Ask the Concierge

Ask the Concierge – 5.1.15

Dear Jewish Community Concierge,

I’ve always felt fairly connected to my Jewish heritage. Now that I’m a mom, how do I get my kids involved and bring Judaism into our family?

Thank you,


Dear Rebecca,

Ori Parnaby
Ori Parnaby

Mazel tov on this exciting new chapter in your life! There are many ways for your family to get connected to the Jewish community.

Many synagogues hold Tot Shabbat services on Friday evenings, early enough to accommodate young children’s bedtimes. These kid-centric services are typically well attended and an ideal place to meet other young families (not to mention a calming and joyous way to welcome the weekend!). Everyone is welcome — membership is not a requirement.

There are also several parent/tot groups around town. Visit and to find a service or group that will fit your family’s desires.

Be sure to check out PJ Library, an awesome program that offers free Jewish content books for kids from 6 months to 8 years. They have fun family events throughout the year, too. See

If you are shy about attending a new group, here are some ideas that may help:

• Invite a friend who also has a child to join you.

• Call ahead and let the rabbi or organizer know you are new to the group and would like to be introduced to other parents; everyone wants you to feel at home and comfortable — they will be happy to help.

• Anything new takes some getting used to, so go a few times. You may be surprised how a vibe changes once you’re familiar with a place and its people.

Last, but not least, reach out to me. I’d be thrilled to help you find the right service or program for you and your family. Contact me by phone (299-3000, ext. 241) or email ( You can also find me on Facebook at concierge. Have fun on your new journey!

— Ori Parnaby

Your Jewish Concierge