Randi Mazzella is a freelance journalist/blogger and mother of three. She has written extensively about parenting, family life and teen issues. Her work has appeared in many online and print publications including Teen Life, Scary Mommy, About.com and Grown and Flown. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter @rmazz90210.
With everything currently going on in the world, I had been feeling kind of down. I wanted to do something to make a difference, but I wasn’t sure what.
Last month, a friend and I attended a…meeting of the National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section that was held at our local Livingston Library. NCJW Essex is a longstanding chapter of a community volunteer and advocacy organization. Inspired by Jewish values, the organization runs a wide variety of programs geared toward advocating for social justice, especially for issues that impact women,… >> Read More
My son is in the 7th grade, which means he is in the middle of his bar mitzvah year. It has been an exciting and busy time for him. In addition to preparing for and having his own bar mitzvah, he has…been fortunate to be invited to celebrate at the bar and bat mitzvahs of many of his friends. Of course, he has had a lot of fun attending all the great parties. But beyond that, this year has allowed him to learn valuable life lessons including… 1. The satisfaction of accomplishing a goal Many of… >> Read More
As part of my son’s preparation for his upcoming bar mitzvah, he needed to pick a mitzvah project. After much thought, we decided together that he would participate in the Twin with a Survivor…Program. The Holocaust Council of Greater MetroWest runs the program, which matches adolescents with survivors of the Holocaust. Each young adult meets with an individual survivor who shares his or her personal account of what happened during the Holocaust. My husband and I joined our son for his four meetings with the survivor, a 94-year-old… >> Read More
When I began looking into preschools for each of my three children, I wasn’t adamant that they needed to attend a program in a synagogue or Jewish community center. In fact, I looked at many other…programs including one close to our home that was very popular for children from all religious backgrounds. What I was really looking for was a program I felt comfortable with based on their philosophy with a convenient location. Ultimately all three children attended a Jewish learning-based preschool program. Both of my older daughters attended preschool… >> Read More
My daughter J was 10 years old when she came home from day camp and announced, “Next year, I am going to sleepaway camp.”
I was a little surprised by her proclamation. She had attended the…same day camp since she was 5 years old and absolutely loved it. Even though some friends had gone to sleepaway a few years before, she was positive the experience would not be for her. I am not sure what changed her mind, but we told her we could visit some sleepaway camps that summer. … >> Read More
On Passover at my house, hours after the four questions have been asked and answered, there is a fifth question. “What night can we have matzah pizza?”
Our family is Reform, and we are not…kosher. But the kids attend religious school and they do want to keep Passover in some way. They want to be somewhat observant of the holiday and to feel connected to their Jewish heritage. For my kids, matzah pizza is a light at the end of the dark, bread-free tunnel. Eight days without their normal… >> Read More
Preparing and planning for a bar or bat mitzvah is an exciting time for both the child and the whole family. Our family has gone through the process twice and is embarking on this journey for the…third, and last, time with my son who is currently 12 years old. As a parent, it is incredible the amount of love and pride you feel watching your child shine at this significant milestone. Along with leading a service, most temples also include a mitzvah project as part of this important rite of passage.… >> Read More