OU To Present Positive Jewish Parenting Seminar January 20, at Beth Israel Synagogue in Omaha

04 Jan 2007


To strengthen parenting skills and to provide advice from leading Orthodox mental health professionals, the Orthodox Union Department of Community Services, in conjunction with Omaha’s Beth Israel Synagogue, will present Positive Jewish Parenting, to be held at the synagogue, 12604 Pacific Street, following Shabbat morning services on Saturday, January 20.

Hadassah Goodman, LCSW, ACSW, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Supervisor at Jewish Family and Community Services in Chicago specializing in working with families and children, will present The Making of a Mentch (a decent person) immediately following Shabbat morning services. The presentation will be followed by a lunch and learn session, Instilling Our Children with Positive Values and Resilience in Our Contemporary Society.

Frank Buchweitz, OU National Director of Community Services and Special Projects, emphasized that in today’s day and age these topics are of utmost interest to parents. ” A mentch is not made in a day,” he declared, “Children’s education process must begin at an early stage. The sooner we provide our children with positive models of behavior and values, the sooner they will be able to integrate those values.”

Beth Israel Synagogue, an Orthodox Union member congregation, has a close programmatic relationship with the OU. Last year, Beth Israel was one of six congregations across North America to be recipients of OU Program Initiative Awards of up to $20,000 apiece for its Parents Are Teachers initiative. Now the OU’s parenting program, which has been presented to large audiences across North America, comes to Omaha.

According to information provided by Beth Israel, the synagogue has a membership of close to 200 families. Thirty-two of those parents have between them 27 children under the age of six, yet less then a handful of these families had a yeshiva high school education.

In the past year, therefore, Beth Israel leadership has presented a series of parenting programs which have sought to provide parents with resources so that they will be better able to educate their children before they begin school — this is the purpose of the Parents Are Teachers program.

Rabbi Jonathan Gross declared that the programs have really engaged the young couples who have joined the synagogue. “We at Beth Israel cannot thank the OU enough for the continued support and for providing great programs in our community. My hope is that the OU and Beth Israel will always maintain a great relationship,” he said.

The OU parenting program builds on Beth Israel’s own initiatives.

“When it comes to Jewish parenting in middle America, a key ingredient remains the need to reinforce a strong Jewish identity in our children,” declared Beth Cohen, Executive Director of Beth Israel. “The Positive Jewish Parenting seminar is another piece of the puzzle, which will help parents build a positive Jewish self-image in their children,” she said.

The presenter, Hadassah Goodman, consults and does training of teachers and principals in elementary and high schools regarding issues of behavior management, conflict resolution, anger management, grief and trauma. She received her MSW from Loyola University School of Social Work and has a private therapy practice in Chicago.

For further information and to register contact the synagogue office at 402-556-6288 or at bethisrael@orthodoxomaha.org.