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Weekend Ritual: The Kadish-Maas family is Coming to Pomona for Their 10th Family Weekend in a Row

As parents of three sons, Nathan ’02, Seth ’06 and Jonathan ’10, Josh Kadish and Lisa Maas have embraced a flexible approach to nurturing family traditions as children become adults. The family celebrates holidays together and the family summer retreat on the Olympic Peninsula, now with the addition of a daughter-in-law and girlfriends continues as it has for years. Skype, e-mail and Facebook allow them to stay connected no matter how far apart they may be. And Family Weekend at Pomona College has replaced back-to-school night.

Each February, for nine of the last 10 years, the couple has briefly immersed themselves in campus life. They started the family tradition during Nathan’s first year and they joke that they’ll return even after Jonathan graduates.

Family Weekend, which will be held this year Feb. 13 to 15, is designed to give parents and other family members a sense of academic and social life at Pomona. Visitors get the opportunity to check out their students’ residence halls, meet classmates, sit in on open classes and attend lectures and cultural events.

Josh and Lisa keep making the trip from Portland mostly to visit their sons but also because they enjoy the events and the campus experience. “We have always felt welcomed at Pomona,” Josh says. “The students have always extended themselves and been friendly.”

The weekend begins Friday morning with Pomona Family College, and each year, the couple arrives Thursday evening in order to attend the classes they say have given them a broad sense of college life at Pomona. Ten years ago, Professor of Religious Studies Jerry Irish’s passion, accessibility and ingenuity shined through during such a class and impressed Josh and Lisa so much that they continue to recommend his courses. “We have always gone to classes our kids are taking,” Lisa says, “but we also take recommendations from their friends and search professors on RateMyProfessor.com. We often come away from these classes with recommendations for our kids.”

As they begin to pack for their campus visit this February, Josh and Lisa are planning to enjoy at least one meal in the Village with their son and his friends, attend as many classes as they can and sit in on Donna Di Grazia’s choir practice (all three of the Kadish sons have been members of Men’s Blue and White).

As for their sons, Family Weekend is an opportunity to play host to their parents, introduce them to friends and professors, share academic interests and maybe do a little spring cleaning.

“It’s fun to meet their friends, see where they live—” Josh says. “I wouldn’t call seeing their dorm room ‘fun’,” Lisa interrupts with a laugh, “more like enlightening.”