Upcoming seminar inspired by the life of a young Houstonian

League City, TX - A unique seminar and brunch on the topic of gratitude will be held on Sunday, September 18, 2016 at Chabad Bay Area’s Center for Jewish Life and Learning in League City.

The seminar, entitled, Waking Up to Life, is produced by the renowned Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, famous for their academic quality courses taught at hundreds of locations around the globe.

Waking Up to Life draws on positive psychology and the Jewish concept of thankfulness to enhance the way we experience life on a daily basis. “We all know how important joy and optimism is for healthy living, but it is often so hard to achieve in real life,” explains seminar facilitator Rabbi Yitzchok Schmukler. “The goal of the seminar is to provide participants with a fresh perspective and practical tools that can help make having that much sought after ‘attitude of gratitude’ an easily attainable reality.”

A delicious buffet brunch will also be served.

But for Houstonians there’s a lot more to this seminar, as the impetus for its development was inspired by the life of Mendel Cotlar, a young member of Houston’s Jewish community.

Mendel was born with Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD) – a dangerous disorder inhibiting the body’s ability to release glucose – but that didn’t stop him from living life to the fullest with optimism and joy. Wherever he went he radiated a happy attitude that simply made everyone around him feel good. Mendel inspired many when at his bar mitzvah he chose to speak on the theme of embracing life with gratitude. Tragically, only a few weeks later he fell ill and passed away. Mendel’s message and the way he lived his life, motivated his parents, Eta and Daniel Cotlar, to work with the world-renowned JLI to develop this powerful seminar.

Waking Up to Life is geared for audiences of all backgrounds, and utilizes a student workbook and multimedia aids. Participants are encouraged to continue their learning through a dedicated post-lesson website. The response thus far to this seminar held at other locations around the world has taken on a life of its own, with many participants taking to social media to express their gratitude for the small and big things in life, using hashtags #ModehAni and #ThankfulDaily.

Waking Up to Life is scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2016, 10:00 am at Chabad Bay Area, 2047 W. Main St, B7, League City, TX 77573 (Exit 23 off the I-45). Advance reservations are $18 and include the seminar, brunch and a student take away packet (price at the door will be $25). Additional contributions and sponsorships are welcome; 10% of all contributions will be donated to GSD research. Visitwww.jbayarea.org/seminar to reserve or call 281-724-1554.