Think Jewishly to make the most of summer


I recently got some great tips from ChatGPT about summer activities that incorporate Jewish values. Then I added my own thoughts, and came up with some suggestions:

Giving service: There are more opportunities in the summer to volunteer at outdoor events. Tzedakah (charity) comes in many forms, and volunteering for a cause that you believe in can feed your soul – and the souls and physical well-being of many others.

Be kind to others: This is good advice any time of the year, but we are often in contact with more family members, friends and strangers at the many events planned for warm weather.

Spend time in nature: Outdoors, we can feel our connection to the natural world and to God. You could hike, walk, picnic, boat, sail, bicycle, garden, or simply just “be” outdoors.

Build family memories: The more relaxed pace of summer offers us time to share our family stories, and our smartphones make it easy to record those stories. Sitting around a campfire is where stories were often told back in the day. Find a place where you all feel together – perhaps at a backyard picnic, during a camping trip, or near or on the beach – and let the reminiscing begin.

Practice self-care: Eating healthy and getting enough sleep, exercise and movement can add years to your life, and life to your years. It is often easier to eat healthy in the summer, when fruits and vegetables are plentiful, and to take advantage of the many ways to keep our bodies moving with outdoor activities.

Be grateful: The summer months, when we often have breaks from our work schedules, are a good time to think about and write down the gifts and blessings in our lives. Ask yourself: What am I most grateful for?

Think light: As the temperature rises, it’s a good time to pare down, carry light, wear light, eat light and think about how we can add more light to our lives. This includes the light added to our days from the sun’s rays and the light that others bring into our lives.

Learning and growing: Since the days are longer in the summer, we have more time to attend classes, form study groups and embrace the beauty of Shabbat. Learning and growing as a person are part of our Jewish values and tradition.

In her article “10 Jewish Blessings for Summer,” at, Shaked Karabelnicoff offers blessings for things like going off to summer camp and the natural world, including blessings for the sea, the sun and other wonders of nature. Check it out at

Have a wonderful summer!

PATRICIA RASKIN, owner of Raskin Resources Productions, is an award-winning radio producer, business owner and leader.  She is on the board of directors of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.  Her “Positive Aging with Patricia Raskin” podcast is broadcast on the Rhode Island PBS website,