Note to self: Do not send Halloween cookies to Jewish preschool.
As camp ends and the new school year approaches, I find myself going over what I remember from last year, with regards to the Jewish faith. My eldest daughter is 4 and has been attending a Jewish preschool for the last two years. Being a non-practicing Catholic, I have taken the “learn as I go” approach.
There are good Catholic and non-denominational schools available to me in my area, but I chose a Jewish preschool. My husband is a consultant and travels most of the work week. Since he is not always home I felt it was imperative for Delanie to learn her father’s faith from a place that could teach her in a way I could not.
The usual school preparation list populates my head: no meat with dairy for lunch, remember her “mitzvah notes” each week (which I admit at times I make up because there is only so many times you can write that she helped with housework or shared with her younger sister), and whatever I do, I must remember to not send her to school in her holiday (Christmas, Halloween, etc.) printed tee shirts from Old Navy. I learned that lesson the hard way last year when my daughter’s teacher told me that the school would not allow the Halloween cookies I made because it is not a recognized Jewish holiday. Read the rest of this entry →
When we asked our readers to send in their Rosh Hashanah Resolutions, we certainly weren’t expecting anything like the following, sent to us from Rebecca Faulkner Branum of Edmond, Oklahoma.
A New Year sometimes sneaks into a life, changing a family’s calendar forever. Five years ago I was unable to eat apples or honey because I was neutropenic from cancer chemotherapy. The bacteria from uncooked food could have sickened or even killed me, so the Rosh Hashanah that snuck into my life that fall might have been hard to recognize, but it was there all the same.
Cancer appeared as a terrible phone call in September, one week after my only child’s 1st birthday, a day that became Day #1 of a new life. The year that followed was one of loss. Of course the usual cancer losses–my breasts, my hair, and a lot of lost lunches–but I also lost my job as a health care provider (because I couldn’t work with ill patients). Then I lost my savings, my car, my house, and finally my husband, who walked away from the stress. Read the rest of this entry →
To gear up for the High Holidays this year, we’re asking our writers and readers for their Rosh Hashanah Resolution. Here’s one from our reader Ashley, who lives in Langhorne, PA with her husband and two daughters.
My husband is first generation Israeli and I am a non-practicing Catholic. We have decided to raise our children experiencing both religions, however since my girls attend a private Jewish preschool we have all been more involved in our Jewish faith.
My resolution this year is to make sure our eldest daughter understands her Jewish faith and why we celebrate holidays. Before, we focused on her enjoying the holidays, and now we want her to start understanding why we celebrate them and to be more involved with us.
Previous years we put the girls to bed before starting to celebrate and this year I want them to stay up late and be involved. This year I want to resolve to celebrate our faiths more as a family unit.
Want to share your Rosh Hashanah Resolution? You can email it to us (details here) or tweet at us using the #RoshReshashtag.
When I was in middle school, I was lying on the couch one day reading a book when my dad walked through the living room. He asked if I’d done my study guide for a test I had the next day. I told him, “No,” as I continued reading and he asked if that was a smart idea. I said, half paying attention, that I would be fine. I failed the test.
When he asked about it later and I begrudgingly told him that the teacher surely had it out for me, he said, almost to himself, “I wonder if you’d have failed if you studied.” Read the rest of this entry →
My son Nicky loves baseball. He’s really, really good at it.
Despite the looooong list of Jews who made it big in baseball, we were shocked to learn our town was not overflowing with Jewish schools that have viable baseball programs. My husband’s old Catholic school, however, (“The Hall”) has a very well-respected baseball program. So does another Catholic school nearer to us (“The Mount”). Mark Teixeira is a hometown boy who went to The Mount. We forgive his playing for the Yankees. Read the rest of this entry →
We’re super proud of frequent Kveller contributer Alina Adams, who was just interviewed on NPR’s Tell Me More as a result of a piece she wrote for us this summer.
Alina’s piece “When to Hide Your Race & Religion” definitely sparked some debate on our site, as it’s all about raising interracial, interfaith kids and teaching them that sometimes, it might be of benefit to hide part of your heritage. Alina talked with Michel Martin about how she came to this perspective, and their conversation is definitely interesting no matter what race or religion your family happens to be. Here’s the interview:
You can read the full text of the interview here and read Alina’s original piece here. Way to go, Alina!
In Tamara Reese’s recent piece on kids being more open-minded than adults, she wrote the following phrase: Would I encourage (my son) to hide his heritage in an effort to make life easier on him, or myself? Absolutely not.
This is a subject my husband and I have discussed at length. He is African-American. I am a Jew from the former Soviet Union. And when it comes to: Would we encourage our children to hide their heritage(s) in an effort to make life easier for themselves or us?
With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we’ve partnered with the Jewish Women’s Archive to start a dialogue about Jewish fathers, and the non-Jewish fathers raising Jewish daughters. They asked women to share their own stories of their fathers, and we’ll be cross-posting a new one each day this week.
My Episcopalian dad proposed to my Jewish mom on their very first date over Irish Coffee and she laughed at him. But, my dad had charm, and she agreed to go out with him again. And again. And again. And over the next eight years when he’d ask her to marry him night after night, she would shake her head and laugh. But then, one night, while stuck in traffic on the 405 Freeway near the Wilshire Exit, she said “Yes.” But with one condition: They would have a Jewish home.” And my dad agreed. Every Friday night, we lit candles for Shabbat. He went to Torah class with our rabbi. We kept Kosher. And my dad’s love for my mom allowed me to grow up in a home where I grew up loving Judaism.
My mother’s family, like too many post-pogrom and WWII Jewish immigrant families, is very very VERY small. My recently deceased grandfather was the last of his surname.
So most of my relatives are of the non-Jewish persuasion. My mother insisted that my brother and I engage with the family to the best of our ability, so that we would “have family.” So we did. My mother put up with constant bullying, and my brother and I tried to sort through the lies (straight up lies) that our paternal grandmother spread about our mother.