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Shared Joy

This year the last day of Chanukah falls on Christmas Eve, reminding us of the unique connection many inter-faith families share. And for those of us who observe only one of the holidays, it’s nice to see how our friends are enjoying their special parties. Getting together with family enhances the combination of fun, warmth, good food and beautiful decorations – whatever event you’re celebrating. And studies have shown that when families join together to practice their customs and rituals, there’s a positive effect on the children. They’re more likely … Continue reading

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Virtual Book Tour with Karyn L. Freedman

Today we are pleased to host philosopher Karyn L. Freedman on our website, where she’ll be discussing her powerful memoir, One Hour in Paris: A True Story of Rape and Recovery. Her book was voted one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2014. At once deeply personal and terrifyingly universal, Freedman weaves together her experience with the latest philosophical and psychological insights on what it means to live in a body that has been traumatized. She draws on recent theories of posttraumatic stress disorder and neuroplasticity to … Continue reading

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Avoiding Holiday Family Meltdowns

With the holidays just around the corner – Chanukah begins next week, Christmas and Kwanzaa the week after – are you planning to spend some time celebrating with relatives? Now is the time to take a look at your family dynamics and plan ahead to avoid a meltdown during your get together. Often present-day arguments reflect childhood conflicts over power, competition or favoritism. In today’s environment, politics, too, can cause a serious disruption in family harmony. If your family has a history of dwelling on unfinished business or expressions of … Continue reading

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What We Can Learn from Japan about Respect

Looking over my pictures from a recent trip to Japan (click on photos to enlarge) got me thinking about this centuries-old culture. It’s a beautiful country with a certain set of characteristics that make it seem insular, cohesive and unique. There is a tight-knit social fabric, no immigration and the only spoken language is Japanese. With over 34 million people in Tokyo and the surrounding areas, it’s amazingly well organized. Trains and subways run exactly on time, like a Swiss clock. You don’t see any graffiti in common areas or … Continue reading