Advocating for Your Child’s Education and Wellness

Become a better advocate for the social, emotional, educational and behavioral wellness of children and young adults with significant learning challenges, mental health issues and other complexities. The Shaare Emeth Mental Health and Wellness Initiative is hosting a panel discussion for parents and students interested in learning how to better navigate the education system from kindergarten through college. Join us at Congregation Shaare Emeth (enter from Ballas Road due to closure of Ladue Road) on Tuesday, September 5, at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the community.   Panelists include:   Amy Blumenfeld, Special School District Special Education Administrator and Educator Blumenfeld began working for Special School District of St. Louis County as a teacher and served in a variety of teaching roles before joining the administrative staff. For the past six years, she had served as a Special Education Administrator (Area Coordinator) in Rockwood at the high school level. When not at SSD, Amy can be found working at Shaare Emeth as a Special Education Liaison, volunteering with Autism Speaks (where she also serves on the Board of Directors) and teaching special education coursework for Central Methodist University.   Danielle Sartori, Sophomore studying graphic design at Webster University Sartori struggled with anxiety, depression, trichotillomania and language processing throughout her academic career. She is a graduate of Parkway Central High School, although she spent her junior year at Logos dismantling the stressors of school and finding appropriate coping strategies. After her year at Logos, she worked with a tutor to develop further strategies to navigate her anxiety, depression, “trich” and language processing struggles. Now at Webster, she continues to benefit from similar assistance and is enjoying a successful college experience.   Heather Stout, Assistant Director of Disability Resources: Washington University’s Cornerstone Learning Center Stout is a certified rehabilitation counselor who has worked in higher education disability support services since 1999. She received her graduate degree in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Illinois and in rehabilitation counseling in deafness from Western Oregon University. Stout has collaborated extensively across academic disciplines to expand opportunities for individuals with disabilities.   Amy Worth, Parent Worth is a parent, educator and activist with a 17-year-old daughter. She lost her son, Michael, to suicide when he was 18. Both children had completely different needs, which taught her a great deal about how to navigate elementary school through college.   The Mental Health and Wellness Initiative is Congregation Shaare Emeth’s response to the mental health crisis in America. We strive to raise awareness, provide resources and erase the stigma associated with mental health issues within the Congregation and larger community. 1 in 5 kids experience a mental health condition; only 20% of them actually get help.* About 50% of students ages 14+ with a mental health condition will drop out of school.* One in three parents (35%) struggle deeply with their attitude toward and ability to cope with their child’s learning and attention issues, including feeling isolated and reporting anxiety generated by multiple sources: the school system, the child, family members.** Another one-third of parents are uncertain about teaching their child how to resolve issues, when to ask for help and when to resolve issues themselves, and are frustrated with school system, child and family pressures.** Suicide is the second-leading cause of...

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Israeli Mother and Baby looking for Sitter in May

Hello all! My name is Dorit and I’m an Israeli Social worker and a mother of two. I’m traveling to St. Louis this May (19-26th) for a five day EMDR therapy course, and my adorable, nursing, one year old munchkin is joining me. I’d like to try and find an experienced, attentive sitter who’ll be there with us, during the days (a couple of nights also would be extremely helpful, yet optional). I would need the Sitter to join us on Friday and Saturday the 19-20 of May, for a few hours each day, so baby gets acquainted. The course itself takes place in Kirkwood, dates are 21-25 and is approximately 8-9 hours a day. If baby is very jetlagged, the job may include joining us for two nights (5.21-5.22). I would love it if the person joining us is open to back carrying for when baby is having a rough time (also optional). Hebrew and a car would be an amazing plus but definitely not a make or break criteria. Salary as per going rate plus expenses, and overnight when staying over **References needed** My contact details: Dorit.halpern@gmail.com This awesome opportunity came along very expectantly and I have a week to commit to it, so I’m really hopeful I can find the help I need quickly. If you Know anyone who might be qualified and interested, please pass along and share. Thank you so much, and Chag Sameach Dorit Halpern Tivon,...

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Screenagers: A Film about Growing Up in the Digital Age

Parents and teens in the community are invited to come together and take part in the important conversation about youth and their ever growing connection to the screens around them. Join us on Monday August 22, 2016 from 6:30-8:30pm at the Jewish Community Center – Arts and Education Building (2 Millstone Campus Drive, 63146).  Doors open at 5:30pm.  The cost is $10 per person or $18 per parent/child pair. Tickets available at www.brownpapertickets.com or by calling 314-442-3175. Kosher pizza will be offered for purchase, and audience members will enjoy complimentary movie snacks. The film will immediately be followed by a panel discussion, including Aisha Sultan of the Post Dispatch (moderator), clinical psychologist Dr. Randi Mozenter, and youth group director Rabbi Michael Rovinsky. There will also be time for Q&A.  Event convened by Nishmah at the J, additional sponsors include: B’nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO), Congregation B’nai Amoona, Jewish Federation of St. Louis, Jewish Student Union (JSU), Keshet, Kol Rinah Youth St. Louis, National Council of Synagogue Youth (NCSY), North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY), & United Hebrew Congregation.  Delaney Ruston, director of Screenagers, reveals the real life struggle between parents and their children and the use of technology. The film not only authentically explores the obsessions with video games and social media, but also shares “cutting edge science and insights from thought leaders such as Peggy Orenstein, Sherry Turkle, Simon Sinek, as well as leading brain scientists who present evidence on real changes happening in the brain.” Parents, teens, educators, and others will have the opportunity to begin a dialogue about this topic in our community. For more information and/or questions contact Simone Picker at Nishmah 314-442-3166 spicker@jccstl.org.  ABOUT NISHMAH: Nishmah, a program of the J, is a new approach to Jewish community and leadership, striving to strengthen and empower the spirit of girls and women. Nishmah believes that women have unlimited wisdom and counsel to offer the Jewish community. Authority, leadership, spirituality, creativity, boldness and consciousness are all within realm of a woman’s being, and we want to foster the complexity of this potential within the girls and women of this community. Nishmah is also committed to community partnerships with other Jewish communal organizations and synagogues. It is through such partnerships that Nishmah believes the Jewish community can best meet the evolving needs of girls, women and the larger community. ABOUT THE J: The J is an interactive, multi-generational gathering place that offers a variety of programs and services to both the St. Louis Jewish community, and the community at large. The Jewish Community Center provides educational, cultural, social, Jewish identity-building and recreational programming and offers two, state-of-the art fitness facilities, all designed to promote physical and spiritual growth.  Everyone is welcome at the...

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Temple Israel hosts a ‘Groovy’ Rick Recht concert/community-wide event for Jewish families

On Friday evening, September 16, Congregation Temple Israel is hosting an outdoor Shabbat event called Shabbatstock for families in the St. Louis Jewish community. The evening includes a bring-your-own picnic dinner on the Brodsky Circle lawn, complimentary Kosher ice cream from Cool Times Ice Cream Truck (sponsorship provided by Jewish Federation of St. Louis), face painting, a short Shabbat service with Rabbis Amy Feder and Michael Alper, and a live concert with Jewish Rock Radio’s Rick Recht. This event is open to the entire Jewish community and is free of charge. Attendees are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket for the lawn and to wear their grooviest tie-dyed t-shirts. Beverages will be provided. When: Friday, September 16, 2016 from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm Where: Congregation Temple Israel’s Brodsky Circle lawn (#1 Rabbi Alvan D. Rubin Dr., St. Louis, 63141) Cost: Free of charge. No RSVP required.   Event website can be found at www.ti-stl.org/Shabbatstock For questions, contact Temple Israel’s front office at 314-432-8050.   ###   Congregation Temple Israel is a caring, inclusive community committed to living Reform Judaism and participating in the sacred destiny of the Jewish people and Israel through education, worship, and repair of the world. We welcome and embrace individuals and families from all backgrounds. Wherever you may be along your Jewish journey, there is a place for you at Temple Israel. For more information, go to...

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Congregation Temple Israel Announces New Family Education Department and Leadership Structure

Leslie Wolf, who has served as Congregation Temple Israel’s Deutsch Early Childhood Center (DECC) Preschool Director for eight years, will now be serving as Director of Family Education. Leslie has had tremendous success in helping DECC quintuple in size and become a Jewish preschool admired and emulated around the nation. In her new role as Director of Family Education, she will continue to lead and oversee DECC, as well as help to provide a consistent approach and connection between Temple Israel’s early childhood education program and our Religious and Hebrew Schools. Temple Israel has also hired Sandy Kramer as Assistant Director of Family Education. Sandy has served as the Education Director of Shaarei Tikvah in Wichita, and prior to that, of the Wichita Jewish Community School, where she developed a successful Shabbaton program for the entire Wichita Jewish community. Before moving to Wichita, she served as the Director of Educational Programming at Beth Israel-The West Temple in Cleveland, where she ran the religious school, family education and congregational programs, and developed Camp Kee Tov, the first Jewish day camp on the west side of Cleveland. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Washington University and her Masters degree in Jewish Education (MJEd) from Hebrew College in Newton, Massachusetts. Sandy will be the primary contact for Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew Schools. To help support the Family Education department, Temple Israel has hired Sara Jones as Family Education Office Administrator. Sara has worked with children and families at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center for almost eighteen years, starting in the KidZone with children ages six weeks to eight years. Sara then managed their youth programs and after school program for school-aged children, and most recently, served as the J Day Camps Camp Registrar. “Leslie, Sandy, and Rabbi Michael Alper, with the support of the Family Education Office Administrator, are working together to create a visionary, out-of-the-box learning experience for children of all ages and their families that builds on the vibrant, engaging school that we currently have and tailored to suit the needs of our Temple Israel families,” said Dee Mogerman, President of Temple Israel. “This plan has the full support of our Board of Trustees, our Rabbis, and our Religious and Hebrew school staff, who have been an instrumental part of our vision for moving the Family Education department forward.” Temple Israel’s Religious School program is a continuation and extension of DECC’s Preschool experience where students begin to form their Jewish identity. The program begins in Kindergarten and runs through senior year of high school, enabling students to progress and grow from young children who are passionate about their Judaism to young adults who will become the future leaders of our Jewish community. For more information about DECC and/or Temple Israel’s Religious and Hebrew School program, please contact Leslie Wolf, Director of Family Education, at lwolf@ti-stl.org or...

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Casting Call: Jewish Boy Ages 6-9 years old

DeLisi Creative is looking to cast a boy able to portray a Jewish Italian 6 year old for the next Steven Spielberg film. No acting experience necessary. We’re looking for a very special, real kid.   ROLE “EDGARDO” — BOY age 6-9 to play 6 years old. This is a unique and very challenging part for a truly special boy. The story deals with the complexity of an extremely intelligent and gifted child’s situation – his desire to return to his family and the faith of his ancestors, pitted against his ability to learn the Catechism and engage with the Pope on a level far beyond his years. HE SHOULD APPEAR TO BE A JEWISH ITALIAN child. We are not looking for any kind of Italian accent. LEAD. STORY LINE “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara”— Steven Spielberg is making a film about the true story of EDGARDO MORTARA – a 6 year old Jewish boy from Bologna who was reported to have been secretly baptized by a maid, and was deemed by the Catholic church therefore to be Christian. Pope Pius IX (to be played by Mark Rylance) decreed that the boy could not remain with his Jewish family. He was seized by the Papal State and taken to the Vatican where his indoctrination into Catholicism began. This was a cause célèbre of mid-nineteenth century European politics and the domestic and international outrage against the pontifical state’s actions may have contributed to its downfall amid the unification of Italy. This is an incredible story of real historical relevance. Please note several CD’s are covering this project, per overall CD Ellen Lewis: We (Debbie DeLisi/DeLisi Creative) are covering people that live in all regions in the US/Canada, EXCEPT if LA, CA (CD Tannis Vallely) & NYC based (Rori Bergman). If you’re based in LA or NYC, submit to Tannis or Rori. If you are based in any other area — please submit to us at delisicreative@gmail.com. To submit: Email delisicreative@gmail.com. Subject line: EDGARDO SUBMISSION / Name of boy, city/state. Body of email: Parents/Guardians contact info (names/phone), boys name/age/d.o.b, city/state of residence, along w/current non retouched photos. If you’d like to include a brief introduction, bio or resume, please do! Please note any related, special, or fun facts so we get to know...

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