Rays of sunshine

As we enter February, the month of loooove, I've been thinking a lot about simchas, those rays of sunshine and happy occasions we are blessed to have in our lives.

Over the past year, you may have also noticed our Simchas section, which appears in most issues of the magazine. Here, our readers have an opportunity to share the happy news in their livesbirth, bar and bat mitzvah, engagement, wedding and anniversary announcements are listed for free both in the magazine and onlinewith the rest of the Jewish community. We at JUF News are hard at work, hoping to grow this section into a wonderful community resource.

In tough times like these, it's easy to get bogged down in the negative, and celebrations are the bright spots that fuel us through those rough days. I encourage you to share your simchas by emailing simchas@juf.org, to remind us of the vibrancy of our community and bring a smile to someone's face.

The February issue of JUF News, The Love Issue, is filled with stories of friendship, relationship advice, wedding tales and more. It should be showing up in your mailboxes around now, so I suggest you check it out!

In her column this month, JUF News editor Cindy Sher talks about how she will stand up in her ninth wedding this month! And she is not alone. It seems that we 20- and 30- something women always have weddings on the brain. As more and more of our peers get engaged, we find ourselves in a cycle much like that of the 7th grade bar and bat mitzvah circuit. We go from engagement party to bridal shower to bachelorette party to wedding after wedding, with packages in purple wrapping from Bed, Bath & Beyond in tow.  Our refrigerators are filled with save-the-date magnets and invitations and we can dance a mean horah.

And if that wasn't enough, we spend our evenings watching shows  like "Say Yes to the Dress" and "My Fair Wedding." Our newest distraction, Pinterest, allows even those of us who've already tied the knot to have a virtual redo, pinning dress ideas, flowers, beautiful cakes and hairstyles we find on the web to our boards which are then shared with our online networks.

And while all this talk of bridesmaid dresses and cake flavors may seem superficial and pointlessand while our boyfriends, fiancés and husbands really can't stand to watch another show about a girl who finds the dress of her dreamsas I stop and think about it, it's really not pointless at all.

When it comes down to it, weddings are a celebration of life, and of course love. They mark a starting off point for all the many wonderful things to come in a couple's life, and even the gifts are a beautiful way for us as a community to help a couple lay the foundation for their future. The photos of beautiful dresses and flowers, and more importantly, the beautiful people who surround a couple during these times, provide invaluable memories and keepsakes.

Listen, we all know life's not all fun and simchas, and not every wedding is a dream come true, but who can blame us for dreaming big? For holding on to memories of celebrations? And for wanting to relive that feeling as often as possible?

As I continue to celebrate the simchas in my life, and watch my friends get married and start families, I hope you'll think about sharing a little of your sunshine with our JUF community.

Stefanie Pervos Bregman
Adventures of a Jewish 20-something, by Stefanie Pervos Bregman... Read More

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