MA Z EL DAY S CH OO L
September: Elul-Tishrei 2012 ISSUE 16
Sweet New Year The new school year is finally here! The last two weeks have been filled with excitement for us just as we are sure they have been for all the families at Mazel Day School. New students, for the first time, are exploring Mazel by familiarizing themselves with everything it has to offer and are already making new friends, while returning students are reconnecting with friends they haven’t seen since last spring and of course their favorite teachers. It is a real thrill for us to once again see the hallways at Mazel be filled with so many bright and cheerful faces! As it usually does, the start of our school year coincides with Rosh Hashanah, The Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah celebrates the anniversary of creation of Adam and Eve - the first people on earth. It is through the creation of mankind that choice and freewill came into existence on this day. The choices we make, the deeds we do or don’t do will have a lasting impact in the year to come and it all begins on Rosh Hashanah. The Mazel Parent Page Executive committee wish all of you L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu (May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year.) If you wish to contact us about a possible idea for the newsletter or just to offer a comment please email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you. Let’s have an amazing year! Mazel Parent Page Executive Committee Mazel Parent Association
Upcoming Events September 17-18 Rosh Hashana - School Closed September 25 Yom Kippur Eve - School Closed September 26 Yom Kippur - School Closed October 1-2 Sukkot - School Closed October 8 Shmini Atzeret - School Closed October 9 Simchat Torah - School Closed October 14 Fall Parent Social
In This Issue Family Fun: Weekend Picks
Fitness: Back to School Activities
Holiday Recipes: Rosh Hashanah
Book Selection of the Month
Games: Everyday Fun the with Kids
Parent Talk: Parent Interview
Humor: Classifications of Crazy People on the NYC Subway.
Jewish Holidays: Your Rosh Hashanah with your Child
Jewish Holidays: Your Yom Kippur with your Child
Teacher Talk: Teacher Interview
It Worked for Me: Fall Crafts
Career Advice: Interview with Yelena Kutikova
PARENTING BOOK OF THE MONTH (CENTERFOLD):
Liberated Parents, Liberated Children: Your Guide to a Happier Family by Adele Faber &Elaine Mazlish Written by the Authors of the Acclaimed “How to Talk So Kids will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk” In this book, parenting experts Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish describe their personal parenting journeys of growth. Join them as they explore the principles of famed child psychologist Dr. Haim Ginott, and show how his theories inspired the changes they made in their relationships with their own children. By sharing their personal experiences, as well as those of other parents, Faber and Mazlish provide moving and convincing testimony to their new approach and lay the foundation for the parenting workshops they subsequently created that have been used by thousands of groups worldwide to bring out the best in both children and parents. Wisdom, humor, and practical advice are the hallmarks of this indispensable book that demonstrates the kind of communication that builds self-esteem, inspires confidence, encourages responsibility, and makes a major contribution to the stability of today’s family.
Family Fun WEEKEND PICKS
By Anna Rakhlis & Elina Rokhkind
Apple Picking in Masker Orchards
The Amazing Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum
• 45 Ball Road, Warwick, NY
• Weekends Sep 16 – Oct 28, 11:00 am – 4:30 pm, $9 adults, $5 kids 4-11, ages 3 and under – free
• http://www.queensfarm.org/events Can you find your way out of the maze? Enjoy the interactive challenge of finding clues and solving puzzles in this 3 acre corn maze – a farm-based adventure within the city limits. While there, you can also explore the farm, see the animals and fields, take a free tour of the historic farmhouse, and enjoy a hay ride. Also, the Farm hosts the Annual Queens County Fair on September 23, Apple Festival on October 7, and Children’s Fall Festival on October 28 (additional fees may apply). Check the times and details on the museum’s website. In this 200 acre orchard you are allowed to drive right to the tree with all of your picnic gear. Breathe in the crisp autumn air and enjoy foliage vistas of the entire valley, while filling up your bushels. For the kids, there are also barnyard baby animals, and pony and wagon rides. The apple season runs through early November. Admission and parking is free, and apples are $25.95 per bag (and you get to eat what you wish for free during your visit). If you go to Warwick on Sunday, October 14, make sure to visit the AppleFest (www.warwickapplefest. com) – the festival held in the streets and parks of the Village of Warwick featuring all-day live entertainment, Children’s Carnival, Farmer’s Market, and lots of food and crafts vendors.
Kiddie Cruise: A Princess and Pirate Adventure • Sep 16, Sep 30, Oct 7, 12 pm, from Pier 40 on Hudson River, $40 adults (over 13 yrs), $35 (12 mo -12 yrs) • http://www.kiddiecruise.com If there is a cruise for the little ones, this is it. Kids are kept busy for 1.5 hours while cruising around the Statue of Liberty. Entertainment includes magic and puppet shows, arts and crafts, face painting, and live music. Please note that strollers are not allowed aboard the boat.
Harmony on the Hudson: Family Festival at Battery Park City • Sunday, Oct 14, 1-5 pm, Wagner Park The 11th annual Battery Park City Parks Conservancy Family Festival features fun performances by Bread & Puppet Theater, with oversized puppets, circus, music, improvisational dance, and a pageant. The organizers also promise Double Dutch rope-jumping extravaganza, art activities, and surprises.
OpenHouseNewYork Weekend • Oct 7, free • www.ohny.org Openhousenewyork Weekend is an annual event, when hundreds of sites throughout the five boroughs, many of them otherwise inaccessible to public, open their doors (and sometimes roofs) to visitors free of charge. To celebrate NYC’s unique architecture, OHNY offers a range of tours and workshops for the whole family, on-site talks, and music and dance performances. Some programs are designed specifically for kids, including the Family Festival at the Center for Architecture. From historic landmarks to private residences to fascinating tours, OHNY provides a rare opportunity to explore New York City. The listings and schedule will be available online in late September, some programs require advance reservations. 2
Family Fun WEEKEND PICKS Fall Foliage Walk or Bike Ride in Frenchtown, NJ
By Anna Rakhlis & Elina Rokhkind
Off-Broadway Show at a Discount
• http://www.nycgo.com/off-broadway • http://www.20at20.com September 17 through September 30 is the NYC’s Off-Broadway Week with 2-for-1 tickets promotion. Kid-friendly shows include: The Berenstain Bears in Family Matters, the Musical (an exhilarating songfilled adaptation of the beloved children’s series), and Gazillion Bubble Show (a unique interactive production combining bubble artistry with fantastic light effects).
What fall activities list would be complete without a foliage day trip? One beautiful possibility we suggest is visiting the quaint small village of Frenchtown, NJ, about 1.5-hour drive away from Brooklyn. The Victorian village itself is a picturesque site, which boasts a few antique and specialty stores, and arts and crafts galleries. Situated on the bank of Delaware River, it is steps away from the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail, which runs along the river. This level path is perfect for walking or biking while enjoying the breathtaking surrounding foliage views. You can even rent bicycles at Cycle Corner– Frenchtown’s only bicycle shop, but call to check availability (908- 996-7712).
Family Scavenger Hunt at the Museum at Eldridge Street • Sunday, Oct 7, 11 am, $15 per family • http://www.eldridgestreet.org This magnificent 19th century meticulously restored synagogue is a National Historic Landmark, and a treat to explore on any day. But their monthly Preservation Detectives Family Program makes it fun for kids to uncover the history with a scavenger hunt and art projects. The theme of the program on October 7 is “Coming to America – A Columbus Day Celebration”. “How did new immigrants preserve a traditional past while embracing an American future?” is the question to ponder and find answers to.
Also, from September 4 to September 23 selected shows are only $20, starting 20 minutes before show time. Just say “20at20” at the box office to get the deal. In addition to The Berenstain Bears and Gazillion Bubble Show among these participating shows are musicals Angelina Ballerina, Pincalicious, and Stinky Kids.
The New York Renaissance Faire • 600 Route 17A, Tuxedo Park, NY • Weekends through Sep 23 • http://www.renfair.com/ny Armored knights, fair ladies, peasants, pirates, and wenches surround you in this fantasy land, as both actors and visitors don the period costumes and behave accordingly. Experience the entertainment as in the days of long ago: watch knive-throwers, illusionists, rope-walkers, and jugglers perform their tricks; try your own hand at the games of skill like axe throwing or archery; enjoy a human-powered ride, dance the Maypole, meet some birds of prey, see a glassblower at work, or cheer at the Royal Joust. Artisans selling their crafts, musicians playing on instruments you have never heard of before, and singers with repertoire ranging from pirate lore to crown madrigals – all add to the atmosphere of the good old fun.
Even if you are not participating in the family program, the access to the synagogue and museum is free on this particular Sunday as part of the Open House New York event featured before.
Family Fun WEEKEND PICKS
By Anna Rakhlis & Elina Rokhkind
Hava Nagila: A Song for the People • Museum of Jewish Heritage • Opens Sept 13 You hear it at every Jewish wedding and bar mitzvah, and it has been performed by artists ranging from Harry Belafonte to Bob Dylan, but not many people can pinpoint what exactly made “Hava Nagila” such a cultural staple. This interactive, multimedia exhibit explores the history of the famous folk song with inventive displays, a documentary featuring celebrity interviews, and of course, lots of music.
Fall Foliage at Central Park
• American Museum of Natural History
• Midpark at 79th St
• Today - Mon 10am–5:45pm. Ending: Sun Dec 02 10am–5:45pm
• Central Park West (at 79th St) (212) 769-5100 • $25, seniors and students $19, children ages 2 to 12 $14.50, children under 2 free (includes museum admission) amnh.org Get up close and personal with more than 20 species of one of the world’s most essential predators. “Spiders Alive!” lets you and your kids come face-to-face with live spiders from the museum’s research collection (the largest in the world), learn about spiders’ behavior and anatomies, and take a picture atop a giant arachnid model. Be sure to check out 15-minute presentations in which the museum’s resident spider experts handle live tarantulas. All ages.
Be an inventor at the World Maker Faire
Though the Great Lawn has ginkgo and sweetgum trees, some of the less popular spots offer foliage highlights. On Bow Bridge, look east for a vista of red maples; and at the 100th Street Pool, the reflection means twice the pretty. Near the end of the season, when leaves are finally ready to give up the ghost, head to Literary Walk: “You get a breeze coming through there, and the leaves kind of come down like snow,” says Neil Calvanese, VP of operations for the Central Park Conservancy. At the end of October, go to the open meadow below Belvedere Castle. That’s where you’ll find red sailing down from the black tupelo trees. The Ramble is another place to play, especially in late autumn, when the ginkgo trees seem to shed their leaves all at once. “It forms a carpet of gingko leaves that’s one of the best sights in Central Park,” says Calvenese.
• Sun Sept 30 10am–6pm.
Marvel at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic team
• New York Hall of Science.
• Sun Nov 18 at 3pm.
• $27.50; children ages 2–17 $12, children under 2 free
• Barcalys Center.
This West Coast transplant displays kooky experiments that are sure to have little mad scientists in awe. Handson booths let visitors interact with the inventions on offer: They can ride DIY carnival rides, sell their creations at the Maker Kids Market and solder circuit boards. Another big highlight is the Life-Size Mousetrap. There, kids can climb their way through the tricky maze—trying not to get trapped—at the Rube Goldberg–inspired exhibit.
• $52.50–$79.50. There’s a good chance your family oohhed and aahhed over the 2012 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team as they took home the gold in London. Now you can see the Fabulous Five live, including all-around champion Gabby Douglas, team captain Aly Raisman and “unimpressed” McKayla Maroney, during a stops in New Jersey and Brooklyn on their multicity Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Joining the girls will be select members of the 2012 men’s team plus 2008 Olympic allaround champion Nastia Liukin.
Fitness BACK TO S CH OO L ACTIVIT IE S
By Roza Niyazov
When children get to play outside with their friends, or with parents they can release some energy from staying inside during class. Play outdoors, they are developing mentally, emotionally and physically. They also can learn to interact with their peers and create bonds that last a long time. So for their next chance to play outside, give them a few games that can make the most of their time outdoors.
Beware the Blob
Gather a variety of different-colored pipe cleaners. Place the pipe cleaners on and around trees, bushes and grass. Divide the children into two teams. When you say “Go,” the teams compete against each other to find more pipe cleaners. As the game goes on, the children should find that the more naturalcolored cleaners are harder to find than colors like hot pink and neon green. The team with the most pipe cleaners at the end of 10 minutes wins.
Are you looking for a way to teach your kids their letters, get them outside and start a rousing game of alphabet tag! Kids boost letter knowledge as they get exercise and play a fun, new game at the same time. Choose one person to be “it.” Like regular tag, the person who’s “it” runs around and tries to tag the other players. If he/she succeeds in tagging someone, that person becomes “it.” If a child is about to be tagged, he/she can avoid becoming “it” by shouting out a safe word. The first safe word is any word that starts with the letter A. The next safe word starts with the letter B, and it continues on through the alphabet. If a child can’t think of a word before he/she gets tagged, or if he/ she says a word that starts with the wrong letter, then he/she becomes the next “it.” If you want to mix it up, try a different version of the game. Pick one letter to use through the whole game, and every safe word needs to start with that letter, no repeat words allowed. How many different words can you think of that start with B? After the first few words, it gets trickier and trickier, and laughs are sure to follow. Kids that are older, you can use categories such as foods, countries/cities, etc., and then to make it even more challenging, make them use the last letter of the previous word used.
Pick two children out of the group to hold hands and become “the Blob.” The rest of the players get 30 seconds to get out of the Blob’s path. The Blob then chases the rest of the children, tagging as many as they can. Once a player gets tagged by the Blob, they become part of the Blob and have to hold hands with the remaining Blob members. The last player standing wins the game.
Knock them over with backyard bowling
Find household items that will tumble over easily, such as empty cereal boxes, empty soda cans and small stuffed toys and align them in a row like bowling pins. Then, using a smaller ball for older kids and a bigger ball for the young ones, have the children roll the ball. They score a point for each object they knock down. 5
Holiday Recipes R OSH HAS H ANAH
By Anna Roberman
A very big thank you to my good friend and new family joining Mazel Dayschool, Maya Katz - for sharing her family’s favorite “Rosh Hashana” recipes with us. YELLOW RICE WITH CHICKEN
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 – 6 ppl):
INGREDIENTS (serves 8 ppl)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil; 1 large onion, minced; 6 cloves of garlic, minced; 1/2 green pepper, minced, 1/2 red pepper , minced; 6 ounce can tomato paste; 4 cups of water; 2 tablespoons of vinegar; 2 tablespoons cumin; 2 tablespoons of turmeric, or 2 -3 saffron threads; 1 tablespoon of salt or to taste; 1 whole chicken or chicken parts; 3 cups of uncooked rice; 1/2 cup of green olives; 1/2 cup roasted red peppers form jar, drained and sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped; 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar; 1/2 cup brown sugar; 4 tablespoons ketchup; 1 teaspoon mustard; 1 (15 ounce) package frozen puff pastry dough, thawed; 1/2 pound sliced corned beef; 1/2 pound sliced pastrami; 1 egg; Sesame seeds, optional
INSTRUCTIONS: In a pot large enough to hold whole chicken, heat and sauté onion, garlic and peppers in oil until soft. Add tomato paste and blend. Add water, vinegar, cumin, turmeric, and salt. Put chicken in pot and add water to cover. Bring it to boil, the reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour until chicken is well done. Remove chicken. When chicken is cool enough to handle, de – bone, discarding skin and bones. Put chicken in saucepan with 1.5 cups of the broth it was cooked in and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Measure out remaining broth. You will need 4.5 cups of liquid. If necessary add water to remaining broth to equal 4.5 cups. Bring both to a boil and add rice and olives. Cook over low heat, uncovered. When liquid has evaporated and is level to rice, cover pot and transfer to oven. Continue cooking for about 20 minutes. While rice is in oven, warm chicken and broth over medium heat.
PREPARATIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onion in oil until caramelized. Set aside, IN a bowl, combine vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup and mustard, unfold thawed puff pastry and spread out on a clean, smooth surface. Roll out dough to approximately 10x13 inches, take half the corned beef and half the pastrami and layer on the dough, leaving at least 1 inch of exposed dough on all sides. Apply a thin layer of ketchup mixture on top of the meat. The add onions on top of glaze, followed by the remainder of the meat, and drizzle more glaze, reserving some for garnishing top of roll. Carefully roll up dough lengthwise. Transfer to a baking sheet, seam side down, tucking open sides under. With a sharp knife, cut 4 -5 diagonal slits across top. Beat the egg and use a pastry brush to coat entire visible surface of dough. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake, uncovered, for approximately 45 minutes until dough is golden brown. Heat remaining ketchup mixture in a saucepan and pour over sliced roll before serving.
To serve, pour rice onto a platter and spoon chicken and some broth on top. Garnish with roasted peppers.
Holiday Recipes R OSH HAS H ANAH RICE PUDDING
By Anna Roberman PREPARATION: Boil rice and water in a large saucepan until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of milk, and allow to come to a boil. When mild has reduced by half (this takes 4 – 5 minutes) add another cup of milk. Repeat process until all cups of milk have been used. Stir frequently for about 15 minutes until rice mixture has thickened. Add sugar, sweetened coconut, and raising, allow mixture to simmer for about 7 more minutes, until raisins are plump and rice pudding has thickened more. Pour into serving bowl or individual ramekins while still warm.
INGREDIENTS: 1 cup long grain white rice; 2 cups water; 5 cups milk, divided; 1 cup sugar; 1/2 cup sweetened, shredded coconut; 1/2 cup golden raising; 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut; 1 cup slivered almonds cinnamon, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On two separate baking trays place unsweetened coconut and almonds. Toast in oven until golden, about 5 minutes. When ready to serve, top with cinnamon, toasted coconut and almonds. *** Rive Pudding can be made parve by replacing milk with non –dairy creamer.
Book Selection of the Month Bubble Trouble! AUTHOR: MARGARET MAHY AGE GROUP: PRESCHOOL TO GRADE 1. The trouble begins when sister Mabel blows a bubble that bobbles over baby and wafts him away. Baby floats over mother, past the neighbors, and through the busy streets as bystanders join the chase. How to bring baby down? A human ladder forms and a slingshot finally solves the problem, but then who’s going to catch the baby? Mahy is clearly in love with language here, as she offers a text that flounces and bounces like the baby in the bubble: “But she bellowed, / ‘Gracious, Greville!’ / and she groveled on the gravel / when the baby in the bubble / bibblebobbled overhead.” Dunbar uses watercolors accented with cut paper to chronicle the silliness. The story goes on a bit long for the youngest, but children will find their ears perking up at the tongue-twisting text, and they may become word lovers, too, after listening to this. — Ilene Cooper (Amazon.com)
Games E V E RYDAY FUN TH E W IT H KIDS Let’s Find Letter Treasure!
By Anna Rakhlis
7. Try using different perspectives for looking at things from different angles and distances. When you get home, turn your photos into mementos with an eye-catching Photo Alphabet Book. Or create Frame Names: Spell your name or your initials using colorful letter photos, then trim and mat the shots to fit a store-bought frame.
Body English This fun physical challenge tests your spelling skills and your flexibility, and makes a great activity for kids during your Thanksgiving gettogether. To play, divide guests into two groups, then have the groups take turns using their bodies (no hand signals or signs allowed) to spell out words for the opposing team to decipher. Start with simple, holiday-related words such as pie or thanks, then move on to longer words or phrases as the group’s skills improve. Search for letter shapes on a family photography outing, and then turn your finds into great craft projects.
Here are eight tips on staging your own successful letter quest as well as for craft ideas to help you showcase your alphabet finds.
To Play: Nominate someone to be Mr. Freeze. At various points during the meal, that person freezes like a statue. The other players’ objective is to notice when this happens and freeze, too. The last person to freeze must perform a dare
1. Kept our eyes peeled for splashes of color
Play a Cleanup Game
2. Make a list of the letters we needed before getting started.
Get kids excited about (or at least interested in) picking up their toys with this easy memory game.
3. This fun hunt could take place anywhere, park, playground, local shops, or home.
Start by telling your child to listen carefully to a short list of things to do. Recite the list, such as “Put a block in the bin, pet the dog, and set a book on the shelf,” then challenge him to finish those tasks before you count to 10. Be sure to play along, making a silly show of helping him remember what comes next. Recite new lists until his toys are put away. For older kids, try switching roles after each round.
4. After shooting at eye level for a while, try tilting backward and shooting up, looking down at the pavement cracks and foliage. 5. Check the alleys for angular fire escapes and pocked brick walls, wire tubing and climbing vines. 6. Be flexible and don’t miss those sideways H’s in the brick wall above and the one in the window pane.
Parent Talk PA RENT I NTE RVIE W
By Alla Barsky
Interview with Maya Katz Maya Katz was born in Ukraine and came to the United States with her family in 1991. She has graduated from LIU with a Master of Science degree in Speech and Language Pathology. Maya is now self-employed fulltime as a speech pathologist. She has two boys – Dov (6 years old) and Sam (4 years old), who are both starting to attend Mazel Day School this year, in 1st grade and Pre-K, respectively. Maya’s husband, Alex, was born in the US to immigrant parents and their household is fully bi-lingual, with Maya teaching their children Russian and her husband English. Maya and her family live in Homecrest section of Brooklyn. Maya is also the newest member of the Mazel Parents association. Q. What made you choose Speech Pathology as a career? A. I have always wanted to help people and I have been very interested in medicine. I actually seriously considered going to medical school. However, I had just gotten married and I decided that Speech Pathology was a more family-friendly career. Q. Were you ever interested in anything else? A. No, I’ve always been interested in the medical field. Q. What is your favorite book? A. I don’t really have a favorite. Right now I am reading “The Man in a White Sharkskin Suit” by Lucette Lagnado. Q. Do you have any easy recipes to share with your fellow Mazel parents? A. I do a lot of baking at home with my kids, especially with my youngest, Sam. One easy recipe that is always a favorite is for vanilla cupcakes. Here it is: Ingredients: 3 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla extract, 2 tsp. Baking powder, 2 cups all-purpose flour. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Whisk eggs and sugar together in a bowl. 3. Add oil, orange juice, vanilla extract, and baking powder. Whisk together. 4. Add flour little by little, mixing until it is just absorbed into the batter. 5. Spoon batter about 3/4 –full into cupcake cups and bake for 20 minutes. As a variation, you can then dust finished cupcakes with chopped almonds, powdered sugar, etc.
Q. How do you balance work and family? A. I must admit that I have a lot of help, both from a babysitter and from my parents. My husband is a pharmacist and works fairly long hours, so I try to spend as much time with the children as I can manage. It really helps to plan ahead and be very organized. I also try to encourage the boys to play together and share, to cut down on fights and arguments. Q. How did you first hear about Mazel? A. A friend of mine sent her kids to Mazel the year before and was very happy with it, both academically and socially. At the time, my kids were going to Yeshiva of Flatbush. While Sam was pretty happy there, that could not be said for Dov. Somehow, a situation developed, where he just wasn’t happy in his class and wasn’t looking forward to going to school. Our family is Modern Orthodox and we never considered public school as an option, since it is important to us for our children to have a Jewish education. After hearing so many great things about Mazel we decided to give it a try! Q. What made you decide to join the MPA right away? A. I think it is important for me to be involved in my children’s education, to know what is happening with them. My husband and I have heard so many good things about Mazel, that we want to see if we can help this school succeed even more than it already has.
Humor C L ASS I F I CATI O N S OF CRAZY P EO PL E ON T H E NYC S U BWAY.
By Gennady Favel
DANGER LEVEL – LOW Twitchers are as common on the train as rats are on the tracks. Generally speaking Twitchers are not that much different from you and me (especially you). When standing or sitting next to a Twitcher you might not even notice at first that you are next to one. Twitchers are characterized by mild to moderate muscles spasms and twitching of the face and eyes. When sitting next to one stay clear of sporadic arm twitches that will have a tendency to smack you in the face. As it is not their intention to continuously hit you, your best bet is to just laugh the whole thing off. Mumbling to themselves is also a dead giveaway of a Twitcher. If you did not bring anything to read feel free to make light conversation with these individuals as they will gladly rekindle you with tales of their pet iguana or how the train conductor has it in for them and is purposely delaying the train.
The Space Maker,
DANGER LEVEL – ELEVATED As you might have guessed the reason for their name is, whenever on the train these individuals have a radius of about 10ft around them into which other passengers are not comfortable of stepping into. The Space Makers or SMs will naturally be loud and will try to force conversation on anyone who steps into their perimeter. Eye contact is not recommended as it might be met with a “Do you know me?” greeting. The SM will likely be eating some sort of greasy meal while he is screaming how everyone else on the train is a tool of the corporations or the Jews. If you find yourself next to an SM with no way to maneuver away, immediately start talking to yourself and stumping your feet against the floor, as the SM will probably perceive you to be a Twitcher and grant you immunity from his verbal assaults.
Isn’t that nice. His first day at school and already the Principal would like to have a Consultation with us...”
sions with them. CRs are also very industrious and because they know that time is valuable they will likely be involved in some kind of activity while on their tirade. Scratching themselves is of course a favorite pastime, but being crafty a CR might also start a campfire to roast a freshly caught squirrel. Naturally these activities are not mutually exclusive. It is not really the CRs goal to hurt you, but be warned, that if he perceives you as thinking that you are better than him or spots you eyeing his squirrel your plan of action should be to get off at the next stop.
The Train Cleaner,
DANGER LEVEL – EXTREME
The Car Splitter,
DANGER LEVEL – STRONG A train pulls into the station during rush hour and you walk in. You look around your immediate surroundings and see that all the seats are empty. In fact, all the people are crowded up in the opposite side of the train car. What’s going on here? BAM. You tremble in fear as you realize that you are in the presence of the Car Splitter (CR). CRs get their name from the fact that whenever they are on the train the people that were in that half of the train car immediately move to the other side. These individuals are active. They will not be content to just sitting and screaming and will move from seat to seat usually dragging their posses-
The reason for their name is simple, whenever a Train Cleaner enters the train everyone else immediately exits. Train Cleaners (TC) are likely just released from a mental hospital or prison and they are out to bust as many heads as possible before they are inevitably put back in. TCs will usually wear some sort of head ornament made out of radio parts to make themselves look more intimidating. Sometimes brandishing a weapon such as whip made out of electric cord or simply a big rock the TC’s goal is to attack as many passengers as possible so he can get on the news and then brag to his buddies back at the penitentiary.
Jewish Holidays YOU R ROS H H AS H A N A H W ITH YOUR C HI L D Rosh Hashanah, the start of the Jewish new year, is steeped in Jewish rituals and traditions, family time and Jewish memories. With this in mind, it is worthwhile to think about how you want to bring the spirit and traditions of Rosh Hashanah to your family in order to create enjoyable, cherished memories of a tradition your children will want to continue. Here are some points to consider:
By CECE Network
Pr o v i de d by Ch ani O k onov
synagogue, during the Shofar blowing and during holiday meals. Children generally behave and participate better when they are aware of what will be happening. Explain to your child that the Rosh Hashanah meals will include a lot of talking and songs. Consider doing a run-through, so that he is very prepared. • Your child has learned about Rosh Hashanah in school. Talk to him and help bridge the gap between the learning that is taking place in school to what will be happening on Rosh Hashanah in your family. Your youngster can also help in preparing for Rosh Hashanah, especially in the areas that he has learned about in school. Allow him to help prepare the special foods, to pour the honey into the honey dish, peel the carrots for the traditional sweet carrot tsimmes, and help bake or choose the round challah. • The evening meals will probably take place later at night than your child is used to being awake. It may be hard for him to be attentive and happy. Consider having him take a nap in the afternoon and you will enjoy the pleasant atmosphere.
• Make the Rosh Hashanah meals special with beautiful clothing, dishes and food. • Don’t overwhelm your child with too much information. Add some more every year in order to ensure that he understands it and will continue to be stimulated. • Review your own family’s traditions and decide how you will incorporate them. (Here we include some traditions typical in many families; your own family may have other traditions too.)
Prepare Yourself and Your Child for Rosh Hashanah
Traditionally, Rosh Hashanah is celebrated with prayer, blowing of the Shofar and 4 holiday meals, during the evenings and during the days, after the prayer services (this year the evening of September 16, 2012, then during the day of September 17 and again that evening and one more holiday meal during the day of September 18). These meals provide a wonderful opportunity for family to get together, enjoy each other’s presence and reflect about the past year and be optimistic for the upcoming year. • Prepare your Child for all aspects of Rosh Hashanah – how to conduct himself while at the
Plan for A Child Friendly Rosh Hashanah
It is definitely worthwhile to think about how a Child friendly Rosh Hashanah meal and synagogue experience will be played out. This will take some extra planning, but the rewards and Nachas are worth it! • Children learn best when they ask the questions and then explore the answers together with the teacher or parent. Set provocations to encourage your children to ask questions. Then, explore the answers together. Place the honey in a prominent place on the table. Bring both round and braided challahs to the meal to encourage questions about why a round challah on Rosh Hashanah. Reward your children (with appropriate praise) for questions they ask and answers they give. • Listen to Rosh Hashanah prayer songs together before the holiday so that everyone knows them. Learn some of the kid-friendly songs that your child may have learned in school (depending on their age). Consider making song sheets for everyone.
Jewish Holidays YOU R ROS H H AS H A N A H W ITH YOUR C HI L D • Create opportunities for your child to show everyone his creations from school. Perhaps stagger it throughout the meals. • Designate a place for your child to set up his creations that he has made in school.
In the Synagogue
It is good education for your child to spend some time in the synagogue – just soaking in the atmosphere and hearing some of the praying and singing, and especially the blowing of the Shofar. • Perhaps ask your rabbi or synagogue’s youth director what times he recommends for your child and where it would be best for you to sit. Find out if your synagogue has a program for Childs and if you will have to join them the whole or for part of the time. • Most young children cannot sit quietly for that long, even with a bag of snacks and a stack of books to read. Be prepared to leave the services when your child begins to become antsy. • It may help a bit if your child is prepared and knows beforehand what is expected of him. If possible, bring your child to see the synagogue before the actual services. Show him the Aron, where the Torah is kept; where the Chazan (cantor) will stand; the Bimah where the Torah will be read and the Shofar will be blown. You can tell him about the tallit and other special things that people might wear during the services. You can also show him the area for children’s programs. • During your pre-Rosh Hashanah visit, you can take photos before and print them (not on Shabbat or holidays). Then, in the days before (and after), you can look at them and talk about the different parts of the synagogue. During the services, you can (quietly) ask your child to find the Aron, the Bimah, etc. • Explain the proper decorum for the services: The adults will be praying and singing. At some point, the Rabbi will speak. When he does, all people are quiet – adults and children. • If your child has made his own Machzor (the prayer book used on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), bring that with you so your child can remember and talk about what he learned in school about Rosh Hashanah. • If your child already knows how read prayers from a Siddur, encourage him/her to sit beside you to
By CECE Network
Pr o v i de d by Ch ani O k onov
read some prayers from the Machzor even for a few minutes at a time, allowing them to go play and return to read some more after a bit. It should be just enough to help them experience synagogue prayer but not too long for their attention. • It always helps to have a few special treats for the occasion – something to occupy him; these can also be used as an incentive for proper decorum. Perhaps, you can choose these treats together and pack them together. You can include some neat, quiet snacks – not too crumby or crunchy or sticky. Bring hand wipes just in case, and extra tissues, empty (quiet) bags for your trash. Bring more than you think you’ll need. Also bring a water bottle or two. • Bring a favorite quiet toy or a few books and perhaps something new (that he knows how to use, so he doesn’t have to keep asking you or get frustrated).
It is a special Mitzvah to listen to the shofar. There is a special Bracha (blessing) for that – found in the Machzor. • Your child has heard the shofar in school. He has had an opportunity to try to blow it and explore it. He has learned all about it. Now would be the time for him to just listen to the shofar – together with everyone else in the synagogue. • It is important to keep the children quiet at this time – from the first blessing until after the shofar is blown. Some parents find it helpful to give a special treat to keep their mouths occupied (something simple like a lollipop works well, nothing can drop on the floor). • If your child has created a ‘Listening to the Shofar’ chart in school, use that to follow along with the different sounds of the Shofar.
At The Rosh Hashanah meals • Children can get all dressed up but don’t fret if the clothing gets dirty. • Light the candles together as a family. • Allow your youngster to make Kiddush on his own cup of grape juice. • Make a big deal about him saying the special Rosh Hashanah prayers on the special foods, even if he doesn’t say it just right. • Don’t insist that your child stay by the table the whole time. Consider preparing other activities for
Jewish Holidays YOU R ROS H H AS H A N A H W ITH YOUR C HI L D him but tell him in advance that you may call him to the table to partake in different parts. You can prepare Rosh Hashanah related books and props (or any other toys and books that he likes). • Set the table with your child. In order to help your child see this as a special and different type of meal, first put out all the things you’d set for an ordinary dinner – table settings, etc. Then, add the special items you’d add for a Shabbat meal – candle sticks, Kiddush cup. And then ask him what special things we should put out for Rosh Hashanah. This will help your child see this as a special Rosh Hashanah meal. • Take a picture of your child near the special Rosh Hashanah table (before the holiday begins at sundown) and add to the Holiday Memory box or album.
Special Foods for Rosh Hashanah
During the meal, we eat special foods and there are some foods we try to avoid. These remind us of the moods and reasons of Rosh Hashanah. ROUND CHALLAH Instead of the usual braided challah, we eat a round challah. The special round challah reminds us of the roundness of the year and tells us that the coming year will be full and fruitful. (Some people also add sweet raisins to the Challah). • When washing your hands for the Challah, make it ceremonious, “Let’s wash hands 1-2-3 on the right, and 1-2-3 on the left.” • We dip the challah into the sweet honey. Make the dipping ceremonious, with fanfare, “Let’s dip 1-2-3. Let’s dip again 1-2-3.” APPLE DIPPED IN HONEY We take an apple which is sweet (not a green, tart apple) and dip it into sweet honey, trusting and praying that G-d will grant us a sweet new year). There is special blessing and prayer said when eating the Apple and Honey. • Make the dipping ceremonious, with fanfare, “Let’s dip 1-2-3. Let’s dip again 1-2-3.” • Sing the special songs that your child has learned in school. • Talk about the sweetness of the apple and of the honey, and the sweetness that we hope for the new year.
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Pr o v i de d by Ch ani O k onov
• Prepare different honeys and taste them all, using slices of apples and challah. Discuss the sweetness. POMEGRANATES are symbolic of ‘plenty’. There are plenty of seeds in a pomegranate. We ask G-d for plenty of health and happiness for the new year. • Open the pomegranate together. Look how many seeds there are! Count (some of) the seeds. Talk about how many there are! We want to have so much happiness and good things in our lives—just like there are so many seeds. Ask your child for specific good things he wants for the upcoming year. • Be careful, pomegranates can stain. HEAD OF A FISH We eat a fish head so that we will be ‘like the head and not like the tail’. We want to be on top this year, not on the bottom. • Some young children find this food fascinating, others are repelled by it. Do not insist that your children eat it or even look at it. CARROTS In the Yiddish language, carrots are called ‘merren’. This word also means ‘more’ in Yiddish. We want more of all the good things in life: More happiness, more health, and more success. Many people prepare the carrots in a sweet honey sauce (called tsimmes). • Allow your child to help you prepare this dish. Your child can peel the carrots, pour in the ingredients, etc. Avoid sour or bitter foods We try not to eat things that are sour or bitter. We definitely do not want a sour or bitter year.
Tashlich On the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah (this year September 17, 2012), we walk to a river, oceanfront or any other place of water. It is best if there are fish in the water. At the river, we say a special prayer which reminds us about doing better in the next year. (The translation of Tashlich means ‘throw’. We symbolically
Jewish Holidays YOU R ROS H H AS H A N A H W ITH YOUR C HI L D shake out our pockets, as if we are emptying them of crumbs and throwing them to the fish. This reminds us to think about starting off the year without mistakes – to begin the year with a clean slate.) • Before Tashlich, talk to your child about what will be happening: “we will be ‘pretend’ throwing away our mistakes. We can’t really throw away our mistakes, since they are not real things. So we pretend, and that helps us think about it and talk about it.” Together, talk about one mistake that he (and you) really want to make sure he does not do. And as you empty you pockets at Tashlich, say that mistake aloud, don’t just think it (but quietly, so that others don’t hear) and then say “bye, bye that mistake. I really hope I don’t do that ever again.” • Maximize on the experience. As you walk toward the water, talk about what you see, what you smell, what you hear. Slow down; make it a contemplative moment. • Talk about the water, feel the water – just as water washes away the dirt, we want to remind ourselves to wash away our mistakes. (Water symbolizes purifying; we want to be purified from our past mistakes). • Count the fish together, point out the colors and size.
Special Rosh Hashanah greetings On Rosh Hashanah, and the days before and after, we wish each other to have a sweet new year - “L’Shanah Tovah Tikatevu” may you be written in for a good year.
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Birthdays of the world On Rosh Hashanah, we celebrate the creation of Adam and Eve; thus, Rosh Hashanah is the birthday of the very first people. • In honor of this auspicious occasion, create a birthday cake or cupcakes. And then, just as we do on our own birthdays, reflect about the past year – how are we doing, are we doing as best as we can, what more can we do?
Rosh Hashanah As Your Child Grows • Create a Holiday or Rosh Hashanah memory box. Keep the items that your child has made and look at them together as your child grows up. • Create an album that kids can add to each year. Set the Rosh Hashanah table with all the special foods before sundown and take pictures, or take pictures of the wonderful things your child has created in school that you cannot keep.
Sharing Rosh Hashanah with others • Donate honey to the synagogue for communal services. You and your child can pour into small containers (with a funnel). Be prepared for a sticky mess. Use newspapers for a disposable tablecloth for this activity. (You can clean dripped honey with hot water and a sponge as honey completely melts in hot water; it is much easier than any cleaners.) • Bake cookies in shapes of Rosh Hashanah items – apple, shofar, etc. Add icing, sprinkles, or whatever
• We send cards or call each other (some people email, Facebook, tweet, etc.). • Children at this age like to create the cards rather than send something electronically. It is more memorable and meaningful to them to spend time creating it, and of course to the recipient. Send Rosh Hashanah greetings to family and friends. • Create a few New Year cards for some lonely people in your community. Explain to your child that we want to bring happiness and good year wishes to those who don’t have family to wish them (homeless shelter, senior centers, shut-ins, etc.) • Talk to your child about what kind of greetings does he wish for - himself, for the family, for his friends, for his friends at school. Ask him to draw something. Keep this in the Holiday memories box.
Jewish Holidays YOU R YO M K I P P U R W I TH YO UR C HI L D A few days after Rosh Hashanah is Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year. For adults, Yom Kippur is a day of fasting and prayer services. Obviously, this it is different with a child. With planning, you can have a meaningful and spiritual Yom Kippur even while taking care of your young one. Yom Kippur is traditionally a day of many long prayers. Your child, depending on his/her age, will probably not be able to be quiet long enough for you to participate in all prayers. At this stage in your life, raising your child is a holy task. You can plan to say at least a few prayers, but do not neglect your child.
Making fasting easier - for yourself Caring for a young child while fasting can be more challenging than an ordinary day. It’s all in the planning. And in the attitude. • Plan a few new exciting activities for your youngster, something that you know (or at least hope) will keep him occupied for a while. Perhaps present a new toy, or bring out a favorite toy that he hasn’t played with in a while. • Allow for the house to get a bit messier than you normally would like. • Pre-plan his meals so you don’t have to fuss with food when you are fasting. Keep it simple. Give him something he likes, even if it is not the healthiest choice.
The Day before Yom Kippur The day before Yom Kippur gets us in the mood for the awesomeness of Yom Kippur—both physically and spiritually. There are many traditions and rituals that help prepare us for Yom Kippur. In some homes, there is a feeling of Yom Kippur already. As you go through the day, talk to your child about what is happening. This helps create the memories that will stay with him for life. FESTIVE MEAL Sometime in the early afternoon, families get together for the Pre-Yom Kippur meal. This is traditionally a festive holiday meal, replete with holiday foods, including (round) Challahs. Although this is a festive meal, Kiddush is not said. • Try to make sure that your child is part of the meal and it is not naptime. PARENTS BLESS THEIR CHILDREN TO HAVE A GOOD AND MEANINGFUL YEAR Place your hands on your child’s head and bless him. Everyone who hears should say Amen
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Pr o v i de d by Ch ani O k onov (included on the next page).
• Make this an auspicious moment, not rushed. There are some traditional blessings. And of course, you can add your own. Say them aloud so your child can hear. What will bless you child with? What are your hopes for him? You might want to write these down and keep in his memory box. GIVE EXTRA TZEDAKAH Before the holiday, give extra Tzedakah (charity). The very act of putting the coins in the Tzedakah box is helping your child develop the memories and disposition to be a giving person. Allow for your child to give more coins than usual. Count them together. • Talk about where the money is going. MEMORIAL CANDLES Some families light yahrtzeit (memorial) candles to remember those who passed away. These special candles will burn through the night and the following day. Your local Jewish supermarket or Judaica shop should have them in stock. • As with all candles, keep this candle away from your youngster and remind him about your fire safety rules. • Lighting candles for Yom Kippur Just before sunset (before the beginning of Yom Kippur), women and girls light candles to welcome the holiday.
On Yom Kippur ADULTS FAST—THEY DON’T EAT OR DRINK. Children of this age should not fast at all. The Torah teaches that nothing is more important than life. Therefore, young children are asked not to fast. • Since you will be fasting, you may not feel like making fancy food. Plan for something simple like sandwiches for your young child. DRESS IN WHITE On Yom Kippur we do some things that remind us of angels, so that we can aspire to be as sinfree as they. We wear white like the angels. Even the Torahs and the Ark are dressed in white. • Point this out to your youngster. As applicable, you can dress in white, or dress your child in something white.
Jewish Holidays YOU R YO M K I P P U R W I TH YO UR C HI L D NO LEATHER SHOES. Leather shoes symbolize creature comforts. By limiting the amount of physical pleasure, we show G-d and ourselves that we are really serious about wanting to do good and wanting His forgiveness. • Creates lasting memories. Point out the sneakers and slippers in the synagogue. • On Yom Kippur, one should not carry to Shul, so prepare a bag of all items you want to have in Shul (treats, books or toys for the little one(s) and leave them in the synagogue beforehand or with the Rabbi.
Some highlights of the Yom Kippur Service (for adults) You may want to plan for a babysitter so that you can be fully engaged in these services. Or perhaps, just stay home with your child and attend these services when your child is older.
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Pr o v i de d by Ch ani O k onov
• Talk to your child about keeping commitments and being truthful. YIZKOR MEMORIAL SERVICE We remember our departed parents on Yom Kippur with the special Yizkor service during morning services. • Tell your young child about their grandparents, show pictures. NEILAH SERVICE Final blowing of the Shofar At the end of the Yom Kippur day, all the people in the synagogue say the Shema and the Shofar is blown again. A final celebration song is sung by all, marking the end of the holiday and our confidence that we have been sealed for a good new year. HAVDALLAH SERVICE AND BREAKING OF THE FAST As soon as Yom Kippur is over, we make Havdallah and eat joyous feast. This can be done at home, or together with the community in the synagogue.
KOL NIDREI This prayer ushers in the Yom Kippur. We ask G-d to forgive us for any commitments that we made and did not keep.
The traditional blessing for blessing your child… (contains G-d’s name)
Teacher Talk T EACHER INTE RVIE W
By Alla Barsky
Interview with Morah Eileen Blank Morah Eileen Blank is our new science teacher for Grades 3-6 Q. Tell us something about yourself? A. I have spent 20 years in the field of science education, lighting up young minds and coaching educators in multiple organizations. I enjoy empowering learners to see the world through the lens of science. In my classes, students become immersed in content and big ideas, while engaging in problem solving and literacy. The dominant focus is to pique student’s interest through hands-on investigations and guide them through the process of scientific inquiry. As a specialist in elementary science education, I have worked in diverse settings playing various roles including science teacher in the NYC Department of Education, coordinator for early childhood programs at Brooklyn Center For the Urban Environment and the Central Park Conservancy and afterschool instructor at Beth Elohim Afterschool Program. Q. How did you choose to become a teacher? A. Many influences lead me to the field of education, not the least of which was my own parent’s emphasis on learning and our many excursions in the outdoors lead me to an appreciation of the natural world. I would suggest that parents seize any opportunity they can to deepen their childrens’ learning by finding teachable moments in every day life. To strengthen their science experience, I suggest taking them to local nature preserves, museums, zoos and botanical gardens. I was always interested in the way children develop and started out in the field of social work, with a masters from Columbia School of Social Work. I later received a masters in education from Bank Street College. I am presently a science education coach for City Science, where, in addition to working with children, I lead professional development programs for teachers. Q. What is different about the CityScience curriculum? A. CityScience is committed to raising the quality of science education and supporting environmental stewardship. By using the natural and built environments of cities as laboratories for active learning, we transform teaching to make science relevant and engaging for PreK-12 students.
Q. How did you come to teach at Mazel Day School? A. Chani Okonov requested that an educator from CityScience come to teach at Mazel Day school and I was chosen by Thor Snilsberg, our director, because he thought I would be a good match for the job. I am grateful for this opportunity to support your children’s science education and I appreciate the supportive atmosphere that Mazel embodies. Q. What would you like to see your students take away from your science classes? A. I plan to use our CityScience curriculum and adapt it to the needs of the students. The plans for the yearlong curriculum include a study of pillbugs and other soil invertebrates; rock and mineral testing and identification and marine studies with visits to local beaches and wetlands. I plan to guide students through the process of scientific inquiry. This includes posing questions, forming hypotheses, running experiments, making observations and formulating conclusions. But most importantly, I hope to build on their natural curiosity and help them to become life long learners. Q. Since Mazel now includes a Middle School, what do you feel are the biggest challenges in the transition from Elementary to Middle school? A. The biggest challenge for students as they transition from elementary to middle school is higher expectations for them to take more responsibility for their own learning.
It Worked for Me FA LL CRA FTS
By Diana Simakhov
Coloring the Fall Multicolored leaf crayons make charming gifts when attached to homemade cards with glue dots. The crayons also look inviting sitting in a bowl, waiting to color an autumnal scene. SUPPLIES: crayons in fall colors (red, orange, yellow, and green); leaf-shaped candy or cooking mold (silicone is best); foil-covered baking sheet INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Collect crayons in fall colors (red, orange, yellow, and green). Peel and break the crayons into small pieces. 2. Fill the leaf-shaped cavities of a candy or cooking mold (silicone is best) with the crayon pieces. 3. Place the mold on a foil-covered baking sheet, and melt the crayons in a 180˚ oven for about 15 minutes. Remove the mold from the oven, and let the crayons cool before popping them out.* Tips: To speed up the cooling time, place the mold in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.
Foliage Friends SUPPLIES: Autumn leaves from your yard; paper; glue; pencils, pens, or crayons INSTRUCTIONS: Go outside and see what kinds of animals are hiding in your leaf piles. Below are some possibilities. When you’ve found leaves in your yard whose shapes you like, glue them to pieces of paper and use pencil, pen or crayon to make your creatures complete. To preserve your creations, press them between two books.
Acorn Necklaces SUPPLIES: Capped acorns; tacky glue; fuzzy yarn and wool; permanent marker; scissors; string INSTRUCTIONS: Gather capped acorns and carefully remove the caps. To make hair, put one large drop of tacky glue on the top of each acorn and press wisps of fuzzy yarn and wool roving into it. After applying a second drop onto the wisps, put the caps back on and hold them on for one minute. Use a permanent marker to draw faces. Trim the hair, then make “chains” by tying string around the cap stem and securing it with a drop of glue.
Career Advice INTERV IEW WITH YE L E N A KU T IKOVA Yelena has an MA in Social-Organizational Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She worked for over 5 years for large corporations focusing on Talent Management and Leadership Development. She spent 2 years at AIG Learning and Development department developing high-potential employees, and then 3 years at Accenture as a Talent Management consultant building global work-life balance strategy. Yelena took a year and a half off to be a stay at home mom and focus on her family. After taking a career break to stay with her daughter Mariella, Yelena recently returned to work. She is currently a Global Talent Development Manager at Estee Lauder and is an active advocate of work –life balance and creating opportunities for employees to be successful in both professional and personal lives without sacrificing either. Q. In the current economy, would you advice people who are employed but not happy with their work to stay in their current role or to try and find new opportunities? A. Regardless of the economy, if you are unhappy with your position, you can always continue to network and inquire about opportunities that are currently available on the market. It might be harder to compete in the environment when there are so many qualified applicants vying for the same role and it may take longer to receive an actual offer, but you can certainly do it. You should clearly define what type of role you are looking for and conduct a very focused job search. The opportunities are out there, so it’s the matter of being an active networker and maintaining positive attitude about the outcome even if it takes a little longer to reach your goal. Q. Besides online job sites, newspapers, and talking to friends, what out-of-the-box ideas would you recommend to a person looking for a job? A. I recently have gone through exhaustive job search after taking a year and a half break to be a stay at home mom. What worked for me was heavy networking on LinkedIn and following up after applying for every single role. Even if you are applying to a job on a company website and there is no contact listed, you can still search LinkedIn for people who work for the company in the department that you are interested in and reach out to them to follow up. You will be surprised by the increased response rate that you will get compared to when you just submit your resume online. Here is another piece of advice that worked me: don’t neglect your college career center. Many people think that career centers are for students only, but they can actually help alumni with resume building, practicing interviewing skills and refining your job search strategy. I found my current position through a job posting on internal Columbia University website. Since I was one of the few applicants with significant experience compared to college
students who normally use the job board, I easily stood out for recruiters and was getting more call backs than I would if I had applied through a regular website, like Monster. Q. What is the best way to seek and get a promotion within an organization? A. First of all, you need to perform above and beyond your responsibilities in the current role. You need to show that not only you are competent in the job that you are currently doing, but can also take on responsibility at a higher level. Second, you should have a candid conversation with your manager to let him/her know that you are interested in growing within the organization and discuss what it would take to get to the next level. Third, you need to build relationships within the company. It’s not just about great job that you do on a daily basis, but also about people who know you and who will advocate on your behalf to help you get ahead in your career. Even if your current department doesn’t have immediate room for promotion, there might be opportunities in other parts of the organization. Overall, it’s about the combination of fantastic work that you do and visibility of this work to broad audience of key people in your organization. Q. Your work is focused on developing talent in organizations. Is there anything you can recommend for developing talent in our kids? A. I have recently read an interesting book for my work – “The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills” by Daniel Coyle. It’s a handbook with methods to improve skills in various areas. While a lot of it can be applied to building talent within your chosen career as an adult, it can just as easily be applied to developing talent in your kids. Essentially, this book gives practical advice on “How do I get better?” . Once you identify areas your kids are interested in developing further, you can use the tips from the book to help them grow to reach their full potential (e.g. “Think in images” tip – vivid images are easier to remember and to do. For example, when you are teaching a kid to play tennis, say “Take your tennis racket back as if you sweeping dishes off the table” instead of “Take your tennis racket back in a straight horizontal line”).
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MAZEL DAY SCHOOL
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