Trouble with Tu B’Shvat

Written by Editor on . Posted in Advice Columns

Have a question for Rivkie? Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Rivkie,

 The Tu B’Shvat holiday (the new year for trees) is coming up soon and I promised myself last year that I would give some thought as to how to celebrate this year. I see a Tu B’Shvat seder advertised sometimes, and people who are deeply into environmental causes seem to have a real affinity for this holiday, but neither of those things are my jam. Can you explain what Tu B’Shvat is and give some suggestions for how I can mark this day in a way I can relate to?

Choosing the Right School

Written by Stephanie Frumkin on . Posted in Advice Columns

The arrival of 2019 means registration deadlines are looming for the upcoming school year. Whether they are enrolling a child in school for the first time, making the jump from middle to high school, or choosing between public and private school, all parents wonder: How do I make the right choice?

The Good Life

Written by Rabbi Daniel Rose on . Posted in Advice Columns

We have previously discussed the importance of articulating our wishes for our own care, particularly in the form of an advanced medical directive. An important part of that process is for us to think through what gives us joy, comfort, and satisfaction. How can we still maintain quality of life when our abilities start to become limited? And how can we plan now to maintain that quality of life in the future?

Choosing Your Own Path When It Comes to Your Child’s Education

Written by Editor on . Posted in Advice Columns

Have a Question for Rivkie? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dear Rivkie,

I would like to send my child to a school in my community that I believe would be more suited to her needs and future goals. It is not the school to which my friends send their children, and although I know my child’s welfare and future should be my guiding principles, I also know I will get a lot of negative feedback from my social circle. I have learned that my friends’ ideas about this school are based upon unfounded gossip and are wholly untrue, but I don’t want to get into debates ... especially at Shabbat meals when groups of people are gathered.

Tools for Effective Parent-School Communication

Written by Stephanie Frumkin on . Posted in Advice Columns

When challenges arise at school that require parental involvement, parents can be apprehensive about communicating with their child’s teachers or school administrators. It could be that the child is performing poorly in a class, experiencing social difficulties, or feeling overwhelmed by the amount of homework. If the child is “differently wired” (neuroatypical), as at least one in five children today are according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, there will likely be even more challenges that will need to be addressed with the school.

More Than Just a Sandbox

Written by Dr. Michael Milgraum on . Posted in Advice Columns

David (name changed) was a sweet and somewhat shy 6-year-old boy, who started therapy with me after an adolescent male babysitter had sexually abused him. During one of our early sessions, I showed him a tray filled with sand, as well as a large array of figurines, toys, objects, and props that he could use to build an imaginary world in the sand. He proceeded to retrieve any plastic play animal that he could find in my collection, and arranged them in the sand tray in a rather random fashion. When he was done with this, he surveyed the scene and then, while looking concerned, stated, “No, that’s no good because the wild animals will eat the gentle ones.”

The December Dilemma

Written by Editor on . Posted in Advice Columns

Have a question for Rivkie? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Rivkie,

Meal Planning For Seniors to Maintain Healthy Muscle

Written by Editor on . Posted in Advice Columns

One of the health challenges people face as they age is the loss of muscle mass. This loss begins at age 25 in both men and women, and accelerates after age 55. Two big contributors to this decline are a lack of physical activity and poor choices when it comes to eating balanced meals (or even eating meals at all).