About and Disclosure

Our family believes in giving tzedakah, charity. We help each other and our friends any way we can.                                     In 2010, we marched in the Salute to Israel parade with JNF (Jewish National Fund). 

I always like to share news, ideas, resources and referrals with my friends and neighbors. Many people often ask me about past emails: “Do you still have that email you sent a few weeks ago about that one nanny?”  I was encouraged by many friends to go ahead and compile my emails online so you can share the information with your friends easily too.

Our little sliver of Manhattan, the Upper West Side, will be a little happier if we all share with our neighbors.


I found myself explaining to a friend in the community why I have this blog and why the main reason is to help others through the information I share.  I realized that I never shared this reason with you on the blog.  My Mom, Louisa Levin, died March 4th, 2010.  We buried her on my daughter’s 1st birthday.  My Mom and I thought we’d be celebrating her Grandchildren for many years.  My Mom taught me about mitzvot, good deeds.  When she died, I learned that it is important to take on a mitzvah in honor of the dead.  My Mom always loved sharing information with her patients and anyone she met.  She was always the last person at an event and told everyone about the value of Vitamin D and good nutrition.  She had a tip or recent research to share on every topic under the sun.

I read an excerpt about death that I thought beautifully linked together the feeling of parenthood (caring for a baby) and the cycle of life.  Many of you do not have to think about a parent dying for a very long time. But one day, you will be faced with this.  Many of my friends, many I have met through this sad reality in my life, have had to join this “Club” prematurely.  Perhaps reading these words from Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips will offer some perspective and a shift in perception of death.

Those who are born among us are gently washed, swaddled, and watched over around the clock. Through Sacred Undertaking, we offer the same loving care to those who die among us, taming our own fears of death in the process.

These imperatives of true kindness can only be fulfilled through our immediate, physical presence. Sacred Undertaking expresses perhaps the ultimate Isabella Freedman commitment to “Soil, Soul, and Tzedek:

SOIL: We are companions on the human journey of return to the earth. The recent green burial movement affirms the values that Jewish burial traditions have upheld for millennia: sustainability, simplicity, and equality.

SOUL: We are companions on the spiritual journey of each soul taking leave of each body in our care. We are guided by our legacy of Jewish afterlife traditions, even as we encounter the mysteries beyond. We honor our dead as “bound up in the bond of life.”

TZEDEK (Justice):We realize that true sustainability, simplicity, and equality are only possible when we accept death as integral to the cycle of life. Sacred Undertaking offers a return from the alienating, costly, and destructive consequences of death denial, to the renewal of our relationships, our communities, and our world.

Levayah, our Jewish word for funeral, means “accompanying.” We stretch ourselves to be more fully present in this accompanying process. Ultimately, we can experience a deep and reassuring connection to all those who have entered the mystery before us—as well as to the Source of Life, to which countless generations have already returned, and countless generations will return after us.

Rabbi Regina Sandler-Phillips, is a chaplain and educator committed to “ways of peace”: cooperative Jewish and interfaith efforts to build engaged and caring communities. She lived and worked for social change in Israel during the turbulent years of 1989–1994, was honored in 2002 for her leadership in post-9/11 disaster relief, and participated in the interfaith Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau in 2005. As founder of a 75-member Jewish burial fellowship, Rabbi Regina has developed a range of vital Jewish resources for honoring the dead.

This policy is valid from 27 June 2011

 This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. This blog does not accept any form of sponsorship. However, I will and do accept and keep free products, services, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations.

This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. I believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.  You can always email me if you have questions or concerns: valeriegerstein@gmail.com

 The owner of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog may receive compensation for some posts or advertisements, I always give my honest opinion, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

 This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.

 To get your own policy, go to http://www.disclosurepolicy.org

5 Responses to About and Disclosure

  1. valerie, this is amazing! i am sure you are going to help and reach a lot of people with it.

  2. Thank you for explaining. It’s a similar sentiment, albeit a different impetus, to what I had when I started my blog in Sunset Park, Brooklyn (bestviewinbrooklyn.blogspot.com). I never received any monetary or product reward, but I knew it was a service that people appreciated – especially considering that the neighborhood never got any mention unless some major crime occurred or someone on Chowhound was looking for tacos.

    It’s a great service you’re providing, and know you are appreciated by your neighbors (and others)!

  3. deanna says:


    My name is Deanna and I am a casting assistant for a brand new show brought to you by the Food Network. We are currently casting in the local area and would like to share some information with you and your readers about the show and how to apply.

    In this exciting series, teams of two will be given the opportunity to show Bobby Flay that they have what it takes to be crowned America’s Best Home Cook.

    We are searching for the best home cook duos in the New York area.
    To apply for an interview, please email BobbysBestHomeCookNY@gmail.com with the following information:

    • Your name & the name of your teammate
    • Recent photos of you & your teammate
    • A short bio on you & your teammate (relationship, occupations, etc.)
    • Tell us why you are the best home cooks, please provide photos of your food
    • Tell us about the best parties you’ve thrown
    • Your contact information & current location

    I have attached a copy of our flyer; please feel free to share this information with anyone you know that may be interested in applying for the show. Any help in spreading the word about our search would be greatly appreciated!

    For more information, please visit us at http://www.BobbysBestHomeCookCasting.com


    Deanna Testa
    Casting Assistant
    JS Casting Inc.
    (212) 359-9455

    For information about other shows we are currently casting, please visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

  4. Luis iza says:

    We are beginning free English classes on w83 st between Columbus and Amsterdam. How do you suggest we reach out to the Latino workers in the area?
    Does it make sense to hand out flyers at subway stop? What would be the best time?
    We are a non profit with a mission to helping immigrants be part of our mainstream. We are currently helping 310 adults with English classes, computer literacy, citizenship classes and counseling.

    Luis and Maggie Iza


    Luis Iza
    Executive Director
    The Open Door NJNY
    (973) 780-3818-Office
    (201) 491-3693- Cell Phone

    • I am not sure the best way to achieve your goals. I will ask around to a few friends and have them contact you directly if they have ideas. For anyone reading this, I encourage you to write to Luis directly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s