From: Mufti Ikram ul Haq, Resident Imam, Masjid Al-Islam, N. Smithfield R.I.

On behalf of Muslim community of R.I. and Muslims of North America, I offer our deepest condolence for the families of victims of hate-motivated shooting at Kansas Jewish center.

Our thoughts and prayers go out for the victims and families of this tragic shooting at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. Extremism and hate-motivated actions have no place in our society. We stand in solidarity with Jewish brothers and sisters and people of other faith traditions in challenging hate and intolerance that feeds these acts of violence. 

Read more: Voices from the interfaith community

Tania Elfersy and Andrea Katzman“Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal & Toolkit,” co-authored by Tania Elfersy and Andrea Katzman and illustrated by Nomi Melul Ohad, is a must for every new mom or mother of young children. This beautifully illustrated, full-color book offers women tools to cope with the challenges of the early years of motherhood. It was designed “to embrace new mothers” and help them feel “they are not alone,” explains Elfersy in the book’s preface.


Read more: ‘Purple Leaves, Red Cherries’ – A wonderful gift for mothers

With Mother’s Day around the corner, you may be thinking of ways to show your appreciation for mom.

If you’re on a budget, you’re in luck.

Breakfast in Bed: Every mom deserves some time to relax. Why not begin Mother’s Day by pampering her with breakfast in bed? Don’t forget to make the meal complete with a card and a cup of coffee.

Watch it Grow: Spend Mother’s Day afternoon making memories with Mom and see your love grow all spring and summer. Pick out a beautiful new planter with gardening tools, soil and seeds. Work together to plant something beautiful. As the plants grow, she will be reminded of you!

Read more: Tips for celebrating Mother’s Day on a budget

altWhat does it mean to live a balanced life? In general, balance is experienced as a relative lack of stress: not feeling pulled in too many directions, generally feeling calm, happy and well-organized and not feeling terribly overwhelmed. Perhaps a better judge of balance is one’s subjective experience: When you don’t have it, you know it!

Improving one’s experience of balance often involves behavior change, an intentional process that can feel very overwhelming. People who are trapped in feeling that their life is unbalanced often make the mistake of doing the same thing over and over again – and like the famous quote from Rita Mae Brown, they expect different results despite this. There are certainly exceptions to this rule, such as when the imbalance is due to an intractable life event such as intensive caretaking due to the decline of a parent or a health crisis. However, even in those instances, it is important to identify ways to maintain or introduce participation in other areas of life that bring pleasure or gratitude.

Read more: Working toward balance for a busy life

“Saratov has the most beautiful women in Russia.”I was in Westport, Conn., the other day, giving a briefing to the Jewish Federation on Russia and Ukraine and the work we [the Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and federations] do together. And a random factoid came up, which I want to bring up here. We were talking about Saratov, the unofficial second capital of the Volga region of Russia. I made a joke about Yuri Gagarin, Russia’s first cosmonaut, who not only came from Saratov but also landed his Soyuz capsule there. (The joke was that he wanted to go home to his mom and dad for dinner. It was funny; you had to be there.) 


Read more: Cosmonauts and women