SMART SCHOOLS – Money for independent and religious schools will be available if we vote on Election Day

I am a member of the UJA-Federation Day School Advocacy Committee and I just learned that there is an opportunity to vote on the upcoming Election Day for a bond act which will give more money to “Smart Schools” to upgrade and enhance technology, broadband etc.  I wanted to be sure you know about it for all independent and religious school children.  Many families would benefit from this but may be uninformed about the issue – I know I was before our committee meeting this week!
I plan to pass this along widely and wanted you to see it ASAP. 

20141023 smart schools awareness ltr

Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014 

5775 is lining up to be a landmark year for day schools in the UJA-Federation of New York catchment area. As you know, we have expanded our institutional commitment to day schools through the launch of the Day School Challenge Fund, a $50 million effort which will help Jewish schools throughout the regions grow their institutional endowments through a 1 to 3 match.

Tel: 1.212.980.1000

Fax: 1.212.888.7538


We continue as well to represent the needs of day schools to elected officials and to work to help secure government investment in vital education resources. As we have discussed with many of you, the Smart Schools Bond Act, if approved by voters, promises to help generate a significant portion of up to $125 million in new technology and broadband upgrades for the religious and independent school community in New York State. Therefore we are asking you to help raise awareness in your communities about this initiative.

Please consider sending the following informational message (or a variation thereof) to your community and networks before election day, November 4th:

Jewish Day Schools and Yeshivot will be eligible to receive classroom technology and high-speed broadband connectivity upgrades as part of the “Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014” that will appear on the 2014 ballot on November 4. If passed, the Act authorizes the sale of up to $2 billion in state bonds, of which all religious and independent schools can equitably benefit, with the potential to receive a significant portion of $125 million dollars in new educational technology. 

Funding from the Smart Schools Program will be provided only if the Bond Act is approved by the voters. 

As always, thank you for the work you do in helping us advocate for Jewish education. Please share the news that this bond is on the ballot with your friends, networks and synagogues!

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Vital Theatre Halloween Fest link

Friday, October 31 at 7:00pm

Calling All Witches, Ghosts & Goblins
on Halloween Night,
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students needed for free 2-hour workshop! :-)

If you have considered trying out the socialsklz class, now is a great chance, for free… and with the founder!


calling all kids!
54.jpg On Sunday 10/26, we are hosting a FUN, FREE socialsklz:-) workshop from 11-1pm taught by founder, Faye de Muyshondt. Participants in our Oct ’14 instructor certification training will be observing the program, which will cover topics such as first impressions and dining. If you are interested in having your 5-12 year old participate, please email monique.
Space is limited and we will accept 4-6 children on a first come first serve basis.
election day!
Tues, Nov. 4, 9am-1pm

This new full-day workshop features 4 hours of dining instruction– everything from dining behavior to utensil management, culminating in a formal dinner (lunch) party! With all new FUN programming, this workshop is perfect for both new and returning students. From proper host-guest interactions, to making conversation with anyone, to eating tricky foods, this workshop covers it all.
This course culminates in a 3 course meal (with kid friendly food!) where children will put to use what they have learned.

details available here

veteran’s day!
Tues, Nov. 11, 10am- 3pm

Full-day program featuring communicationsklz:-) for ages 4-7 and 8-12, lunch, and a dining intensive workshop!

details available here

bring socialsklz:-) to your community!
During this 3-day intimate workshop, trainees (parents, teachers, after-school coordinators, and etiquette instructors) will learn how to teach the nationally acclaimed socialsklz:-)program with founder, author, and Today Show contributor, Faye de Muyshondt. socialsklz:-) has been dubbed, "not your mother’s manners classes," by Mommy Poppins.

Trainees will be certified to teach essentialkidz, tweenz, and teenz in their own communities at the end of the training!

details and dates available here

special programs! (NYC)
dining intensive workshop
create your own workshop!
One of our most popular options is to create a group workshop specifically tailored to the needs of a group or individual child. Choose 1-2 topics from our website, figure out a date and time, and we either come to you, or you come to us!

*for more information, email

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
socialsklz:-) | 250 West 85th Street, Suite 1B | New York | NY | 10024
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Thursday Night is Simchat Torah – what a night to live on the UWS!!!

Did you live in the City when West End used to be blocked off so people could dance with thTorah – and each other??? What a time that was!

You can get close to that experience now as a parent by attending one of the celebrations at UWS synagogues.  This was sent in to me and I’m happy to share. Contact your other local synagogues to find out what they have planned.  I know B’nai Jeshurun’s kids’ service starts at 6:00 and we usually bring our stuffed Torahs… always fun!  Chabad always has a great kids’ party… and read more about West End Synagogue here. If you ever want to post about your synagogue, please reach out to me…



THURSDAY, OCT. 16,  6-8 PM

Come join families for a joyful Simchat Torah celebration with food, crafts, music and more!

For families and kids of all ages.

Food and Family activities 6-7 PM followed by music and dancing from 7-8 PM.

West End Synagogue, 190 Amsterdam Avenue at 69th Street.

$10 per adult and free for kids.  Pay at the door.

Please RSVP to or call 212-579-0777, EXT. 222.

Nadia Gold

Director of Family Engagement

West End Synagogue

190 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY  10023     

212-579-0777, ext. 220

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Symphony Space – Just Kidding Series


We fell in love with Symphony Space when we saw Joanie Leeds perform there.  Now, I want to be sure we all have the Just Kidding schedule on our radar.  Look what I saw on their website:

Planning Saturdays with the kids is easy with Just Kidding! Featuring the very best in family-friendly music, theatre, dance and a whole lot more – all the cultural riches and inspiring experiences that affirm why you raise your kids in New York City.  Find us on Facebook andTwitter, and browse our fun, new season brochure!

Just Kidding Season Brochure


Today, they have a concert at 11:00 and since it’s raining, it’s the perfect place to go:

11:00 – The Boogers – The Ramones for kids!

Book your kid’s next birthday party with a Just Kidding Theatre Package.


















You can click through their site but I’ll also include a quick overview of their upcoming performances. The 4-family special looks great!

In November, Symphony Space’s Just Kidding continues its weekly boredom-busting performances from the superheroes of all-ages entertainment. Leading off this cool month of shows is “The Crown Prince of Contemporary Kids’ Music” (People Magazine) Dan Zanes. He presents his über-interactive Song Gusto Hour concert for all ages on Saturday, November 1st.

The 2014-15 Just Kidding season is designed to guard NYC families against the diabolical quandary of “What To Do?”each Saturday (and some Sundays). A high-powered lineup bursts upon the Just Kidding stages, offering something for everyone: classic animation, interactive puppet theatre, hip hop, percussive dance, and sing-alongs with the most boredom-busting family musicians on the planet. Tickets to all Just Kidding performances (including a special family 4-pack deal) are available now at

Don’t Miss These November Just Kidding Performances:

Saturday, November 1, 11 am: Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre — Tickets: $14 to $26. Ages 3 and up.
Here’s a chance for families and people of all ages to gather and sing at the top of their lungs with GRAMMY Award-winning musician Dan Zanes and his band. The song gusto atmosphere is loose, communal, and festive, and the audience is invited to bring an instrument or simply their voices. This is a rare Symphony Space appearance from Dan, and he’ll be sing songs from his new greatest hits album,  Get Loose and Get Together! Dan is like a 21st century ringmaster, introducing new songs and reconnecting people to songs that have always been there, and still are—it’s just that people forgot about them. For more information about Dan, visit  Ages 3 and up.

A Special Halloween Seasonal Treat!

November 2, 4 pm: PhilharMONSTER!

Sharp Theatre, All Tickets are $15! Ages 5 and up.

Celebrate the spookiness of the season with the young goblins and ghouls of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York’s Carnegie Hill Orchestra (ages 8 to 12) and ISO Symphonic Band (ages 12 to 19). They perform their 3rd annual concert of spine-tingling orchestral classics for the whole family.  A ghostly conductor will lead performances of classical music by composers such as Berlioz and Mozart plus music from films including Harry Potter, Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.


A Mystery Theater Experience with Puppets and Song!

Saturday and Sunday, November 8 and 9, 11 am: Squirrel Stole My Underpants
Leonard Nimoy Thalia. Tickets: $12 to $21
In this poignantly silly puppet/human adventure tale for families, Sylvie is sent to the backyard to hang up the laundry. The moment her back is turned, a mischievous squirrel steals her favorite piece of clothing and runs off. When Sylvie gives chase, an entire world emerges from her laundry basket, and curious characters show her the way through mysterious lands. Will our lonely heroine rescue her underpants and discover the magic within herself? Join us on this adventure to find out.


Saturday, November 15, 11 am and 2 pm: Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players
Sharp Theatre, Tickets: $14 to $25. Ages 3 and up
Twice GRAMMY-nominated artist Justin Roberts dishes out intelligent and whimsically rocking music for kids and their parents.  Bodies spring to their feet and rush the stage; jumping, dancing and bouncing off each other like bumper cars, all participating in the kiddie mosh pit found at nearly every Justin Roberts concert. With a style compared to Elvis Costello and Green Day, Justin and his band have become an audience favorite year after year.  People magazine calls Justin Roberts’ music “laugh out loud funny,” and the Chicago Tribune says he is “in a league of his own.” Justin is also the author of a new picture book for children, based on one of his hit songs: Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade (Putnam). Visit to learn more.


Saturday, November 22, 11 am: Cathy Fink and Marcy  Marxer
Thalia. Tickets: $12 to $21. Ages 3 and up.
These legendary, multi-GRAMMY winning artists have legions of fans for their reinventions of folk music. Playing dozens of instruments including banjo, mandolin, guitar, steel drum and ukulele, Cathy and Marcy are also trailblazers in children’s and family music. Their relationship with family audiences spans over 25 years of live performances and 20 award-winning recordings. The duo will invite singing and playing along, and they’ll debut songs from their next album, including “Dancin’ in the Kitchen.” . Visit  to learn more.

The Just Kidding 2014-15 Season

  • September 27: Spike and Mike’s Classic Festival of Animation (Peter Jay Sharp Theatre)
  • October 4: Vanessa Trien and the Jumping Monkeys (Leonard Nimoy Thalia)
  • October 11: The Boogers (Thalia)
  • October 18: National Dance Institute: The Celebration Team (Sharp)
  • October 25 and October 26: Alastair Moock (Thalia)
  • November 1: Dan Zanes Song Gusto Hour (Sharp)
  • November 2 : PhilharMONSTER! (Sharp)
  • November 8 and November 9: Squirrel Stole My Underpants (puppet theatre event with live music) (Thalia)
  • November 15: Justin Roberts and The Not Ready for Naptime Players (Sharp)
  • November 22: Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer (Thalia)
  • December 13: Push Physical Theatre (Sharp)
  • December 20:  Father Goose (Thalia)
  • December 27 – 28: Catskill Puppet Theater (Thalia)
  • January 3: Elska (Thalia)
  • January 10:  Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia: Stella, Queen of the Snow (Sharp)
  • January 11: Mike Super: Magic and Illusions (Thalia) –  and Stam-Pede (Sharp)
  • January 17 and January 18: Tim Kubart and the Space Cadets (Thalia)
  • January 24: Moona Luna (Thalia)
  • January 31:  Ben Rudnick and Friends (Thalia)
  • February 7 and February 8: The Pop-Ups (with their new show) (Thalia)
  • February 14: The Gustafer Yellowgold Show (Sharp)
  • February 21:  The Okee Dokee Brothers (Sharp)
  • February 28: Walter Martin (of the band The Walkmen) (Thalia)
  • March 7 and March 8: Beats, Rhymes and Breaking (Thalia)
  • March 14: Danny Weinkauf and band (Thalia)
  • March 21: Elizabeth Mitchell and You Are My Flower (Sharp)
  • March 28: Frances England (Thalia)



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3D printing workshops & camp days

971 Columbus Avenue

near 108th St


Sunday Oct 5 workshop 3D printing & arcade games

Print Your Own Pumpkin

We are holding three Octob

Dazzling Discoveries Logo Color

971 Columbus Avenue

near 108th St


Sunday Oct 5 workshop 3D printing & arcade games

Print Your Own Pumpkin

photo 1

We are holding three October workshops:
Sunday, October 5th, 2:00pm – 4:30pm
Sunday, October 19th, 2:00pm – 4:30pm
Saturday, October 25th 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Think it, build it, take it home. We’ve all heard of picking your own pumpkin, but here is your chance to print your own! In these special Halloween theme workshops, you will design and print your own light up 3D jack-o-lantern. You will also be making Autumn craft projects, costume accessories and cardboard arcade games.

Bring your creativity (and old CDs and DVDS, and empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls if you have them).

You are welcome to come without a reservation, but if you can let us know even an hour in advance, it will help us plan the supplies. Contact us at Dazzlingdiscoveries

All ages. $40 per project. That covers one child and one adult, or one adult without a child. Payment accepted at the workshop.


School closed? We’re open.

Our camp program happens all year. You tell us the days you need, and we’ll provide engaging hands-on activities that include using our 3D printers, engineering your own cardboard creations, making your own games, conducting exciting science experiments and a lot more. With so many different school holidays, we are offering a "camp by the day" program. Need coverage during the religious holidays? We have options for you . Don’t forget, school holiday Columbus Day is Monday, October 13th!

Details: $140 per day. 8:45-3:00 with earlier and later hours available.

To register, please use this link:


After school & home school

IMG 3700

Exciting after school options at our STEM Center. Science and Engineering on Monday afternoons and Thursday mornings. More to come, including a Friday coding class!


Contact us:


(917) 288-9975

©2014 Dazzling Discoveries | 971 Columbus Avenue, New York, NY 10025
Web Version



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program for partners of bereaved young adults

After my Mom died, Rabbi Dickstein met with me one-on-one and also led a bereavement group for young women who were grieving. She helped me through the hardest moments I’ve ever encountered.
You or someone you care about will certainly benefit from this event. If this event doesn’t work for you or you don’t feel it’s the right venue to share, I encourage you to reach out to Rabbi Dickstein directly.

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A Collective Confession for Parents on Yom Kippur

Every year, since Jordana Horn wrote this Yom Kippur confession on, I have remembered it and shared it with my friends who are Jewish and are doing their very best to be the best parents to their children – YOU. I hope this resonates with you on Yom Kippur and that you share it with your friends – and your parents, perhaps.

A Collective Confession for Parents on Yom Kippur

By Jordana Horn at 5:08 pm

yom kippur stampOn Yom Kippur, we stand in our respective congregations and recite the Vidui, a confession of a litany of sins for which we claim collective responsibility. We do this as a group, I remember being told as a child, so that no one has to confess, “I murdered,” alone, and also so that we realize our collective responsibility as a community for one another’s actions.

At Kveller, we have created a congregation and family of parents, readers, writers, communicators, and Jews. We share our stories with one another. We kindle friendships virtually and actually between one another.

Our paths to parenting are very different, as are our outlooks on how to best parent our children. And yet this is a community of respect–all too rare a thing in the Internet era–in which we share our opinions openly and thoughtfully, and throw ideas rather than insults at one another.

And that is why I wrote this interpretation of the Vidui from a parent’s point of view. I used the original text and put a “parent-child” spin on each of the original “crimes” confessed. I hope that you find it a meaningful jumping-off point to contemplate your own personal choices, parenting, and year. G’mar chatima tova–may we all be sealed in the Book of Life for a good, sweet, healthy, and happy new year.

Ashamnu – We have trespassed onto our children’s privacy and independence by hovering.

Bagadnu – We have done improper things, and have convinced ourselves that our actions were in our childrens’ best interests.

Gazalnu – We have robbed our children by not giving them our full attention when we are with them.

Dibarnu dofi – We have spoken slanderously of others, and have done it in front of our children.

He’evinu – We have caused our children to sin by not showing them the right way to act.

V’hirshanu – We have caused others to do evil by encouraging our child’s bad behavior.

Zadnu – We have scorned the honor of our own parents.

Hamasnu – We have touched our children in anger.

Tafalnu sheker – We have venerated and associated ourselves with people who are poor role models for our children.

Yaatznu ra – We have given our children bad advice.

Kizavnu – We have lied, whether for a good reason or not.

Latsnu – We have scoffed at Jewish traditions and have ignored who we really are.

Maradnu – We have rebelled by going against our Jewish heritage and failing to explore ways to make it mean more to us.

Niatsnu – We have used profane language in front of our children.

Sararnu – We have yelled at our children for being disobedient, but have been disobedient ourselves.

Avinu – We have intentionally done things wrong, knowing that they’re wrong and not caring about the consequences for our children.

Pashanu – We have denied Judaism in our homes.

Tzararnu – We have stirred the pot of gossip against our fellow parents and have encouraged bad feelings between parents.

Kishinu oref – We have been stubborn with our children when we should have been flexible.

Rashanu – We have acted as though the rules of our homes do not apply to us.

Shichatnu—We have let ourselves be angry, and become angry more easily than we become calm.

Tiavnu – We have worshipped idols of materialism and superficiality and have taught our children to venerate them as well.

Ta’inu – We have gone astray and have been an unworthy example for our children.

Teetanu – We have gone astray deliberately, because of having chosen to do so, and cannot see the parallel between our children’s behavior and our own.

Sarnu – We have deliberately turned away from respecting authority, yet we expect our children to respect us.

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Mommy Makeup is a featured brand on

Upper West Side Mom’s makeup line:

Mommy Makeup News – view as webpage
Mommy Makeup
Mommy Makeup is on Zulily – up to 58% Off!
Mommy Makeup is on Zulily up to 58% off!
Shop now before it’s too late! Mommy Makeup is a featured brand on, ending today, Friday, September 5!
Select items are on sale up to 58% off!
What is Zulily? Zulily is a retailer obsessed with bringing moms special finds every day-all at incredible prices.
If you are a Zulily member, Happy Shopping! If you are not yet a Zulily member, use this invitation to shop and save.
Now is the time to stock up on some of your Mommy Makeup Favorites.
Go To Zulily…
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Your child is creative? Here is a new place to know about…

If you have lived on the Upper West Side or visited museums around town, you probably know Linda White and her wonderful reputation for engaging children in creative and open-ended play.  Linda will now be hosting her play studios on 89th street  between Broadway & West End at B’nai Jeshurun.  I highly recommend spending time with her and the other thoughtful families who carve out time to be in her company – with found materials and globally sourced treasures.  My kids have grown up learning with Linda.  Please spread the word.  It’s really a gift that BJ is offering to our neighborhood to have Linda White here.  She has worked in many of the most prestigious museums and communities around the world!

Creative Play Studio

Tuesdays beginning on September 16 | 10:15AM and 11:15AM | 89th Street Community House
Join Linda White, Imagination Play Project founder and play curator, for a creative and artistic play space with your child. This open play space will encourage children to explore and experiment with natural materials, build on their creativity and expand their imaginations, all within a Jewish framework. Families can sign up for the fall semester, or can pay per session. This program is a collaboration of BJ Young Families and the Imagination Play Project. For ages 0-3. Register here.


After School Play Studio

Tuesdays beginning on September 16 | 3:30-5:30PM | 89th Street Community House
Come play and explore in our new after school program! Linda White, Imagination Play Project founder and play curator, creates an inviting space for kids to build with natural materials, expand on their creativity and open their imaginations, all within a Jewish framework. Families can sign up for the fall semester or can pay per session. This program is a collaboration of BJ Young Families and the Imagination Play Project. For ages Pre-K to third grade. Register here.


BJ has other amazing programs for young families.  Check them out (and if your organization has programs to share, please let me know!): 

Bim Bam Fall Session

Friday Mornings, September 5-December 19 | 9:15-10:00AM, 10:15-11:00AM, and 11:15AM-12:00PM | 88th Street Frankel Hall
Bim Bam is a pre-Shabbat class for children ages 3 and under to sing Hebrew and Shabbat-related songs, hear stories, and give tzedakah. We end every class with Shabbat blessings including lighting the candles, kiddush and hamotzi. Registration for the fall session is now open for the 10:15AM and 11:15AM classes; the 9:15AM class is closed. The cost is $180/members and $230/non-members per family (new members attend for free, please contact Allison Kapusta). If you can’t attend all classes, sign up for a 5 Class Pass at a specific time: 10:15AM or 11:15AM. It’s good for any fall date, and the cost is $100/members and $140/nonmembers. Register by September 3, and know that space is limited. There will be no class on September 26, October 10 and 17, and November 28.


Tuesdays | 4:00-6:00PM |89th Street Community House
Keshet is the Hebrew word for “rainbow” and it is also a Hebrew acronym for Kehillat Safa V’ Tarbut – Community of Language and Culture. At the core of the program is the exceptional Israeli staff, committed to creating a nurturing Hebrew/Israeli environment for our participants. In addition to Hebrew language education, we also explore aspects of Jewish and Israeli identity as well as learn about Jewish values and holidays through an Israeli prism. We are united by our shared goals to develop fluency in the Hebrew language, to instill love for Israeli culture and to build a vibrant and diverse community. For grades K-3. Register here.

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