Walking out of the lecture by Dr. Wendy Mogel on “Raising Resilient Kids”, one couldn’t help but be changed. The author of Blessings of a Skinned Knee and Blessings of a B- regaled the assembled adults with stories of parenting gone wild and confidently, sometimes sarcastically reminded us to let our kids be kids. Perfection she implied, acceptance into Harvard she instructed is not the measure of healthy, well adjusted children.
Time to Have Another Child!?
I overheard the parent of 2 college students comment, “I learned so much tonight that I almost want to have another kid, just so I can raise one correctly.” Another quipped, “I was laughing so hard that I didn’t even feel guilty as I recognized the all unhelpful (parenting) habits I’ve developed.”
Yes, a standing room only lecture by two-time New York Times best selling author and parenting expert, psychologist Dr. Wendy Mogel engaged 305 adults for an hour plus session of self-reflection.
A Mirror into our Parenting Style
As Mogel held up a big mirror to all the adults, we nonetheless laughed at ourselves. We reflected upon our parenting styles. We realized that we were not alone in the wonderful, frustrating decidedly unscientific process of raising kids. But that wasn’t the only measure of success that evening.
Elements of a Successful Partnership
The other measure of excellence was that this expensive undertaking was the result of a growing partnership between three overlapping Jewish organizations – Calabasas’ Congregation Or Ami, Woodland Hills’ Kadima Jewish Day School and Malibu’s Shalom Institute/JCA Shalom. Three institutions, each dedicated to nurturing healthy, educated, moral Jewish kids, got together to hold what assuredly will be the first if many lectures on Jewish parenting. And the partnership was energizing.
To what do we attribute the success of this emerging partnership?
- Choosing a timely topic and a well known, accomplished speaker
- Sharing the costs, and thus increasing the motivation to turn out greater participation among multiple organizations
- An agreement to share equally any revenue
- Shared publicity responsibilities – one made the registration website, one made the flyers, another wrote the press release
- Checking our egos at the door
- Providing each institution and it’s leaders equal one in the spotlight
- Increasing the pool of volunteers by bringing together three institutions
- Agreeing to leave our educational “silos” for shared successes
A Promising Next Step for Or Ami’s Center for Jewish Parenting
For Congregation Or Ami, this parenting session is one of many over the years sponsored by our Center for Jewish Parenting. Designed to offer well received and well attended lectures, the Center for Jewish Parenrting has hosted New Community Jewish High School’s Dr. Bruce Powell, and by other local parenting experts. This partnership with overlapping institutions offers an exciting next step for educating Jewish adults for the next generation.