Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Race to Nowhere

I've been feeling the pangs to blog again recently. I've been tweeting so much in the last couple years that my blog has fallen by the wayside. I post these little 140 character worth nuggets and that has been enough to satiate me. If I have a little more to say, I post a message on Facebook with a little longer of a diatribe. But I just saw an announcement in the Chabad of Dallas e-newsletter that I thought was great and wanted to share. I decided a blog post was appropriate. Here goes....

From the Chabad email: Akiba Academy (the local Modern Orthodox Jewish Day School) is hosting a showing of the must see documentary, "Race To Nowhere," on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00pm. The film addresses the issues of schools, parents, and students being pushed to over perform.

I think its important for all parents (and perhaps their kids too) to go and see a documentary like this. Today, kids are so overscheduled. School is one thing, and in the case of religious Jewish youths, is not only secular studies but a dual curriculum Day School or after school Jewish studies program. For other youngsters, they have sports, playdates, tutoring, music lessons, etc etc etc. We live across from a big park and every single day after school a group of kids line up waiting for their soccer tutor to show up. When I was a little kid, practice was once or twice a week. Not everyday. And somehow I managed to still make the all star team. Yes, supporting your kids in the endevours that they love is awesome! But pushing them to overachieve is another. The film they are screening shows the tragic side of our achievement-obsessed culture, but perhaps it will be an alarm clock for some parents and for students that don't even realize that they are pushing themselves too hard. I'm happy that the Dallas Jewish community is doing a screening of this kind.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Moving Sale/Giveaways!

My husband Evan and I will likely be moving at some point this summer so I'm beginning to get rid of some items to bring down the exuberant cost of an interstate move. We have a ton of stuff to sell/giveaway before we move including a dresser, armoire, hanging storage, DVD storage, pantry, chairs, tables, Videos/DVDs/CDs, A/Cs and much much much more. We'll begin posting items and prices (many will be free with pick-up) and pictures here on the blog and Facebook so visit back often!

To start: FREE VHS Videos. First come-first served.

Circle of Friends
American Flyers
Tim McGraw- An Hour with Tim
In the Line of Fire
Hearts and Souls
Best of SNL- Wayne's World, Chris Farley, Best of 1993
Field of Dreams
Alanis Morrisette
My Best Friend's Wedding
Indian Summer
Notting Hill
First Wives Club
Book of Love
Ever After
GI Jane
Pure Country
Mickey Blue Eyes
For the Boys
Here on Earth
Steel Magnolias

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

3 Observations Since My Cruise

I've basically screwed over my blog by plugging all my juicy observations about life into my 140 character Twitterfeed. But sometimes that's just not enough space. So folks, I've come back to my trusty blog. I got off of the Norwegian Gem this morning in NYC after 10 days on vacation. Here are three things that have occurred to me today:

1) After 10 straight days with an afternoon nap, you wish you were back to being a toddler since you're extremely sad to have given them up.

2) My stomach hadn't growled in 10 days. That's what 3 (or more) 5-course meals per day will do to you. I'm actually hungry for my dinner when I get home. Haven't felt a hunger pang in well over a week.

and 3) Life is so much easier when the schedule fairy drops a minute by minute itinerary by your stateroom door each night before you go to bed. I felt discombobulated today trying to plan out my own day.

That's it for now. I really need to write more. Sorry about that.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another Year Come and Gone

Yesterday I celebrated my 30th birthday. I am officially not able to get away with public anyway. I am officially too old to still know where my blankie is (but I do). I am officially old.

I am now at the age that I thank God that my parents are still around. I am also at the age where I regret not seeing them more than I do. I am now at the age where my friends are moving on. We used to all live in the same neighborhood, now we are all dispersed around the US, with new families, new jobs, new educations and experiences. Some even in foreign countries.

I am now at the age where I can be proud of my accomplishments. I don't think its big headed or egotistical to look back on a year and smile at your merits. I won't say it was perfect. I'm sure I harmed people. I'm sure I didn't try hard enough to repair relationships that I'd damaged. I'm sure laziness and the flaw of wanting to take on too much too fast kept me from helping more people than I did. But, I did do good stuff too.

There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past year. Most importantly, I married my bashert Evan. He is absolutely the perfect match for me. He lets me be myself with no reservations and tells me every day how awesome I am. I pray that I put into this relationship at least a percentage of what I receive, because even that would be a ton. I loved my wedding. Not that I remember much about it, but it had been a long time since my whole family had been together. My fam doesn't have many opportunities to see one another. I got to see cousins that I hadn't seen in years and that was awesome. I am thankful that Evan has a large and loving immediate and extended family. They are all so great and have made me feel incredibly loved and accepted as one of them. Even if I am too busy to say it all the time, I know that Evan and I are very blessed.

I have worked hard to help others too, not just myself. Professionally, I am still working at NJOP and have been writing their @JewishTweets on Twitter. I love having this opportunity and getting to meet amazing Jews throughout the world that are using Twitter (of all places, right?) to engage in their heritage, whether by asking questions, telling jokes or sharing an inspiring story. I'm also interacting with fans on the Jewish Treats Facebook Page. If there is anything you want to learn about Judaism, let me know. If I don't know the answer, I have great people to ask for help.

Also this year I've worked on ParnasaFest (see blog I wrote on it here). What started out over lunch in Downtown NYC last February has turned into a internationally recognized grassroots initiative. After the mass layoffs in the Jewish nonprofit world, a couple friends and I asked ourselves, how can we help. A couple days later, we hosted our first ParnasaFest, a job networking event for those who need it. Whether they're in need of a new job opportunity, in need of new business contacts, or needing to meet people who are dealing with the same craziness in their lives that they themselves are dealing with, if nothing more than to shmooze and commiserate. Whatever their reason for attending an event or utilizing resources on our website, I hope they found utility in our work. I think they have, and that makes me happy.

I have also become a matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai's sister site YUConnects which is meant to facilitate matches amongst those in the Yeshiva University community. I love having this type of tool at my disposal to help Jewish singles. If you are on either of the sites, please seek me out on the matchmakers page and send me a message. I'd love to try to help you find your bashert!

Also, I was inducted into the prestigious ROI Community of young Jewish innovators and attended their summit in Israel this past summer. What an amazing collection of people to be grouped together with. It was a great honor.

And finally, I was honored last month to receive a nomination from a friend of mine in the United Jewish Communities' Jewish Community Hero contest. Its a huge honor. A lot of my fellow nominees are just like me. They desire to help their fellow Jews every day. A couple nominees who I'm voting for every day are Rabbi Moishe Engel who started the Gan Israel in my community that I attended every summer growing up and I attribute a lot of my religious growth to that experience and my friend Sharon Weiss-Greenberg who has just taken on the role of JLI Co-Director at Harvard where she and her husband are working with the Jewish students on campus. Then there is the Jewish Robot William Levin, my fellow ParnasaFester Dave Weinberg, and many more. So many great people on there that I'm happy are being recognized for what they do. Here is my profile, please check it out and shoot me a vote if you can. The prize money could be a huge help for the Jewish projects that I work on.

That's the year in review. I am so thankful for the friends and family in my life. I love you guys alot. Thank you thank you thank you. Shana Tova Umetuka, I hope you have a happy and sweet New Year. I hope you have a prosperous year full of opportunities to better yourself and those around you. I hope you receive all the things you desire at the right times. I hope you take advantage of your new clean slate and start filling it up with mitzvos and good deeds. And I will do my best to do the same. Gmar Chasima Tova, May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for Good!


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sending Chaviva to Israel

Last year I participated from afar in a Jewish Blogger Convention. Now the Nefesh B'Nefesh Second International Jewish Bloggers Convention is coming up on September 13th in Jerusalem. I will be attending once again via the world wide web. I was reminded tonight after reading my friend Chaviva's blog that the next convention is soon approaching AND this year they're doing a special contest giving a blogger who wants to attend a free flight to Israel so he or she can attend in person. I think Chavi is the perfect blogger to win this opportunity. A) She REALLY wants to go B) she doesn't have a few extra grand to buy a ticket and hop on a flight (who the heck does nowadays?) and C) SHE'S AWESOME. I've met 1000's of people online via my social networks (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc) and honestly, there are only a few I'd desired to meet in person. Just from reading her blog and her tweets, I knew Chavi was a great gal. We've met IRL and remain buds. I even got to meet her boyfriend Tuvia. He's awesome too! If Chavi wins she'll get to fly on a real Nefesh B'Nefesh aliyah flight and matched with up with an Oleh/Olah/Family, who she'll be able to blog about. If Nefesh B'Nefesh is looking for a blogger who can flesh out the journey of an oleh, she's the one. After all, she's been on quite a journey herself (read her blog, you'll understand). :) Pick Chavi!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lend me a hand!

I wanted to thank all of my supporters in the United Jewish Communities' Jewish Community Heroes contest! I'm so appreciative! I wanted to offer a couple reminders. You can submit a vote for me EVERY SINGLE DAY through October 8th (every 12 hours to be exact). This isn't just a one time vote AND you can vote for as many other nominees as you want. Voting for me does not mean you can't vote for your other friends who are nominated. A ton of other incredible peeps are my fellow nominees so I encourage you to check them all out and vote for those who inspire you! If you haven't yet today, you can click here to vote for me.

Also, I'm trying to mobilize some friends and blog readers to help get the word out about me. I'd be so grateful if you'd email your friends/family, dedicate your Facebook status for a short time, or even tweet about my nomination. Anything you can do to help would be hugely appreciated.

Sample text: Vote for my friend Susanne who is trying to raise money for her worthy community projects. Just click here:

Thank you!


Susanne Goldstone Rosenhouse | Jewish Community Heroes

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Am I Your Hero?

Some things come up and demand a quick post. I know I'm behind on writing about so many different things that I've been meaning to get to but I have so little free time of late. But here goes... I was nominated by a buddy of mine for the United Jewish Communities' Jewish Community Hero contest. Its a great honor for those of us who selflessly devote our time, energy, and tiny paychecks to the Jewish Community. Sometimes a thank you is all I need to get through a tough and frustrating patch. Getting recognized like this can give me an even bigger push. Below is the text from my friend's nomination:

Tell us about your nominee. Why should he or she be recognized as a Jewish Community Hero?

Susanne is the Social Media Coordinator of the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP), where she has been involved, since before social media was a normative means of communication, in reaching out to unaffiliated and loosely-affiliated Jews around the world, to engage them in their Jewish heritage. Originally a U.S.-based organization with a small reach into Canada as well, Susanne has helped to turn NJOP into a worldwide phenomenon, and has thereby touched the lives of millions of Jews worldwide, both directly and indirectly.

In her free time, Susanne co-chairs ParnasaFest, the international grassroots initiative providing job networking assistance for the Jewish community, teaches pro-bono social media classes at synagogues and organizations, volunteers as a matchmaker for Jewish singles, and has consulted for the World Jewish Congress.

What problem did your nominee identify in the community that needed to be solved? How has your nominee's efforts made a difference for others?

Through Susanne's efforts, NJOP has become a clearinghouse of information for Jews seeking to understand their cultural and religious identity. Previously, NJOP had a loose affiliation with synagogues around the U.S. that was most known for its Shabbat Across America program. Now, with over 4,100 followers on Twitter, a widely read blog, and growing networks among young and old alike, NJOP has transformed into a powerhouse for informal - and formal - Jewish education for all age groups and backgrounds. According to their 2009 report, NJOP, still a small organization with a dozen staff, "has successfully reached more than 1,054,000 North American Jews and engaged them in Jewish life," and its programs, "have been offered at more than 3,670 locations across North America and in 37 countries worldwide."

Some of my good friends are fellow nominees, including former roommates (Sharon that's you), my ParnasaFest partners Dave and Dani, fellow ROIers Tamar and Ari, and rabbis and community educators that I've become acquainted with via my work at NJOP. Every one of them is worthy of this honor for the incredible work that they do for their local communities.

I hope you'll find the time to take 30-seconds out of your day to click the below link and vote for me and other people who you think are deserving. You can vote once everyday through October 8th. Please encourage your friends and families to vote as well by tweeting my link or devoting your Facebook status update to my cause. Thanks for your support!!!


*Picture will be posted to voting site soon.
** Picture above shows how far I'd go for your vote. Even kissing babies on the campaign trail. ;)