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Selected Lectures for Adults


A Match Made in Where?!?
Reflections on Shidduchim

   
We all know that the Almighty, ever since completing the yeoman's task of creating the world, busies Himself with matchmaking. It's hard to say which project is more daunting. This lighthearted lecture, peppered with amazing stories of how people met their match, simultaneously poses a serious question: Do today's matchmaking practices meet with heaven's approval?

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The Whole Truth?
Reflections on Certainty

   
"I saw it with my own eyes!" "I heard it with my own ears!" How often do we interpret events as open-and-shut cases, only to find out that we had it all wrong? This lecture is filled with illustrations - some harrowing, some hilarious - of unfounded certainty. It will help us to prepare for the High Holy Days, to judge others favorably and, consequently, to be judged favorably in return.

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Was This Really Necessary?
Reflections on Gam Zu L'Tova

   
We've all had moments - ranging from comic to tragic - when we have felt exasperated by life. As a writer, lecturer and parent who gets around in a motorized wheelchair, I certainly have known that exasperation. Synthesizing incidents in the Torah, the Talmud and my own adventurous life, this popular lecture offers you a mix of humor, compassion and spiritual nourishment as we explore together Judaism's belief in the concept of gam zu l'tova (this too is for the good).

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A Bucketful Of Miracles:
Reflections on Providence (Hashgachah Pratis)

   
A sequel to "Was This Really Necessary? Reflections on Gam Zu L'Tova," this autobiographical lecture looks back at precious memories that - without a spiritual perspective - might be viewed as mundane or even morbid. Inspired by my favorite Psalm (Tehillim 30), this heart-rending yet humorous talk can help you to see seemingly disconnected events in your life as symmetrically placed bookends, part of a Divine, life-giving plan.

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Dicing Onions (This is Not a Sob Story):
Reflections on Kindness

   
Many of us think of chesed (acts of kindness) as extraordinary deeds undertaken only by extraordinary people. This talk, peppered with Biblical references and personal anecdotes, suggests otherwise. It will inspire you to make acts of kindness a priority - and a pleasure.

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Resignation Or Rejoicing?
Reflections on She'asani Kirtzono

   
Many Jewish girls and women have grown up with mixed feelings - and mixed messages - about She'asani Kirtzono, the morning blessing that is uniquely theirs. This lecture examines the beauty of this blessing with six inspiring interpretations. It also explores how the spirit of She'asani Kirtzono can shape how we feel about ourselves and all those who populate our world.

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"Shabbos Waits For No One!"
Remembering My Father

   
My father passed away in 2004. Many well-meaning people asked, "How did he die?" I answered, "I'll tell you how he died, but first I'll tell you how he lived." This tribute is filled with stories - ranging from the amusing to the astounding - of my father's devotion to his community, to his family and to his faith. I believe that hearing those stories will shape who we are and who we will become.

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A Life Not With Standing:
Reflections on Judaism and Disability

   
Members of the Jewish community know what it's like to be in the minority. Jews who happen to have disabilities know what it's like to be a minority within a minority. Drawing upon personal recollections as well as song lyrics, this lecture examines prejudices faced by people with disabilities. It also explores how we can transform our community into one of genuine inclusion.

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Workshops for the Young at Heart


Mommy, What's Wrong With That Lady?
An Interactive Workshop on Disability

We've all seen it happen: A child spots a person in a wheelchair, points a little finger and cries out, "Mommy, what's wrong with that lady?" We've all seen the standard parental reaction as well: a tug on the little one's hand, a quickening of footsteps, a reminder that it's not polite to point and, more often than not, complete avoidance of the question.

I certainly have seen it happen: I am that lady.

As a professional trainer who gets around in a motorized wheelchair, I have shattered many stereotypes in the corporate world about people with disabilities. As a writer for national magazines including McCall's, Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, Savvy, Stagebill, Woman's Day and Family Circle, I have been privileged to touch millions of readers with a refreshing outlook on living life with a disability. But some of my most delightful experiences have involved acquainting young people with my disability and, as a result, watching their instinctive withdrawal turn into wonderment.

My highly interactive workshop, Mommy, What's Wrong With That Lady?, has delighted hundreds of young people, ranging in age from four to fourteen. Complete with music, Mommy, What's Wrong With That Lady? intrigues as it entertains, informs and transforms.

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Paul Robeson: An American To Remember
An Interactive, Multimedia Workshop

Athlete. Actor. Attorney. Singer extraordinaire. Maverick. Scholar. Humanitarian. Hero. These words and more come instantly to mind at the mere mention of his name.

Paul Robeson was a multi-talented, multi-faceted American who shaped our country culturally, politically and in a myriad of other ways. He was undoubtedly a man ahead of his time. Sadly, even today, his controversial life has made his astounding talents and roller-coaster career unknown to most young Americans.

This interactive, multimedia workshop brings Paul Robeson to life nearly thirty years after his death, and over fifty years after his career was nearly destroyed by the McCarthy era. It is a captivating program that will leave an indelible impression on students during Black History Month or at any time of the school year.

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