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JNet Featured Member of the Month

Month of Elul

Name: Bruni Penina Castro Bruni Castro.jpg

Age: 53

Location: Corona, California

Occupation: Paralegal

Interesting hobby: I crochet Jewish-themed dolls for children and garments for infants to wear at festive occasions.

I’ve been learning with JNet since: 2007

About me: A mother of five and grandmother of seven, I am a Sephardic Jewess born to Spaniard parents. At home, we learned to speak Ladino (a language combining Hebrew and Spanish). Growing up in Puerto Rico, we were observant, but only at home. Upon relocating to California in the beginning of 1972, we remained observant until my father’s passing later that year.

How I heard about JNet: When the Fuss family moved to town in 2003 and set up a Chabad House, providing a warm go-to for Shabbat meals, prayer services and Torah classes, I connected with them and was immediately intrigued by Chassidus. It was there that I met Rochelle, a young woman who taught at the Fuss’s Hebrew school. She recommended JNet as a good resource to learn anything and everything Jewish. I called JNet because I was interested in exploring Chassidus. One week later, my chavrusa and I were on the phone, enjoying our very first session.

What I’m learning with JNet: My chavrusa, Chana Gittel Goldstein, and I are currently studying a number of the Rebbe’s discourses. In the past, we covered the book My Prayer as well as parts of Mishneh Torah by the Rambam.

How JNet has inspired new Jewish connection in my life: JNet has changed the way I see everything around me. I am more conscientious about my Jewish identity, I’ve increased my knowledge, and I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others.

One of my most meaningful experiences with JNet: When my study partner’s son was becoming bar mitzvah, she shared his sermon with me. Reading it truly made me feel part of their family. JNet has provided me with a connection that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

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