Ruchi's column will appear in the Cleveland Jewish News every other week starting August 11th.

An Orthodox woman, wife and mother of seven, Ruchi Koval is the co-founder and director of the Jewish Family Experience in Cleveland. She is a certified parenting coach, educator, author, musician and motivational speaker. Her first book, "Conversations with G-d," was released in 2016. Find Ruchi on Facebook, Instagram, her blog at outoftheorthobox.com, and follow her podcasts and videos on SoundCloud, WhatsApp and YouTube. Ruchi was a recipient of the CJN's 18 Difference Maker award in 2015.

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There is something very interesting that happens when you teach your teenage child how to drive: you develop a phantom brake in your right leg when you are sitting in the passenger seat. In some part of your brain, you know this brake isn’t real, but it still makes you feel in control, so th…

During the recent polar vortex, I was blessed to be vacationing in Miami Beach, Fla. I was invited to speak in Palm Beach Gardens and my daughters were on winter break at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, so we booked tickets and flew south. The plan was to stay in my grandmother’s condo for …

Facebook’s latest meme is called, “How hard has aging hit you?” If you didn’t get the memo, you’re supposed to post your very first profile picture (typically from 2008 or 2009) alongside your current picture – roughly a 10-year gap. And then, you’re supposed to see how badly you’ve aged.

Life is serious and important. The flipping of the calendar (so to speak) reminds us to solemnly assess what was and choose what will be. But just as the passage of time reminds us how very serious and fleeting life is, it also serves as a reminder that, as King Solomon said, “This too shall…

At the end of 2014, I wrote a blog post, a sort of confessional about the struggles with the high-functioning autism diagnosis that had characterized our family’s year. (I later took it down out of respect for our family’s privacy.)

Tali is a super chatty middle-aged Sephardic Israeli woman who drove me to the airport on my recent trip to Israel. Her parents are Moroccan and she recently traveled with them to Morocco for a visit. She told me that the Muslims in Morocco are so wonderful, kind and hospitable – they litera…

There were 43 of us taking the two-month challenge. Could we choose a daily act of kindness, a daily prayer, focus on speaking more generously of others or eat a little more kosher, for nine weeks? 

In October of 1981, my family moved from New York to a small home on Shannon Road in Cleveland Heights. The streets crisscrossed in a grid, bracketed by South Taylor and Andrews roads to the west and east, and Severn Road to Blanche Avenue from north to south. I didn’t know, as a young girl,…