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August 06, 1993 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-08-06

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Jewish Mothers offers insight,
ical advice.




n a room of 50, a voice cried
out: "I don't want to be seg-
regated out of the communi-
ty. I want to be taken in. I
wouldn't mind coming into
a more Jewish way of liv-
Harlene Appelman, direc-
tor of educational services
for the Agency for Jewish
Education, was quick to
respond, suggesting family
camps and working with
other single mothers to
create new spiritual tradi-
The discussion was part
of a workshop titled
"Spiritual Survival For You
And Your Family," led by
Ms. Appelman, Temple
Israel Programming
Director Dr. Nancy Gad-
Harf, and SPACE for

Changing Families Director
Irma Starr. It was one of
several workshops offered
to the more than 200 partic-
ipants of Putting the Pieces
Together — The Institute
For Single Jewish Mothers,
held this week at Oakland
Community College.
Jewish Experiences For
Families (JEFF) created the
event with the help of local
agencies and individuals.
For many, speakers Dr.
Joyce Brothers and author
Neil Kalter were big draw-
ing cards.
Through less-than-subtle
name-dropping and amus-
ing anecdotes, Dr. Brothers
discussed the importance of
friends and confidantes,
statistics on the changing
profile of single mothers,

Dr. Joyce Brothers spoke individually with women after the presentation.

and the problem of
dating with children in the
However, tips offered in
individual workshops, free
child care and an available
kosher meal were also
attractive features.
Siri Gottlieb, a single
mother from Ann Arbor
with two children, said she
attended the seminar for
many reasons.
"I was impressed with the
presenters and the diverse
areas of interest covered.
And it was convenient — in
the evening," Ms. Gottlieb
said. "I live in Ann Arbor so
it seems anything goes
there. I don't feel a stigma,
being a single mom, but I do
feel isolated at times."
Conductors of the work-

shop attempted to focus on
such feelings, common to
many single mothers.
Ms. Starr, who is now
remarried, recounted her
efforts to maintain Jewish
living after her husband
died 3Y2 years ago. She kept
up traditions the family had
learned to expect and creat-
ed some new ones. She
found a new friend who was
also a single parent and
spent many Sabbaths and
holidays with her.

"Try, if you can,
on Fridays to do
something special
for Shabbos.
Put five cents in
the tzedakah box,
light candles, use
a tablecloth.
These are all
easy things you
can do."

"Being a single mom,
your time is not your own. I
know. You eat in the car.
You can't even shrug your
shoulders five times to
relax," Ms. Starr said. "But
try, if you can, on Fridays to
do something special for
Shabbos. Put five cents in
the tzedakah box, light can-
dles, use a tablecloth. These
are all easy things you can
do with your children.
There is no right or wrong
way. It's (Shabbat) just a
time for a small escape from
the world."
Ms. Appelman, formerly a
single mother, agreed,
adding mothers must give
themselves permission to
take the time for tradition
in any manner appropriate.
"The structure is there.
So use the latitude to

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