Meet The Teachers

Did you see the amazing teachers that are coming to Single Jewish Moms Connect?

Check out the video below to get a peek into some of the wisdom you’ll be gaining. 

 

Class Preview: Body and Soul: What is “self”?

Rabbi Manis Friedman

In this class, Rabbi Friedman asks this question: what is the meaning of “self”? How do you balance self-interest with selflessness – a classic mom question. From there he shows us how to find true, deep, and lasting happiness.  

Come to Single Jewish Moms Connect to get the answers. 

Single Jewish Moms Connect

March 8-11th, 2018

UCLA Conference Ctr, Lake Arrowhead, CA

Sign Up Now!

Stress-Busting 101 Workshop

Do you sometimes feel like your mind is being hijacked by your thoughts and feelings?

Check out this preview of our “Stress-Busting 101” workshop on mindfulness that will be featured at Single Jewish Moms Connect!

 

Stress-Busting 101

Rus Devorah Wallen

Moms live a busy life, and digital devices, stress, responsibilities, and financial obligations can distract us and take over our mind. In this highly-anticipated “Stress-Busting 101” workshop, Rus Devrorah Wallen will teach techniques such as body scanning, visualization, and breathing exercises so that we can train our minds to come back to the now. The purpose of these thoughtful experiences is to give moms the practical tools to employ relaxation, presence of mind, and stability into their daily lives. Instead of getting hijacked by thoughts and feelings, Rus Devorah will help you recalibrate to make sure that your heart and mind work together synergistically like sisters, and not as competition. Listen to this short preview to get a taste of this mindfulness workshop at the upcoming Single Jewish Moms Connect.

Feeling relaxed already?

Apply now for a generous grant to

Single Jewish Moms Connect

March 8-11th, 2018

UCLA Conference Ctr, Lake Arrowhead, CA

Sign Up Now!

You’ll come home calmer, more present, and mindful than ever before. 

Apply now so that you can get the grant that you need!

 

Noa’s Impressions

Did you hear about our upcoming retreat

Don’t know what to expect? 

Hear about how it impacted Noa’s life.

“This accomplished more in 2-3 days than so much [other] work… the trust in Hashem, is creating the relaxation for me; not just the spa like environment of the retreat.””

-Noa from Los Angeles

Meet Noa.

Fine Artist. Experienced Educator. Single Mom.

Noa Zelder enjoys being mom to her four lovely children. She is a fine artist in the vibrant LA community and a successful fine art teacher for the past 20 years. Noa has participated in our Single Jewish Moms Retreat for the past two years, and is very enthusiastic about sharing the inspiration our retreat provides for single moms. Here is a short clip of her talking about her experience with us.

Sign up now for Lake Arrowhead Retreats 

Women 55+ Retreat – March 4-6th

Women of All Ages Retreat – March 6-8th

Single Jewish Moms Connect – March 8-11th

When you do, we guarantee you’ll come home

with something to say, just like Noa.

Sign Up Now!

Did you hear what Nan is saying about her moving experience at the retreat?

“…professionals from the group are always there to answer questionsthey make people feel incredible with art programming, physical activities, and all kinds of things to nourish the mind, body, and soul.”

-Nan from Chicago, IL

Meet Nan.

Artist. Photographer. Single Mom.

Nan is a dynamic educator and skilled administrator that specializes in both visual and media arts. She presents at national conferences on everything from art education assessments, to special ed. inclusion in the arts. In her not-so-spare time, Nan creates freelance event photography and designs photo-styled fashion ads that have graced the cover of several national publications. Nan is the mother of three adult children. Naturally, her absolute favorite photographic subjects are her grandchildren.

Be like Nan and take advantage of an experience of a lifetime.

Sign up foSingle Jewish Moms Connect, November 9-12 in Morristown, New Jersey.

We guarentee you’ll come home with a story to tell, just like her.

Second Time Around

 second-timeSecond Time Around – An Online Event with Rabbi Manis Friedman, Jan 8, 2015

 There is something valuable and powerful about a second time – that Rabbi Friedman likens to the second set of tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai for the Jewish people.
 
The first set of tablets were given with great fanfare and excitement, but they didn’t last – Moses had to break them. 
 
Then Moses went up the mountain again for 40 days and 40 nights, and came down with the second set of tablets. This time though, it was a more modest affair, more subdued – with a lasting power that the first one didn’t have. Even though the first tablets will never be totally replaced because they are the first, and the broken pieces are still retained in the Holy Temple, the second time around – like the second tablets – can and should be in many ways better and stronger than the first.
 
There should be no doubt, no hesitation that a second time is meant to be; the second time is not any less valuable, nor any less real, any less true, and any less divine and meant to be. People can proceed with confidence that things will be good, and better.    Read more

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life

SJM.RDW.WebinarBannerSlowing Down to The Speed of Life – Disconnect to Reconnect
Sunday, February 1, 2015 10:00 AM EST – 11:15 AM EST

Meet in private online to practice a short and simple mindfulness exercise (with other single Jewish moms around the world).

While you are online, you will -+ have some fun!
+ feel what it’s like to be drawn into the present moment, and stay there
+ realize how focused you are
+ learn how to easily release negative chatter
+ have an experience of self-compassion (even if it’s only for a moment, it’s sweet)
+ have an epiphany about criticism – and become less critical of yourself and others
+ be able to manage stressful and upsetting situations with greater composure

Holy Smokes! It’s Shoshi’s Favorite Dessert!

Purim might be over, but Pesach is not for a while yet.

Let’s celebrate life this week with lots of cocoa and a touch of summer berries.

 

Shoshi’s Molten Lava Cake

1 cup unsalted butter or margarine
8oz semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
5 large eggs
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons flour
8 extra large paper muffin cups (or 12 regular)

Garnish:
1 (6oz) container raspberries
moistened slightly
and rolled in about ½ cup sugar right before serving.

1. Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water; remove from heat. Beat eggs, sugar and salt with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Beat egg mixture into chocolate until smooth, beat in flour or matzo meal until just combined. (The batter can be made a day ahead; return to room temperature an hour or so before baking.

2. Before serving dinner, adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a standard size muffin tin with muffin papers. Spray muffin papers with cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups.

3. Bake until batter puffs but center is not set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift cakes from tim and set on a qork surface. Pull papers away from cakes and transfer cakes to dessert plates.

4. Top each cake with sugared raspberries and serve immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

I Didn’t (M)Ask for This!

Do you ever look at your life and not recognize it at all?

Do you catch yourself wondering why you live in Minnesota when you always envisioned living in Jerusalem? Who is this little boy I gave birth to? How did I end up with her as my neighbor?

What is this weird stuff, this mask, these unfamiliar surprises, and why are they interfering with my life?

Three weeks before Purim, at the most recent BC retreat, I attended a class about Esther. You know, Esther from the Purim story. After all these years I thought I knew her but boy did I learn a thing or two!

Did you know that Esther lived in the palace with Achashveirosh for nine years before Haman even thought of wiping out the Jews?

Did you know Esther was married to Mordechai at that time?

Did you know that in the end, after the battles were won and the celebration died down Esther remained behind those walls for the rest of her life?

How did a nice Jewish girl from an observant family deal with all that? The woman with a perfect life, married to a Rabbi, an inspiration to her peers… how did she give it all up to live with Achashveirosh; a vile, temperamental lowlife?

What helped Esther keep her sanity?

When Esther was taken to the king’s palace against her will there was nothing she could do to avoid her predicament. The commentaries teach us that during those years, Esther would regularly go back to be with her husband Mordechai. According to Jewish law she was allowed to do this because she never went willingly to Achashveirosh. She was forced.

In fact there is an interesting Zohar explaining that Esther was never actually intimate with Achashveirosh at all. Because of her vast knowledge of Kabbalah, when the king called her she would summon a look-alike spirit to be with him instead of her.

Whether she was actually with the king or sent a spirit in her place, the important thing is that during those long years of isolation in Achaveirosh’s palace, she always had one thing. She had her relationship with her beloved Mordechai.

And suddenly there was a moment when all of that changed forever.

In the ninth year of Esther’s stay at the palace Haman decided he’d had enough of Mordechai the Jew. Killing Mordechai alone would not satisfy him though. Haman wanted all the Jews to go down with him.

Now, in an attempt to save the Jewish people Mordechai turned to Esther. “Go to the king, Esther. Please plead on our behalf and save your people!” (Megillah 4: 14)

Esther’s response was not as expected. After explaining the dangers of approaching the king uninvited Esther added, “But I have not been called to the king for thirty days.” (Megilla 4:11)

What was she trying to say?

With these few words Esther was implying that Achashveirosh would call for her any day now. She’ll be summoned to the king shortly and maybe she should wait and talk to him then. In this way she could maintain her halachik status as a helpless victim and nothing would be lost as far as her personal relationship with Mordechai.

If Esther listened to Mordechai, it would be the first time she approached the king on her own initiative. Her status would instantly change to that of ‘willing participant’ and she would never be allowed to return to Mordechai again. That was simply too painful to imagine.

Mordechai heard her. He knew what she meant. Yet with all of these implications Mordechai responded that “The lives of your people are at stake.” This is not the time to make calculations.

Fully aware that she might bring capital punishment upon herself, both according to halacha and according to Persian law, Esther chose to go. In her own words she responded, “…and if I am lost, I am lost.” (Megillah 4:16)Just as I will be lost from my people, so too I recognize that I will be lost from you, Mordechai.

It was at that moment that Esther gave up everything. She gave up her clean slate, gave up her reputation, went against halacha, and did everything she could possibly do to save her Jewish brothers and sisters. She did it for us.

When Esther went to the king voluntarily it was the first time in nine years that she was a willing and active participant in her own life. She was neither forced nor did she send a replacement. Esther threw herself wholeheartedly into her mission and sacrificed everything for one reason: to save the lives of her people – to make sure that you and I would be here today.

How did Esther have the strength?

The last words Mordechai said to Esther before she went to the king were, “Who knows whether it wasn’t for a time like this that you were brought to royalty?” (Megilla 4:14)

To Esther, hearing these words from Mordechai – her Rebbe – was like hearing, “Who knows whether it wasn’t for a time like this that you were brought to the world? Maybe this is your life mission, your purpose.”

So here was Esther, also known as Hadassah – meaning hidden, whose whole life in the palace was a mask. She looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize herself. What is that crown? What are these garments? What are these walls I wear around myself? For years she fought against the mask, fought against the foreign circumstances wrapped around her.

Yet when it came time to save her people Esther surrendered fully to her mission. The very circumstances she saw as wrong and ill fitting up until now, she finally embraced as her life’s purpose. What she previously saw as a mask, she chose to wear with confidence.

Certain events in our lives are “masked” – we tend think of them as interfering with the lives that we were meant to live. Painful, difficult moments are like that; their true purpose is so masked that they actually feel foreign. “This shouldn’t be happening to me!”

Embracing these masked moments as ours, as intricately tied up with our unique purpose, puts us more in touch with our true selves.

Do you ever look at your life and not recognize it at all?

Do you catch yourself wondering why you live in Brooklyn when you always envisioned living in Hawaii?

The baby spits up on your sheets, and the doorbell rings at the wrong time of day, your nephew is in the hospital and it seems like life is interfering with the life you envision in your head. But today, can you hear that added little voice?

“I might not have (m)asked for this, but can it be that for this very moment…?”

 

Entry coauthored by Chayale Udkoff and the BC blogger

Happy Purim!! Someone Didn’t Get a Wink of Sleep Owl Week

The results are kind of hill-airy-ice. Take a peek at whoots been flying:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and on THAT note, this little pair was made in the kitchen 3 minutes ago with the dough left over from these:
(Please enjoy the recipe and see what your leftovers add to the punversation 😉

BC Blogger favorite Hamentash recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup (two sticks) margarine
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup orange juice
A pinch of salt.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl (adding flour if necessary).
Form little balls of the dough in the palm of your hand and flatten.
Put a small scoop of jam in the center and fold the dough in from three sides.
Pinch the three sides together over the jelly.
Bake on 350 degrees until they look ready.
A bit vague, I know, but you’ll be ok!

Now, to address the penguin in the room, I haven’t put up a single Purim post yet this week. Oops! As they say – it’s been a flying week – cut her some flock. They’ll be up real soon!

In the meanwhile; here’s a beak at what’s coming up:

A:
Shoshi’s Corner #3: From the Pan to the Party
Our all time favorite chef’s all time favorite dessert recipe; Hot Lava Cakes!!!

B:
I Didn’t Mask for This:
Learn from Queen Esther how to react to unexpected circumstances!

 

I hope everyone is still on a high!
You have been on my mind and in my heart in a really HUGE way!
Wishing you a restful Shabbos, and a very hoppy Purim!!
<3 the BC blogger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is HUGE!!

TODAY you have the power to forever change the lives of 180 girls and women, and the families and communities they build!

Every single dollar YOU give to Bais Chana will be matched by 4 extraordinary women to reach our goal of $180,000 in scholarships.

Here’s how the campaign works –

  • This is an online event – you can do this anywhere and everywhere
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