OU To Present Positive Jewish Parenting and Marriage at 2 OU Shuls in White Plains and Mount Kisco

March 5, 2009

The Orthodox Union Department of Community Services will present a combination of two of its most popular family programs, “Positive Jewish Parenting and Marriage,” Sunday, March 22, from 9:30 am-12:15 pm, at two OU member synagogues: Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation and the Hebrew Institute of White Plains. This will be the first time the two programs are being offered through an Orthodox Union outreach grant funded by UJA-Federation of New York.
The two shuls were previously chosen, along with the Bialoystoker Synagogue of New York, as participants in a pilot outreach (kiruv) program geared to Jewish men and women seeking to explore their Jewish identity and heritage, thus connecting with their Jewish roots.

All three synagogues have already demonstrated substantial success with outreach programs of their own. They were selected from a group of twenty synagogues which responded to an invitation from the OU in May to apply for the services grant. Participating synagogues were selected from applications submitted from the five boroughs, Westchester, and Long Island, the area served by UJA-Federation of New York.

Frank Buchweitz, National Director of Community Services and Special Projects, declared, “The Positive Jewish Parenting and Positive Jewish marriage programs address practical issues which impact upon daily lives of families. Strengthening the Jewish family is a goal that can easily be attained through educational programs such as this one, one that is open to the entire Jewish community.”

At the Mount Kisco Hebrew Congregation, 15 Stewart Place, Mount Kisco, there will be two time slots with a choice of workshops at each time. From 9:30-10:30 am, the choice of parenting workshops includes:

• How to talk to your kids and teens about sex, presented by Rachel Pill, LCSW, or
• Setting expectations for your children and getting them to follow through, presented by Alex Bailey, Ph.D.
From 10:40-11:40, there will be a choice of marriage workshops:
• How to fight fairly with your spouse, presented by Ms. Pill, or
• How to express your appreciation and love for your spouse in these economic times, by Dr. Bailey.

From 11:45-12:15, there will be a Q&A session with the presenters.

To register for the program or for more information, contact the synagogue office at 914-242-7560.
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At the Hebrew Institute of White Plains, 20 Greenridge Avenue, White Plains, registration begins at 9:15 am, where bagels and coffee will be served. There will be a choice of workshops from 9:30-10:30 am. They are:

• Siblings beyond rivalry, presented by Normal Blumenthal, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and current member of NEFESH (International Network of Orthodox Mental Health Professionals) or
• How our marriages are models for our kids, presented by Judith Siegel, Ph.D., Associate Professor, NYU, and author of numerous books and articles on parenting and marriage.

From 10:40-11:40 am, there will be a choice between:

• Setting limits and opening horizons, by Dr. Blumenthal, or
• Effective balanced barenting, by Dr. Siegel.
From 11:45-12:45, there will be a panel discussion on “Positive Judaism and Our Kids,” with the following speakers:
• Rabbi Chaim Marder, Rabbi, Hebrew Institute of White Plains, who will serve as facilitator;
• Rabbi Alan Berkowitz, Headmaster, Ramaz Lower School;
• Dr. Blumenthal;
• Suzie Marder, MSW, Westchester Day School, and
• Dr. Siegel.

Rabbi Marder declared, “Our children aren’t born with directions included, and parenting isn’t easy. We are always in need of advice, direction, and inspiration on how to be better parents. It’s one of those things we can’t afford not to get right. As Jews, we especially understand the responsibility and opportunity that God has given us to shape a loving, caring, well-functioning mensch. We hope this workshop will make an important contribution into the lives of members of our community, across the spectrum, helping them become effective, positive Jewish parents.”

The cost of the White Plains program is $5 with advance registration; child care is available for children ages 2-6. For more information or to register for the program, contact the synagogue office at 914-948-3095 or office@hiwp.org.