofar blown.  What a wonderful way to prepare yourself, your senses and your mind for the upcoming New Year.  Many, many people ask me what I do during the summer.  I think some people are under the false assumption that I am on vacation during the summer.  I enjoy my time at OSRUI and do spend part of my summer at camp.  Even with that I think that I can sum up what I do during the summer with one word which also corresponds to the first topic on #BlogElul:  PREPARE.  Summer is a time to prepare and work on the new school year with added time to reflect and respond.  It is a time to think about your preparations and to plan for the fall winter and spring.  To begin front loading some projects so that they CAN be completed during the year.

I hope to be blogging for all of Elul and I have listed the topics here.   I have not blogged daily since I left Israel.  I like the structure and discipline it takes to do this project.  I may not write paragraphs and paragraphs every day but I hope to make time to think and prepare something every day of Elul. 

I look forward to blogging Elul with my colleagues and thank Rabbi Phyllis Sommer for putting this all into motion. 

Are you prepared for Elul?  Have your registered for Religious School?  Did you get your High Holy Day tickets?  Do you have your menu for the festive meals?  OK, maybe I have gone too far with menu planning and I need to keep SOME topics for my other 29 posts in Elul. So Here's to #BlogElul and to all of you as you begin to PREPARE!