In previous editions of Community Links I wrote articles titled “The Cost of Jewish Living” and “Giving Our All.” The articles touched upon the challenges revolving around the cost of Jewish day school education and how our community might come together to alleviate this burden. The responses I received from the most recent article, “Giving Our All” were remarkable and I wanted to share.
The overwhelming majority of the responses were positive encouraging the concept of coming together as a community to address this difficult issue of the expense of Jewish day school education. All of the responses were from women. Women offered their homes for workshops, offered to assist in spreading the word on any upcoming events and to help at those events. Every single woman who responded did so with compassion and acknowledgment that we, as a community, face a significant challenge in the continuously rising cost of educating a Jewish child.
On the flip-side, there were three emails that were not negative, however were constructively critical and bringing attention to several points highlighting that many individuals and business owners in the community do already contribute goods and services to the day schools above and beyond what the general community is aware of. In addition, points were made about the day school system in general being “broken” in many ways in regards to the costs involved, and that throwing additional money at an unstable system would not necessarily address the larger picture. All of these emails highlighted valid points, and happily all of these emails ended with words of encouragement and support for the idea of addressing these matters.
What most impressed me about each and every email was the willingness to be known (in other words, no emails or calls were placed anonymously) and everything sent to me via email was done so with great thought and care. A few of the emails were over a page in length and in great detail sharing thoughts, feelings, and general information about the issue at hand. The fact that so many women in our community reached out gave me hope that in fact we can come together and make a difference, even if it is merely acknowledging that the community battles with how to cost-effectively educate our children. I thank each and every one of you who did take the time to connect with me, and I thank all of you who take the time to read what I have written.
As the summer reaches its mid-point and we approach the holiday of Rosh Hashanah at the start of September, I am planning the first workshop for women to take place at the start of October right after the holidays. It will be a great time for us to come together and talk about what we wish to accomplish in the coming year, both personally and as a community, and use the energy of the holidays to send us forward in a positive and powerful way. As always I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Wishing all of you an enjoyable rest of the summer!
Mia Adler Ozair, MA, LPCC, NCC is a licensed clinical psychotherapist and educator with a private practice in Beverly Hills, California. Mia is licensed in both California and Illinois and she can be reached through her website at www.bhcounselingcenter.com or followed on Twitter @MiaAdlerOzair.