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WOMAN TO WOMAN

By: Ellen Geller Kamaras



“I am passionate about children, educating them and advocating for them. My advice to parents? Don’t leave any stone unturned in seeking the best for your kids. Parents are the experts about their children and know what they need.”

I am so fortunate to introduce you to Heather Corman Deutsch, a parenting coach and a fierce advocate for and lover of children. We can all benefit from guidance on transitioning our kids back to school in September and on learning how to raise children who are kind, loving, and caring individuals who will be the future leaders of the world.

After all, is there a more important job than being a parent? As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children right from wrong, age appropriate skills and independence, and how to be accountable for their behavior and actions. And we as parents must strive to model core values for our children.

Let’s get to know Heather the child, teenager, teacher, wife, and mother and follow her on her journey from teacher to parenting coach.

Heather was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Mill Basin. She was a camper at the popular Flatbush Park Jewish Center day camp for 12 years. Her parents, Carole and Barry Corman, were born in the United States. Carole worked as a school payroll secretary and Barry was self-employed. Heather has one younger brother, Jeffrey. Heather attended public schools including Edward R. Murrow High School when it was “the rage and new and cutting edge.” Her next stop after high school was NYU, followed by Brooklyn College, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Heather then pursued a Master of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Heather’s Nasib

Heather was first introduced to Jeffrey Deutsch when she was a college student, working at Malson’s jewelry store in Kings Plaza. Jeffrey came in for a short period to help his uncle, Jack Bibi, during the holiday season. Not only did Heather know Jeffrey’s uncle, she also had worked with her future brother-in-law Randy and her future
mother-in-law, Florence Bibi Deutsch, A”H.
Jeffrey’s mother and his maternal grandparents, Esther and Reuben Bibi, were of Syrian descent, and were pillars of the Sephardic community. The Bibis stepped in to help Florence raise her four young children when her husband Philip passed away.

Back to Heather and Jeffrey. They reconnected 14 years later, and were married within six months. Jeffrey is self-employed and owns several shoe stores called Five Dollar Shoe Warehouses. Heather and family live in Brooklyn in the community and spend their summers in Deal, NJ.

Family Is Everything

Heather’s family is her greatest joy! The couple has a set of triplets, Florence, Madelyne, and Philip, who are now 20 years old, and a 14-year-old son, Ruby. Florence and Madelyne attended Yeshivah of Flatbush (YOF) and Florence is now at Hunter College and Madelyne at FIT. Ruby is currently studying at YOF High School. Philip, who has been diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), will be graduating from Imagine Academy when he reaches 21. He is loved and nurtured by his family and by so many community members.

“I love to spend time with my children, shopping, cooking together, and going to the beach and museums. Jeffrey and I have a very strong bond with our kids, and they have a deep true connection with each other, especially because of Philip. He is the driving force behind our bond and behind what I do as a coach.”

Heather especially appreciates and admires her community. “It’s a myth that outsiders aren’t let in. I have very positive feelings about the community. It’s such a big gift. My family and I have so many opportunities, religious and otherwise. For the last 15 years, young girls have volunteered to take care of my son Philip on Shabbat and take him for ice cream during the week. Everyone knows andloves Philip and wants to help. People care about each other. Once I was at Shoprite and realized I forgot my wallet. I looked around and knew I would recognize someone. Sure enough, I borrowed money from a woman, and paid her back later.”

In addition to family, Heather is on fire about educating and advocating for children. She describes herself as hard-working, outgoing, friendly, loyal, committed, and a lover of children. “I encourage parents to advocate for their children. Don’t leave any stone unturned and don’t let people tell you what to do. You know the best when it comes to your child. Take the high road and don’t get involved with nonsense. Instill good values in your children.”

Heather the Educator

After completing her graduate degree in Early Childhood Education, Heather worked for
14 years in the public-school system – one year as a pre-K teacher, seven years as a first-grade teacher, and six years teaching second graders. Heather was a passionate and beloved teacher.

After Heather got married and became pregnant with the triplets, she took time off from teaching to raise her children. When her triplets were starting high school (six years ago), she returned to work on a part-time basis. She eased her way back into work by doing substitute teaching in community yeshivot (Magen David, Barkai, and YOF) filling in for teachers on maternity leave for periods of six weeks. People came to know and trust Heather. When the subbing dwindled, Heather was ready for more, and was thrilled to be offered a full-time position at the Sephardic Community Center teaching three-and-four-year-old boys and girls. She had subbed there too. After four years of interacting with her students’ moms, Heather became very involved and invested in the children’s lives. “I interacted with so many mothers at the Center, even moms of kids from other classes. I loved the children and the moms. It was much more than just goodbye at 3pm. I got calls at all times, at night, during the summer, and during the year. ‘The kids won’t get dressed to go to school, they won’t go to sleep, Morah Heather is on the phone.’ Moms asked for advice and I coached them through it.”

The Road to Coaching

Heather’s reputation was well established, and it was time to move on again. She wanted more time to be available for her daughters when they were starting college. Why not offer parenting classes? Heather didn’t have coaching credentials but she had significant teaching and parenting experience.

“Having a special needs child also puts a whole other spin on my parenting advice and skills. Having Philip in our lives helped me be the parent and coach that I am.”

Last year Heather designed her own group parenting class and had enough enrollment to fill two classes. The news spread quickly through word of mouth.

“I don’t believe in lists or mantras. I believe in good old-fashioned parenting. Live in the moment, don’t over-think things, and don’t get stuck. Deal with life as it happens.”

Heather encourages parents to empower, embrace, and inspire their children. “Kids are people; there is a whole human being inside them.”

What is unique about Heather’s coaching approach is that she is a heart-centered coach. Whether she is teaching or coaching, she does everything from the heart and in the best interests of the children. She tells her parents to be proud of themselves for taking the time to work on themselves and grow.

Heather’s Coaching Model

Heather provides private interactive group workshops with a positive approach to parenting. She also offers one-on-one coaching and couples coaching.

Her private coaching groups generally include four to seven women for a series of four weeks, with a different mom hosting each week. “We talk about a different topic weekly. We brainstorm, work through issues, and come up with solutions.”

Subjects covered include: how to say no, setting limits, sibling rivalry, bad habits, anxiety, and more.

Heather also ran parenting workshops
at Deal Sephardic Network in the winter and led a four-week parenting class at The Well in the summer.

What’s Next?

Heather was involved in the founding of Imagine Academy, which serves individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders, aged five to twenty one. Heather is hoping the school will be able to create a day-hab program for students who age out of the Academy at 21. She is also working with yeshivot to establish parenting workshops for the fall.

You can connect with Heather at heatherdeutsch@aol.com, or DM her on Instagram @parenting_doneright.

Ellen Geller Kamaras, CPA/MBA, is an International Coach Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach.
Her coaching specialties include life, career, and dating coaching. Ellen works part-time as an entitlement specialist at Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services. She can be contacted at
ellen@lifecoachellen.com (www.lifecoachellen.com).