The Jewish Planner and Daf Yomi: Interview with Erika Davis

Interview time! Erika was one of the very first people to post about her planner on social media last year. Not only did we appreciate the support, we loved her insights and personal approach to using the planner. This year, we decided to interview her so that everyone could hear about her amazing work and her thoughts on The Jewish Planner.

Erika Davis is a birth worker and yoga instructor living and working in the Pacific Northwest. She’s been an active advocate for Jewish Diversity and previously served on the Boards of both The Jewish Multiracial Network and Keshet. Her writing on Jewish Diversity can be found in Lilith MagazineThe ForwardMy Jewish Learning and more. In addition to her birth and yoga work, Erika holds monthly Full Moon Circles as well as childbirth preparation classes. She has a lovely front yard garden and a healthy addiction to houseplants. In May of 2020 she will be hosting a breathwork session at the Born Into This Conference in Austin, TX.

Erika told us that she got The Jewish Planner in order to do more planning on Jewish time, and also to support a Jewish small business (thanks, Erika!). When she first found out about the planner, she was excited that it was Jewish and that it would help her integrate her non-Jewish and Jewish lives seamlessly. Erika also mentioned, “I liked the idea of having quick and easy access to Torah portions and Hebrew dates.”

Once the planner was off the screen and in her actual hands, she was happy she had gotten one. Her first impressions were that “It was a lovely weight and I loved to gold leafing. I liked the monthly questions and reflections.”

These days, Erika has found a beautiful and personal use for The Jewish Planner. “I honestly had a hard time getting into it and using it as a planner,” Erika confessed, “because of the space constraints.” She initially wished the days were a bit more open and spacious for more writing and doodling and reflection.

But since starting Daf Yomi, she found a new use for it: Erika puts  her quick notes on the Dafs into the pie pieces for each day. This serves as a meaningful daily exercise and makes it easy to reflect back later.

Erika expressed that her connection to the Hebrew calendar has given her moments of pause to consider the Jewish lens of each day, month. and moon phase. “It’s always hard to balance lunar/Jewish time with Gregorian/solar time,” she said, “but the more I lean into the intuitive nature of the moon and how it guides me in my personal life, the easier it is to blend it with Jewish time and Jewish cycles. When I think of them as cycles, rather than time, I’m able to really sink into the agricultural, earth-based aspects of Judaism.”

Erika told us she’s looking forward to seeing how the Jewish Planner grows and evolves over time and is excited to see how other folks are using and utilizing their planners, in order to give her inspiration. We agree and would love for folks to share their personalized uses of The Jewish Planner on social media, with #TheJewishPlanner so we can all find it.

We are so grateful for Erika’s support of this project and her contributions to the Jewish and birth communities. You can connect with Erika on Instagram at at @_wholebodypregnancy_ or and check out her website: wholebodypregnancy.com