Ethicist Josephson to Kick Off VBS Lecture Series

The first of four talks will focus on character building.

Valley Beth Shalom's youth department is hosting a free series of four lectures for parents on the subject of parenting. The series will start November 1 with a talk by ethnicist and radio commentator Michael Josephson.

Debi Arditi, a VBS congregation member who is helping to organize the lectures, said that the talks focus on issues concerning teens in the years after they've been bar or bat mitzvahed.

"We're looking for a niche for parents and children to stay involved," said Arditi, adding that the series content was developed with the help of a congregant who is also a pediatrician. "The lecture series is free and we've got some great speakers, it's a great opportunity."

The first lecture will be delivered by Michael Josephson, who also founded the Josephson Institute and a character education program called "Character Counts." Josephson's work is based on the premise, said Arditi, that "character is something you can teach your child about. A lot of people focus on test grades, but if you don't have a good character, what difference does it make?"

The second lecture, "The Winter of Whatever," will take place on December 6 and will focus on communication. The third, in February, will be about stress relief, and the last one will focus on teenage sexuality.

"The temple community has a big youth program to help kids stay out of bad things," said Arditi, "We're trying to appeal to the parents, to say 'if your kid stays involved here, it's a good way to keep them away from the things they shouldn't be doing."

VBS's Youth Department has social events for children and teens, from bowling on Sundays to Tuesday evening dinners and social-action projects. To find out more about the temple's programming for parents and children, click here to visit the temple's youth program web page.

Valley Beth Shalom, 15739 Ventura Blvd (at the corner of Densmore Avenue, west of Haskell), Tel: 818-788-6000.


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