With all the kvetching I do about the lack of quality family programming in our Jewish community, I’m acutely aware that I have an obligation to try to make a difference. (In fact, I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that read To kvetch is human, to act, divine.) But *how* to make a difference – that’s the tough question. I tried serving on the ed committee of our shul, but I was reminded fairly quickly that I hate meetings. I led the tot high holidays services for many years, but now that my kids have aged out of that demographic, I’m no longer sure it’s where I want to put my energy. I’ve offered to volunteer to help with programming for our local PJ Library, but realistically, I have to wait until book fair season is over to give them a substantial chunk of my time. (I’m traveling every Sunday in November plus some in October and December to promote The Shabbat Princess.)

What could I do in my spare time, with flexible hours, to help our Jewish community? Doing something that I’m actually good at?

I’ve started a new bogging project with the amazing website Hilltown Families. The site is a resource for families in Western Massachusetts, listing and organizing information about all the high quality activities available for children and their grownups in our corner of the state, especially those living in the tiny hilltowns between the Pioneer Valley and the Berkshires. I’m writing a monthly column about how we’ve made Judaism part of our family’s life, and highlighting some of the programs going on that month. I’m hoping this will serve as both a resource and an outreach tool to unaffiliated families. My column is called Not Your Grandparents’ Shtetl. I hope you’ll check it out, even if you don’t live around here.

And while you are hopping around the interwebs, how about “liking” The Shabbat Princess on facebook? I’ll be giving away one free copy a week to someone who wrote on the wall before Friday at noon of that week.


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