Melissa Nunes-Harwitt is an adult Jewish educator, community organizer, and a graduate of Yale University and the Drisha Institute for Jewish Studies. She enjoys reading about psychology, parenting, community, feminism, and the intersection of Judaism with all of those topics.
This morning started with a blast. Actually, many blasts. Our shofar has emerged.
Today is Rosh Chodesh Elul, the first day of the Hebrew month preceding Rosh Hashanah. There is a minhag (custom)…of blowing the shofar every morning during Elul except for Shabbat and the day before the New Year. Though this traditionally takes place at synagogue after Shaharit (morning services), my spouse and I have a practice of blowing the shofar at home. We've been doing it for over a decade, having bought a shofar for… >> Read More
It seemed like an easy enough question. What books could I use to teach my preschooler about Tisha B’Av? Since my son was born, children’s books had heralded every event of his life, big or…small. We had Boynton for waking up and bedtime; "How Are You Peeling?" to discuss emotions, Berenstain Bears to assist with our move to a new city, and I had bought picture books for every Jewish holiday. But the first time I tried to explain why I wasn’t eating or drinking on a hot summer day,… >> Read More
It was two days before our visit to family in Alabama. Feeling hopeful, I Googled “Huntsville kosher.” Nothing useful came up. I tried “Jewish Huntsville.” Not much better. Finally, with…“Huntsville synagogue,” a Conservative shul and a Chabad center surfaced, neither of which had weekday services or kosher food. I sighed and went to pack a few boxes of granola bars. Figuring out how to “do Jewish” in different locations is always on my to-do list before a trip, but some cities make that job… >> Read More
Recently I went out of town without my children for an engagement party. When I returned two days later, I shared what I had brought home for them: stories. They liked hearing about how the…hostess at Shabbat dinner, known for talking in her sleep, had once murmured that it was “spaghetti o'clock.” I told them how when I'd asked, my host said, “We're cereal-atarians here.” They laughed at my recounting of how, at the engagement party, the other surprise guests and I were comically delayed from making our appearance… >> Read More