Sep 3 2013
Have you heard the one about the young Jewish couple who have a kid while living in a big city and find themselves searching for community around the high holidays?
You know, the couple who decide to pony up for synagogue membership at a large congregation in their city neighborhood, and then subsequently become involved through the synagogue preschool, the young sisterhood, and various holiday events? This couple basks in the warm glow of baking challah and attending Tot Shabbat services. They introduce their kids–first the one kid, then two–to more Judaism in five years than either of them had been exposed to in over 25. And they enjoy it! Never before had they yearned for Jewish connection and yet here they are, singing the prayers, making Jewish friends, teaching their kids Hebrew. Then, as the creep of Kindergarten approaches, said couple feels the need to find a new home in the suburbs. As a consequence, they leave their big warm city shul and head east (or in this case, north).
Do you know what happens next, in this all-too-familiar-tale? Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 30 2013
Preparing a meal for Rosh Hashanah is hard work, but serving it to your guests seated around a table filled with holiday ambiance is above and beyond what is expected. Here are some amazing tablescape ideas that will really WOW this Rosh Hashanah.
1. Maine Apple Orchard via Daisies & Pearls Merrymaking
2. Harvest Tablescape via Holiday & Hearth Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 29 2013
Shiksa in the Kitchen’s coloring sheet necklace.
Are you the type of person who spends months pinning fun craft ideas for the holidays only to realize the holiday is tomorrow? Pinterest should have an alert button or something. Well here is your reminder: Rosh Hashanah begins next Wednesday night, so it’s time to stop pinning and start crafting!
I have found with my preschooler that crafts only keep his interest for about 30 minutes tops (sometimes five?) and extra bonus points if the craft involves getting messy. OY! I’ll admit while he has probably received three different sets of finger paints I have yet to embark on finger painting at my house (I’m also the Mama who has a little silent freak-out when my kid mixes Play-Doh colors).
Here are some fun Rosh Hashanah crafts for tiny fingers that actually only require one color and minimal mess. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 26 2013
This is a cute–if not hard to watch–reminder that this Rosh Hashanah, you don’t actually have to dip all your Apples into honey. Unless your resolution is to cut back on technology.
We live on the third floor, and have a little balcony. My 4-year-old has taken to throwing things–toys, couch pillows, books–off the balcony. It’s really not OK, and he knows it. He also knows that if he throws toys he won’t see them again for a while, and that there may be some other consequence, to boot. But he’s 4, his impulse control is not so hot, and he’s testing boundaries.
This morning, I asked him to share the toy he was holding with his little brother, so he ran halfway across the apartment in order to throw it off the balcony. It was a clear f-you: If I can’t have it, nobody can have it. It was the last straw of a frustrating morning, and I yelled at him, really shouted, as I put him in a time out.
There are a lot of reasons why I don’t want to raise my children in a home with yelling. I have a pretty firm commitment to raising them to feel loved, safe, and not afraid in their own home, and a screaming adult is terrifying to a small person. So to have slipped in a way that’s human and understandable but still, well, urgently not where I need to be–it’s a terrible feeling. This morning, I failed my son and I failed myself. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 22 2013
In her beautiful post about her sons’ Jewish identities, Tamara mentioned getting her first Rosh Hashanah book from PJ Library, and then pulling several more off the shelf.
That’s right, folks. It’s time to start thinking about the High Holidays. Rosh Hashanah starts on SEPTEMBER 4th. Once you’re done freaking out, you might want to think about getting some books of your own to read with the kiddos. Here are some of my favorites, courtesy of PJ Library and my local library:
1. Classic Symbols & Themes
If you’re looking for books specifically about the symbols and themes of Rosh Hashanah, you might want to check out Engineer Ari and the Rosh Hashanah Ride by Deborah Bodin Cohen or Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur by Cathy Goldberg Fishman. The first book is a fun story about a conductor taking his train on its first trip across Israel during Rosh Hashanah, and the second one explores the traditions of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur through the eyes of a young girl. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 20 2013
Traditionally, during month of Elul, we say Psalm 27–lots of rabbis and other clever Jews have insights as to what it teaches us as we head into the High Holidays. Suffering from mommy-brain is a new part of my fabulous identity as an emah (mother), and I can’t help but think of the psalm in terms of my son. His name, Kaveh (קוה) comes from this particular psalm and in biblical Hebrew, it is the command form of the word hope.
Every morning, Kaveh wakes up, showers us with kisses and hugs, and babbles excitedly about things like breakfast and the people he’s going to see that day. Even if he had a tantrum before bed, or a bad dream during the night. He faces every day as if he was obligated to believe that it was going to be the best day ever.
When my chubby, beautiful toddler is sitting in his stroller and we pass the park, he repeats “Park! Park! Park!” over and over again until it’s no longer in sight. Until it’s truly, truly gone he maintains that it is a very real possibility that he’ll soon be giggling on his way down the slide, even if we’ve already told him that we’re going to the grocery store and there’s no time for the park. He never folds, because he believes that everything is possible. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 8 2013
Want to learn how to knit? Do a lot less yelling? Spend a little more me-time?
As Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, fast approaches, we want to know what your Rosh Hashanah Resolution is–a goal, big or small, that you think you can hold yourself to in 5774.
We’ll be sharing resolutions from writers and others on the blog leading up to the High Holidays, and we would love to include some from our readers in the mix. If you’d like to participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Rosh Hashanah Resolutions” as the subject line. Be sure to include the following in your email:
1. Your resolution! Tell us in a few sentences what you’d like to do in the coming year.
2. Your first name, and where you live.
3. A picture of you to include on the blog.
More of a Tweeter? You can tweet your resolution to us, too! Be sure to direct it @Kveller and include the #RoshRes hashtag.
We can’t wait to hear what’s in store for you this coming New Year!
On her blog “Ima On and Off the Bima,” Rabbi Phyllis Sommer started something called #BlogElul. Elul is the Hebrew month preceding the High Holidays, and is meant to be a time of introspection as we mentally prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Rabbi Sommer has designated every day of Elul to a different topic, and will be blogging about each one and encouraging others to join in.
The #BlogElul challenge spoke to me, as each year I contemplate how to weave bits of Judaism into my children’s day. Bits that over time will be threaded together to form their Jewish identities and sense of self. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 5 2013
A few nights ago, I began my annual pre-Rosh Hashanah ritual: “The Review of Menus Past.”
Since 2004 I have kept a record of what I planned to serve each year for Rosh Hashanah. Over the years, the record keeping has been refined. In the second year of this project, I decided to list who was “responsible” for making the item on the menu like me, Mom A, or Mom B (my mother-in-law and my mom, designated this way because of last names, not priority, of course).
In 2006 I realized that it would be really helpful to add in the cookbook title and page number so that when I went to cook the food I could find the recipe quickly. It turned out to be even more helpful years later when I decided to make something again and I didn’t have to rack my brain to remember where it was (I have a lot of cookbooks). Finally, four years ago I added the schedule of cooking so I knew what I had to accomplish each day to stay on track. (Perfect for my busy life and my type A personality!) Read the rest of this entry →