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Dec 8 2014

Free Stuff Alert: Glow-in-the-Dark Hanukkah Onesie

By at 1:55 pm

glow-in-the-dark hanukkah onesie giveaway

What glows in the dark, is made with 100% organic cotton, and is the must-have Hanukkah item for fashionable babies? Obviously, it’s this Glow-in-the-Dark Hanukkah Onesie!

This bad boy will be the hit at any Hanukkah party, especially once the sun goes down. ModernTribe is graciously giving away one of these onesies to a lucky Kveller reader. To enter, fill out the form below, and we’ll choose a winner this Wednesday, December 10th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dec 4 2014

This Jewish Boy was Asked to Write a Letter to Santa in School. His Response is Perfect

By at 2:39 pm

jewish boy pens epic letter to santa

Recently, the woman behind the blog XO, Isabel got in touch with us with the above image and following message:

Proud of my nephew, Sammy. His teacher gave his class a writing assignment to do a “Dear Santa” letter and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. Given that he’s Jewish, he had the choice to either not do the assignment, citing his beliefs, or to have a little fun. I’m glad he chose to have a little fun.

We’re proud of you too, Sammy. And we really hope you get the Infinity Version 2.0 Marvel Superheroes Edition. And that Santa joins in on the fun.

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Free Stuff Alert: Win a Chalkboard Menorah

By at 1:44 pm

chalkboard menorah moderntribe giveway

Less than two weeks to go until Hanukkah, and we’ve got some more fun swag coming your way! ModernTribe, home of the cutest Judaica you’ll find on the web, is graciously giving away one of the most unique menorahs we’ve seen to date–the chalkboard menorah!

Your kids can decorate the menorah any way they like, and erase and recreate for all eight nights of Hanukkah. To enter the giveaway, fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner next Monday, December 8th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dec 3 2014

I Never Got My Baby #5, But I Did Get This

By at 1:56 pm

Remembering My Lost Twins, Even After the New Ones Are Born

I miscarried my first pregnancy.

In those days, the 1970s, nobody talked about miscarriage, so I grieved in silence. Only my husband and my mother knew.

In those days, doctors told you to wait a few months after a miscarriage before trying to get pregnant again. During those months, I found a lump in my breast.

In those days, the doctors recommended waiting a few months to see if the lump would go away by itself–maybe it was an enlarged milk duct from the pregnancy, they suggested.

It wasn’t. It was a tumor. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 1 2014

The Top 7 Perks of Being Jewish in December

By at 11:23 am

Top 7 Perks of Being Jewish in December
Growing up, ours was the only house on the block with a menorah glowing in the window. This should have put me onto the fast track to Christmas envy, but it didn’t. I respected Christmas, but was never jealous of those who celebrated. In fact, watching my neighbors actually gave me a deeper appreciation for the simpler joys of Hanukkah. Here’s why:

1. Early-Bird Shopping. 

Celebrating Hanukkah means I usually have an earlier gift-buying deadline to meet than my counterparts. I have to get myself in gear way before Christmas shopping madness descends on the rest of the world. By Thanksgiving, I’m usually done. I spend most Black Fridays sipping spiced cider and recovering from a turkey-induced coma. Being Jewish means never having to freeze my tuchus off in a parking lot, waiting for a “Midnight Door Buster” sale.

2. Decorating Ease.  Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 26 2014

The New Tradition I’m Extra Thankful for This Year

By at 11:17 am

gratitude jar

Sukkot may be the holiday when I de-clutter and get things out of my life, but on Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, I make sure to pay attention to my stuff.

We are at the start of the season when every store, television commercial, and radio jingle reminds us that we are supposed to let other people know how much we appreciate them… by buying them things. I’m not against the occasional Hanukkah present for my kids or tipping some of the hardworking and often underappreciated people in my life during the holiday season, but this year I am trying to focus on what I have and appreciating how lucky I am before I add to my collection of “things.” And I’m making my family join me.

I read recently that writing down what you’re grateful for every day can be transformative. In addition to cultivating an ongoing sense of gratitude and respect for our belongings and privileges, apparently the practice of putting pen to paper while thinking of how grateful we are can also lead to higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy throughout the day. That sounds pretty good to me. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 25 2014

In Light of Ferguson, How Do We Talk to Our Kids About Race?

By at 9:40 am
michael brown ferguson how to talk to kids about race

Photo via Flickr/Jamelle Bouie

I’ve been following the Mike Brown case from the beginning. I’m sad for his grieving parents and for the citizens of Ferguson who want justice. I support the sentiments around the currently trending meme “#BlackLivesMatter” but I can’t bring myself to tag it on Facebook for fear someone will call me out as a “clueless white person” trying to attach myself to a movement I don’t belong to.  I’m empathic, but I’m searching for a way to articulate that respectfully.

My best friend Rachel has always been involved in social justice and is my go-to person on days like today. When I asked her what kind of reaction I should have to all I am witnessing from my comfortable upper middle class life here in Los Angeles, she reminded me that I’m a parent, and I have a responsibility to respond to this in the way I raise my kids.

Rachel explained, “I think the best thing that you can do right now is raise your children to be race conscious–not color blind, but race conscious. Talk to them about the different experiences people of color have. Buy books and dolls and movies with lead characters that aren’t white. Talk about how people aren’t always treated equally and how that is not OK. Teach history and how it impacts our lives today. Be conscious and teach them to be as well.”  Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 24 2014

Why These Jerusalem Mothers are Fighting for Higher Security in Preschools

By at 9:56 am
mothers in jerusalem for safety in preschools

Credit: Office of MK Erel Margalit.

 

I tend to put things out of my head that create anxiety. Often I feel that if I don’t, paralyzing fear would take hold of me all of the time. Anxiety comes with the territory of being parents. There is a moment–during pregnancy or soon after birth–when we realize that now we have something to lose that we absolutely could not bear. Lately I’ve been trying out an alternative to evading worry, at least with regard to the safety of my children: action.

I have lived in Israel for 21 years, having made aliyah with my family at age 14 from Cleveland. In high school, I lived through that awful spate of bus bombings, including my local neighborhood buses, the 14 and the 18. When I was a student at Hebrew University, the Second Intifada exploded and my parents were sick with fear at my traveling by public transportation every day. I was scared, of course, but nothing like the visceral fear that I feel now as a mother.

Snatching my babies out of bed with every siren this past summer and schlepping them half-asleep down the stairs of our building–that was something new for me. If I had been on my own, I would have probably taken the time to find shoes and put on a nice robe before stepping out into the common stairwell. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 21 2014

I Ditched the Dinner, But Not Shabbat

By at 11:49 am

I Ditched the Dinner, But Not Shabbat

It’s Friday.

This week, I’ve cooked five dinners that included a different lean protein each night, an exciting vegetable and some kind of whole grain. I’ve made five breakfasts that are healthy, protein-filled and free of junk. I’ve packed 10 school lunches and 10 school snacks.

I’ve also nagged my kids so much more than I wanted to—“stop playing video games,” “do your homework,” “stop procrastinating,” “stop fighting,” go to bed,” “hurry up we’ll be late,” “for the last time please put away/turn off the electronics.”

I now breathe a sigh of relief. All of the homework was completed, everyone was driven where they needed to be driven after school and then back home again, that little crisis with one of my kids that popped up all of a sudden on Monday seemed to have resolved itself by Friday. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 19 2014

What the Gruesome Images from the Jerusalem Terror Attack Taught Me About Hope

By at 11:18 am

tefillin

The images are gruesome. Heartwrenching. So much blood. I don’t want to see. And for a while I don’t. Not really. I scroll quickly from one post to the next. Four killed in terror attack. Har Nof. Rabbis. Synagogue. Even as my heart is rushing and the tears are falling, my fingers slow down. To read. And to see. To really see.

A blood-soaked tallit (prayer shawl) crouches in crumpled horror. The red-splattered bookshelves stand feebly by. They are a quiet, ueseless protection to the forever stained siddurim (prayer books) they hold. Kehillat Bnei Torah Synagogue is a bloodbath.

“No. No. Nonononono,” I whisper, now unable to stop the onslaught of image after horrific image. Read the rest of this entry →

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