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May 24, 1996 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-05-24

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Elaine Kahn with her children: Natural fibers and lots of vegetables.


But there's no VCR and when
(farming is seasonal) but also de-
is watched, it's PBS.
sire. Sam goes to preschool and
In her reading time, Ms.
a friend helps baby-sit, but the
parents want to be a strong pres- Seltzer is a regular peruser of
ence for the children. So they Mothering magazine, a quar-
terly publication that advocates
both have offices at home.
"I like it that if the children natural parenting. Both she and
need me, I'm only an intercom her husband are adamantly op-
posed to spanking or hitting the
away," Ms. Seltzer says.
Spartan as it might seem to children.
"I often find that poor behav-
some, a few modern conve-
niences have crept into the ior is the result of a lack of at-
tention. I try to ask my children,
"We used to dry our clothes on `Why did you do that?' (when
a rack over the wood stove," she they misbehave)."
Aside from chocolate, Ms.
says. "I loved the fact that as
they were drying the moisture Seltzer admits to being addict-
ed to museums (which she vis-
returned to the air.
"Then my parents brought us its in Chicago) and her weekly
into the 20th century; they got yoga class, which "keeps me
us a dryer for our anniversary. sane."
Being far from any sizeable
And I have to say that a dish-
washer is great because it gives Jewish community (there is a
me extra time with the chil- small Reform temple in the
area), she misses being among
other Jews.
"The culture is pre-
dominantly Christian,
and raising Jewish
children here, even with
One Seltzer family favorite is Calabaci- the support of a temple,
tas, a southwestern U.S. Indian dish:
is tough," she says.
2 summer squash, cubed or sliced
But she has discov-
4 tomatoes, chopped
ered what some "big-
1 onion, chopped
town" Jews still
2 garlic cloves, minced
struggle to comprehend.
2 cups corn
Combine onion, garlic and corn with a "The celebration of the
little water in covered pan. Simmer five Sabbath and the holi-
minutes. Add squash and cook 10 more days at home are the
minutes. Add tomatoes in pot and cook best tools we have, and
(about 5-10 minutes) until everything is I think Judaism's
soft, but not completely blended. Add strength is the home-
crumbled eta or Parmesan cheese to taste, centeredness of the re-
and serve over rice or noodles.

Seltzer Treat

Doing what comes

naturally-does not always come
easy. Elaine Kahn can testify to
Friends and relatives have not
always been sympathetic to the
way she is raising her children.
But Mrs. Kahn takes her cue
from hundreds of years of wis-
dom: other women.
'The key in natural mother-
ing is to use other mothers," she
says. "When I got pregnant, my
doctor wanted to take all these
tests, and it didn't make any
sense. I didn't view pregnancy
as an illness and I had no histo-
ry of problems.
"It's not that technology can't
help, but there were certain
things I didn't want done, and
when I asked the doctor not to
do them, he said no. I thought:
Thousands of women have done
this (had babies without the ex-
ams); there must be a way I can,
Today, Mrs. Kahn and her
husband, Richard, are the par-
ents of Joshua, 3, and Joseph, 8
months. Both boys were born
with the assistance of a birthing
center in Dearborn.
A native of Detroit and grad-
uate of Michigan State Univer-
sity, Mrs. Kahn long has been
interested in what she calls "an
alternative lifestyle." She has
been recycling for as long as she
can remember and sees it as "a
very Jewish approach." Both,
she says, emphasize "taking into


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