No Magic But Some Helpful Chutzpah in this Fairy Godmother’s Advice


CLASS OF ’70 | The woman on the other end of the line with Helen Rosenau CW’70 was desperate. Her boss had a bad case of B.O., but no one in her office would tell her.

So Rosenau dialed up and confronted the olfactory offender. After that awkward conversation, the smell went away. All in a day’s work for someone who calls herself “Your Jewish Fairy Godmother.”

Rosenau can’t turn a pumpkin into a carriage, but she can help you negotiate a better deal on your car, decide whether to take that job across the country; deal with your exhibitionist neighbor, or figure out if your obsession with the blade in your food processor is normal.

“I help people with everything from the trivial to the deeply emotional,” she says.

Rosenau runs her own consulting service (www.YourJewishFairy out of her home in Eugene, Oregon; writes a newspaper advice column; and has a book in the works.

She picked up her magic wand in 2000 after a “miserable winter” spent care-taking a friend and her own mother in the hospital.

As fairy godmother, she doles out advice with humor as well as the desire for “people around me to be happier” and manage their lives in order to reach their long-term goals.

Although Rosenau brings a Jewish sensibility—and a recipe for chicken soup—to her consulting work, people contact her from a variety of backgrounds. One of her favorite clients is a Zen Methodist.

Rosenau doesn’t know everything, but she has a good idea of how to find it out.
A client who had adopted a boy from Korea with multiple medical problems had no medical insurance to pay for an operation needed to correct the uneven growth of her son’s legs.

“I don’t know squat about medical insurance,” says Rosenau, but she did some research and eventually connected with a nonprofit that arranged for the child to get free surgery.

Finance charges and expired warranties don’t intimidate her, either. “Frequently, if
you ask, people will rebate charges,” she points out. That’s the first of her 10 commandments for living: “Ask for what you want.” Most people don’t do it, she says.

2003 The Pennsylvania Gazette
Last modified 09/02/03

ALUMNI : Profiles : Events : Notes : Obituaries

Mosaics master Jonathan Mandell

Sports broadcaster Scott Graham

Award winner Elsie Sterling Howard

“Out” actor Robert Gant

“Fairy Godmother” Helen Rosenau

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