ECDC Parenting Book Library

October 2018

An Initiative of the ECDC Advisory Board in Honor of Alice Mahler

Alice Mahler served as the Rabbitzin of Temple Emanuel – and as a member of the ECDC Advisory Board—for 38 years. Our school benefited from her expertise as a Social Worker and her commitment to Jewish education.

In honor of Alice and in gratitude for her dedication, the ECDC Advisory Board is launching a library of parenting books for families of ECDC/Temple Emanuel. The Advisory Board chose this project as a way of sustaining Alice’s interests and contributions.

At a lovely brunch for Alice on September 16, each member of the Advisory Board presented a book for the library and a reason for having chosen the book.

  • Laura Young, who hosted the brunch, chose Happiest Baby on the Block, because it helped me to survive ‘the witching hour’ that happened every night from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
  •  Mike Bihary chose Toddler 411. It was my go-to book during my daughter’s toddler years. It had the right balance of information and humor that helped to defuse and relax when dealing with some challenging or frustrating problem.
  • It’s Not About The Broccoli was chosen by Amy Zahalsky. It is one of the best books I have read in regards to feeding children. It offers sound advice in constructive, helpful ways.
  • Irene Luchinsky purchased When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold Kushner. This book has a lot of meaning for anyone experiencing a tragic time in a person’s life.
  •  The Blessing of a Skinned Knee was donated by Kate Louik. It offers practical parenting advice rooted in Jewish values and has been helpful at many times in my parenting journey. I look forward to going back to the book as my daughters grow and our needs as a family change. 
  • Parenting Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) was the book that I chose. P.E.T. is a classic parenting book dating back to 1970. The book is a great primer on how to listen actively. I first read it when I worked with Alice at Parent and Child Guidance Center (now FamilyLinks) and it embodies much of what I learned during those years.
  • Sarah Levinthal chose Protecting the Gift. Sarah says that this is one of the most important books she has read as a parent. The author encourages children to trust their instincts instead of suppressing them in the name of politeness or social norms.

With these books and many more, we will soon establish the Parenting Books Library in the WRJ Room and will announce an event to introduce the library to the ECDC/Temple Emanuel community.

For decades Alice Mahler served as a leader who cared deeply about children and families. We hope that the parenting books donated in her honor will be helpful to families for years to come.