Jill Zarin, star of The Real Housewives of New York City, her sister, Lisa Wexler, radio personality, and their mother, Gloria Kamen, co-authored Secrets of a Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love. In this book, this mother/daughter trio reveals its recipes for being engaged, involved and encouraging. Gloria, the matriarch, raised her girls to believe they could make their dreams come true. You don't need to be a Jewish mother to appreciate the advice these three accomplished women have to offer!
CommitmentNow.com: What inspired you to write this book?
Lisa: We wanted readers to hear three different voices and to share our experiences.
CommitmentNow.com: So, what's so special about Jewish mothers?
Lisa: It all goes back to Gloria.
Gloria : We place an enormous premium on education. It doesn’t matter if the child is male or female. We have traditional family values. When the girls were growing up I always told them that family was most important and that when I am gone, all they will have is each other.
CommitmentNow.com: Throughout the book, the three of you share your experiences in friendship, parenting, beauty and health, and marriage. How have those experiences influenced the advice you are now offering women?
Jill: Mothers in general have so much to offer. We have found there are four basic rules of friendship:
Apologize when you are wrong.
Let it go.
These are the foundation for lasting relationships. Friends move around in your life. Sometimes front row friends move to the back for awhile, but they are always there.
Lisa: You need roots or the tree blows down in the first storm.
CommitmentNow.com: Jill and Lisa, you are sisters, and Gloria is your mother. How would you describe your family relationships?
Jill: We are very close.
Lisa: Even though we are in three different states everyone makes an effort.
Gloria: The holidays are very important. We build our entire calendar around the Jewish holidays. Getting together for holidays is a sign of respect as well as love.
CommitmentNow.com: Jill, you are a star of The Real Housewives of New York City, one of the most popular shows on television! What has that been like?
Jill: I started the show as an opportunity to promote the business and the charity work my husband Bobby and I do. I was thrown in with a varied group of people who were expected to become my friends in real life and on screen. This has led to some awkward predicaments. We will always have our shared experience on The Housewives. The drama, the publicity, the red carpets - all of it.
CommitmentNow.com: Jill, what Jewish mother wisdom are you able to use as a Real Housewife of New York?
Jill: Sit on the bed! As kids, we would all sit on the bed and talk. Much of this book was written on the bed. And don't mistake a business relationship for a friendship.
CommitmentNow.com: Lisa, you have an award-winning radio show, The Lisa Wexler Show! What life experiences lead to your success?
Lisa: After 25 years as an attorney, I found my way to the career I was born to have. I went to law school because I didn't know what else to do. My father was a successful attorney. Although practicing law didn't satisfy my soul, I learned to write, advocate for causes I believe in and to express myself clearly. Today I do all of those things on the radio, just in a different forum. Everything in life you learn, you use.
CommitmentNow.com: Gloria, you must kvell over your two accomplished daughters! What advice do you have for other moms?
Gloria: You have to raise kids to feel entitled to get whatever they want in this world. Advocate for them. Let them know that help and guidance is available. Be invasive in your kids' lives. Get the computers out the rooms! You don’t need to be friends with your kids. Be a good mother for you, too. You have to know, as they grow, that you are doing your best.
CommitmentNow.com: Throughout the book, you emphasize close friends and family relationships. Why are close relationships so important?
Gloria: Love is what it’s all about.
CommitmentNow.com: Lisa and Jill, what are some of the most important things you have learned from your mother Gloria and your father Sol?
Jill: A good man is hard to find, but so is a good woman. Gloria taught us never to settle for less than we deserved. Our parents believed we were the most important human beings on the planet. At the end of the day as long as the love is strong, you have everything.
Jill Zarin is one of The Real Housewives of New York City, which attracts more than two million viewers each week.
Lisa Wexler is the award-winning host of the daily radio program, The Lisa Wexler Show.
Gloria Kamen, their mother, was the surprise hit of Real Housewives season two. She writes the "Ask Gloria" column on BravoTV.com and lives in Boca Raton, Florida.
To purchase Secrets of Jewish Mother: Real Advice, Real Stories, Real Love, click here.