Tuesday, April 6, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Communicating to Connect.  Albert Campbell Collegiate, 1550 Sandhurst Circle, Scarborough, ON  416-396-6684  The second in a series of parenting workshops run by the Albert Campbell Collegiate Parent Council.

Description:  We communicate with our children (and others) in two ways:  speaking and listening.   The first workshop held in the fall, Listening with Empathy, focussed on connecting with our children by listening to their feelings.  The challenge is to show them that even if we don't agree with their desires and opinions, we can still hear and understand their feelings.  This workshop, Communicating to Connect, will explore effective and ineffective methods of speaking with our children (and all loved ones).

Thursday, April 15, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Listening with Empathy  Lester Pearson Collegiate, 150 Tapscott Road, Scarborough, ON  416-396-5892  A communication workshop for parents offered by the Toronto District School Board trustee for Ward 21 (Scarborough-Rouge River).

Description:  We generally want to make helpful remarks to our children when they express a concern - responses that will open and encourage communication. Yet, well-intentioned comments often have the opposite effect. This workshop will help you choose what to say when you need to connect with your child.  You will learn to ~ Identify and analyze accepting and rejecting responses; ~ Practice paraphrasing and empathic listening; ~ Develop skills in value clarification; ~ Discover how to communicate helpfully with troubled people.

Wednesday, April 27, 7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.  Book Launch  Israel's Judaica Bookstore, 870 Eglinton Ave. West, Toronto, ON  (416) 256-1010 

Description:  This is the Toronto launch of the anthology From Sinai to the Shtetl and Beyond: Where Is Home for the Jewish Writer? published for the Hamilton Jewish Literary Festival in June 2009.  The anthology is edited by Lil Blume and Ellen Jaffe.  Lil will be among the readers.

Wednesday, May 5, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.  Communicating to Connect.   Lester Pearson Collegiate, 150 Tapscott Road, Scarborough, ON  416-396-5892  A communication workshop for parents in Ward 21 (Scarborough-Rouge River) of the Toronto District School Board offered by their trustee, Shaun Chen.  See above.

Sunday, May 9, 4:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Writing Family Stories & Memoirs, Workshop #6
Mother's Day, 2010
Take your mother, daughter/son, or grandmother or come alone to a Mother's Day writing workshop.  This workshop will explore a variety of experiences around having and being a mother, and touch on
The Past:
Moms:  When you were born: My attitudes and feelings towards being a mother – what I thought being a good mother meant then.  Is it different from what I think now?
Kids:  When I was little - what I remember about our relationship from when I was 0 to 12. or  What I think being a good mother means.  What I think a good mother should do.
        and others
The Present:
Mom:  What is hard about being my daughter’s mother.
Daughter:  What is hard about being my mother’s daughter.
        and others
and The Future
Day:          Sunday, May 9, 2010
Time:         4:00 p.m. - 7:30ish (Senior-friendly hours)
Location:   Cabbagetown, Toronto.  Directions provided to participants.  Easy access via TTC and DVP.
Cost:        $20 for first family member; $10 for second family member
Bring:       Writing tools.
RSVP:      Please reply via the feedback link on the left.  Space is limited.

Monday, May 10, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Writing Family Stories and Memoirs.   Ottawa.  A workshop for Activie Jewish Adults 50+.  Contact me for information about attending this in Ottawa.

Description:   Stories passed from one generation to the next carry the values, culture, and unique mythology of that family.  Knowing our family's stories solidifies our sense of belonging.  If you have been thinking of recording your family stories or turning genealogical data into stories, then this workshop is for you.  Writer and editor, Lil Blume, will give you ideas for reviving memories and writing and organizing your family story project.  Come prepared to do some writing and storytelling.

Alongside short writing sessions, we will address as many of the following questions as we can in the time available 

•    How do I get started?
•    What stories and memories should I choose?
•    How do I organize this story?
•    Who is my audience?
•    What do I say about scandals and secrets?
•    What has to be true?  What can I make up?
•    How do I handle multiple points of view and arguments about what happened?
•    What makes a good story? 

Participants have many issues in common and are guided to finding the best answers for their individual projects.  We write and share and people leave with renewed commitment to getting these important stories into an exciting and accessible format.  First time writers are welcome.
Bring pens and paper.

Friday, May 14, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.  Goal-Setting:  The Dark Side.  This will be presented at CCWESTT 2010:  a conference for the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades, and Technology  http://www.ccwestt2010.ca/  The Fairmont Hotel, 2 Lombard Place, Winnipeg, MB

Description: "Leading the Way," the theme of CCWESTT 2010, can best be achieved by setting goals and moving towards them, yet few people actually set goals and write them down.  When this workshop was presented at CCWESTT 2008, participants expressed ambivalence and fear in relation to personal and career goal-setting.  Is there a genderized component to goal-setting?  Is goal-setting necessary for success?  What are the factors that make setting and achieving goals so difficult?

This fun, challenging workshop will help participants

• Recognize attitudes and feelings towards setting goals

• Explore goal-setting processes

• Learn how to create positive, achievable goals

• Learn strategies for handling conflicting goals


Understanding our attitudes towards goal-setting will strengthen our ability to set goals and work towards achieving them.


Check back later for workshops in Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria in May 2010.

Thursday, June 3, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon.  Writing Family Stories and Memoirs.   Silver Screens Arts Festival, Ryerson University, Toronto.  See http://ce-online.ryerson.ca/ce_2009-2010/program_sites/program_default.aspx?id=2927

Sunday, June 5, 3:00 p.m.  Book Launch Book Club-in-a Box, 875 Eglinton Ave., W., #210. West, Toronto, ON

Description:  The launch of Living Legacies, Liz Pearl's new anthology of writings by Jewish Canadian women, will feature readings.  Lil will be among the readers.  For details, see  http://at.yorku.ca/pk/ll.htm.

Sunday, July 11, 2010  11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. and also 2:05 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
Writing Family Stories and Memoirs at the 30th International Conference of Jewish Genealogy in Los Angeles California.
In Part One (11:00 - 12:15), we focus on finding the stories that need to be told.  We will begin writing and sharing them.  We will continue short writing sessions in Part Two (2:05-3:15), and address the challenging questions of memoir writing.


There are probably hundreds of incidents a day in industries and offices in Ontario in which feelings are bruised, productivity is impaired, and corporate health is endangered due to POOR INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS among employees.

To address these problems, I give workshops and courses at conferences and through in-house staff development programs.  These workshops are adapted to suit the needs of your organization.

I focus on teaching and reinforcing communication skills including

  1. Perception Checking -- to prevent overreactions, misunderstandings, and false accusations
  2. Giving "I" Messages -- to facilitate clear communication and minimize defensiveness
  3. Active Empathic Listening -- to show understanding and create a supportive environment
  4. Communicating Nondefensively -- to encourage problem-solving and prevent unproductive defensive spirals
  5. Assertive Speaking and Assertive Listening -- to insure one's ideas are heard in a way most likely to make others receptive and show concern for the ideas of others
  6. Counteracting Passive-Aggressive Behaviour -- to stay focussed and achieve your goals
  7. Productive Problem-Solving -- to understand different conflict resolution styles and maximize the possibility of win-win solutions
I am also active in leading writing workshops and coaching public speaking.



"I wish you’d come back to Victoria to give the faculty another session. The few hours I got to spend with your were some of the most useful I’ve ever spent on professional development." Lorna Crozier, award-winning poet, professor University of Victoria

“The ability to communicate effectively is especially important in my role as an elected official, and I have Lil Blume to thank.  Her communications course has taught me important lessons on how to listen with empathy and communicate non-defensively – skills that are essential whether I am in a boardroom debate, being interviewed by the media, or on the phone with a constituent.  Lil is a dynamic and energetic teacher who delivers with passion."
– Shaun Chen, Trustee (Ward 21, Scarborough-Rouge River), Toronto District School Board