I guess you can say I'm a story teller at heart. How can I not be? I was born and raised in a family where Jewish tradition was so important and conversations and story telling permeated our daily life. Some of the stories told to me were so vivid I felt I was literally there — experiencing what my Mom and family went through as Jews in war-torn Europe and what my Dad and his parents experienced living in Canada. I felt connected to their struggles but also to so many of the warm memories filled with joy and triumphs.
Breathing in this oral history helped me connect to my Jewish roots and to appreciate and value our Jewish traditions and our legacy. It's made me very proud of being Jewish.
A deep connection to Jewish values and identity isn't something that can simply be taught. It's a much deeper process. How do we best instill values of Tzedakah? Of kindness, sharing and empathy? I believe it's by example and also by conveying past examples through our personal and collective stories.
I do my best to do my part — with my family and the community. My children and I share regularly with laughter, conversation and even sometimes with my daughter, small hand-written notes. Family means everything to me! And for more than 30 years I've brought my love of Jewish life, tradition and story telling to the community through my work as a Jewish educator at various congregations.
My hope for the next generation is that the Jewish people continue to grow strong and always be proud of our heritage. We are all part of a shared story and a large family. Whether it's through monetary gifts or that of time and kindness, everyone has something to offer and every bit counts!