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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Jewish Community Mental Health Awareness Program

Come to an afternoon of teaching, learning, listening, and sharing to help break the stigma of mental illness. Speakers will include rabbis, mental health professionals, community activists, people affected by mental illness, and others who can empathize. Sunday, January 29, at the Jewish Community Center Arts and Education Building, 2 Millstone Campus Drive, from 2:00 to 3:30PM. Sponsored by the St. Louis Rabbinical Association with financial support from the Jewish Federation of St. Louis Inclusion Initiative. Free and open to the public. Reservations are requested but not required, to slra@mindspring.com. For more information, please contact Rabbi James Stone Goodman at...

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The Synagogue: Hellish Prison or God’s House??

I go to synagogue and temple a lot, to many different ones, sometimes hoping to do some matchmaking! But I mainly go because I have always liked Jewish services. All of them. Reform, conservative, and orthodox. I feel cozy and safe, like I am in God’s house! A big difference between me and most Jewish people is that I get it. Praying is a tremendous joy and comfort for me, and one of the most important things you can do. I know that religious services are boring as hell for most Jews and meaningless, prison-like. And that is the biggest reason most people avoid it. It is not boring for me, because I get it. It is not foreign to me but it is foreign to most Jews. Many Christians get it, in part because their prayers are in English, they sense a deep spiritual connection, and an hour a week is easier to take than our three-hour Saturday morning Shabbat services, four-hour Holy Day services, 1½ hour Friday night Shabbat services, and daily morning and evening services. Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are coming and a lot of people will show up for that. Because you are afraid something bad will happen if you don’t? Or because you think two days covers you for the entire year? It is really important to pray every day, all year, to thank God for every big and little thing we have, to always have gratitude, and to ask for help. You can pray in English (although there is real power in original Hebrew prayers which connect us with our ancestors)! And it does not have to be in synagogue or temple (although there is definite power in community prayer). I feel like I’m in God’s house when I am in the synagogue, but when I am outside, I’m in God’s universe! If you want a great relationship and it is not happening for you, asking for big help is important. I cannot manufacture a partner for you. There is only one Manufacturer. Keep asking God to help you work on getting where you want to be. Ask every day, not just on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur. We must uphold our end of the bargain: become more loving, caring, giving, kind, and sensitive, and less judgmental and slower to criticize others. These are things we must work on always~that is key. Even if you don’t relate to God as Avinu Malkeinu, our Father our King, it is worth asking because God is the ULTIMATE MATCHMAKER! Wishing you success in finding your relationship in the New Year 5777! Who is Paula? Sparks Matchmaking strives to connect Jewish individuals for the purpose of dating, marriage, and Jewish continuity.  So far, 18 couples are married~with a 0% divorce rate and 14 Jewish children from those marriages. Eight additional couples are happily dating or in long-term...

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Help with my wedding?

Hello! Greetings blessings and shalom! My name is Brittany and I will be getting married next May. I am a Christian who believes in giving back to Israel and blessing Israel as often and as abundantly as possible. For my wedding I am really looking to find Jewish vendors for my cake, my flowers comma and to purchase a ring for my future husband. I’m having a hard time with just basic internet searches. So I am reaching out on here hoping that some of you will be able to help me find what I seek. This is incredibly important to me has my heart has always had a special place in it for Israel and for the Jewish people and culture. I am hoping this does not offend anyone and I’m simply looking to do what I feel in my heart is right. Please feel free to contact me by email if you have any ideas. My email is brittanyjt726@gmail.com Thanks so much in advance! Future bride and lover of Isreal…...

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“Are All Fakes Created Equal?” Beyond Twleve Gates

Beyond Twelve Gates Parshas Balak July 23, 2016 “Are All Fakes Created Equal?” Sure, many of us have lapsed into silly talk on occasion. But it’s rare that a person speaking ‘Texan’ goes in for routine jaw surgery and comes out sounding British. That’s just what happened to Lisa Alamia of Rosenberg, southwest of Houston. The Texas woman went into jaw surgery to correct an overbite, and while she got her new smile, she got something she did not plan for: a British accent. Lisa was diagnosed with foreign accent syndrome, an extremely rare speech disorder that alters a person’s speech so that he or she seems to speak with a foreign accent. When the mother of three underwent lower-jaw surgery in December 2015 and returned home with a British accent, her children thought she was kidding. “I was very shocked,” Lisa said. “I didn’t know how to take it. I was very confused. I said ‘Ya’ll’ all the time before the accent. Once I got the accent, I started noticing I’d say, ‘You all.'” Doctors estimate that foreign accent syndrome has affected fewer than 100 people in 100 years worldwide. “It’s such a rare condition that neurologists don’t believe that this is a real condition,” said Dr. Toby Yaltho, a Houston neurologist. “The big thing is to know that she’s not faking it.” There is no known cure for the condition. Although the accent can diminish over time, it can be permanent. Lisa, who feared people wouldn’t believe her, said, “I’ve never been outside of the country, except for a mission trip to Mexico. That’s not where my accent came from.” The now British-accented Texan is planning to start speech therapy and says she has come to realize that the accent doesn’t define her. “In the beginning, that was my fear — ‘Oh, is she lying?’ I said, ‘You know what, Lisa? You’re still you. You are who you are,'” she said. We all speak with accents. When we speak with people who speak like us, we don’t notice it. When we encounter people from other cultures, regions of the country, or socio-economical classes, we do notice differences in speech. But more important than accents are the words we choose. We know the power of speech; we witness it every day. Words have the power to build lasting relationships, and even to save people’s lives. The power of speech is one of the most valuable gifts G-d has given us. As King Solomon said, Death and life are in the hand of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its produce. (Proverbs 18) Parshas Balak Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 This week’s portion shifts from the Jewish people’s travels in the desert to the story of Bilam, the anti-Semitic prophet who attempted to curse the Children of Israel. Hired by Balak, the king of Moav, Bilam embarks upon a journey to the Israelite encampment. An angel brandishing a sword blocks Bilam’s path, causing his donkey to repeatedly swerve off the road. Unable to see the angel, Bilam responds by striking the donkey three times. Miraculously, G-d causes the donkey to speak to Bilam — shades of Mr. Ed, the talking horse in the 1960’s TV show! Bilam’s eyes are uncovered, and the humiliated prophet sees the angel...

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Beyond Twelve Gates by Rabbi Smason

Beyond Twelve Gates Parshas Chukas July 16, 2016 “An Elephant Never Forgets” Ever since the Gateway Arch went up in St. Louis in 1965, pilots have eyed it longingly. Five airplanes are known to have flown through it, though none of them was ever identified — or prosecuted by the Federal Aviation Administration. In 1973, however, a balloonists’ flight was the first time an aircraft breached the sanctity of the arch with permission. That balloonist? Aeronaut extrordinaire Nikki Caplan. Born Natalie Joyce Zemliak on August 7, 1930 in St. Louis, Missouri, Nikki lived a fascinating and accomplished life. A devoted wife and cherished mother, Nikki was also a pianist, analytical drug chemist, instructor of pharmaceutical chemistry (she taught at St. Louis School of Pharmacy), avid reader, fencer, skier, sailor and world traveler. It was in ballooning, however, that Nikki made her international mark. Nikki’s first exposure to ballooning occurred when she read an article in National Geographic Magazine about hot air balloons. Not long after she had her first balloon, a 1968 model named “Les Sprit de St. Louis” (“Spirit of St. Louis”). Nikki had her first balloon flight in 1968, and received her pilot’s license in 1971 at the age of 41. A pioneer in modern hot air ballooning, Nikki was the first balloon pilot in the state of Missouri. Her first major competition was at the 1973 National Hot Air Balloon Championships, where she was one of only two women to qualify for the finals. After that time she participated in many ballooning events around the country as well as in Europe and Asia. In 1973 Nikki co-founded the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, in St. Louis. Since then, this race has become the oldest and most well-attended free one-day hot air balloon event in the world. Attendance is free to more than 100,000 spectators who come to watch 70 world -class balloon pilots compete in the race. Nikki’s life brings to mind the inspirational words of King David: A song of ascents. I lift up my eyes to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm121) Looking upward is often an expression of a deep spiritual yearning. The yartzheit of Nikki Caplan — a larger-than-life woman who lived every day of her 54 years — will be observed this week by her dear family and friends. May her memory be a blessing. Parshas Chukas Numbers 19:1 – 22:1 This week’s action-packed portion begins with the paradox of the Red Heifer, a mitzvah we are asked to perform though unable to understand its purpose and reason. The narrative jumps to the death of the prophetess Miriam. The Jewish people are then left without water, since the miraculous well which had accompanied them in the desert existed only in her merit. G-d commands Moses and Aaron to speak to a particular rock so it will miraculously produce water; Moses strikes it with his staff instead, and G-d tells the two leaders they will not enter the Promised Land. What did Moses do wrong? One classic approach suggests that Moses’ sin was that he became angry (he said to the Jewish people, ‘Listen now, you rebels’). Although the best among us can occasionally lose our...

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