Shana Tova, everyone! This week’s blog is in honor of the Jewish New Year . This being the first Rosh Hashanah without my mother, I’ve been feeling particularly nostalgic and introspective. My old Rosh Hashanah tradition was to visit my Mom in Newport Beach followed by a return to New York City for Central Synagogue’s Yom Kippur service.  I love the services at Central Synagogue and many of us go to Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center for these services. What a privilege.  It’s like going to a concert!  The music is extraordinary, and it feels like a community with so many of us worshipping in the same place.  I feel so blessed, especially since I grew up in Wichita Falls, Texas going to a part time synagogue where services were less than inspiring.

Now that my mother is no longer with me, I’ll be starting new traditions this year.

The first of these is welcoming in our new Rabbi! Angela Buchdahl married Michael and me a few years ago, and was just sworn in as senior Rabbi over at Central Synagogue. I can’t wait to attend her services this year!

Secondly, I think it’s important to begin new rituals each year. Several times a week, when I awaken, I have a special grateful list which I keep beside my bed.  I believe that being grateful for your life, no matter what, creates a vessel for more good to come to your way. Though it seems strange to be eating apples and honey without Mom this year, I’m grateful to have had such a loving mother, and I feel her energy with me at all times.

This Fall , my newest ritual has become organization. After so much travel the past three months, it’s grounding to be home again. Since getting back, I’ve had an insatiable desire to organize and clean everything in my life…. Closets, storage units, drawers, the works. My goal is to finally go through decades of belongings so that all the clutter can be cleared from my life.

The inspiration behind this came from”Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui,” a book by Karen Kingston. She says that putting your external life in order corresponds to the order of your inner self. Clearing external clutter thus removes internal obstacles, creating space for new opportunities. I’ll be keeping this close to heart as I begin to pack up and de-clutter my Mother’s old house in Newport Beach.

In the spirit of the new year, it’s out with the old and in with the new! Here’s wishing you all good fortune, happiness, and much love this year! Who knows, maybe organizing your closet will help it all come true!

P. S.  for those who always asking for my famous brisket recipe for your holiday cooking, here it is!

Next week, I have a very special video for you all the way from Siracusa, Sicily!

Stay tuned!!!