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May 14 2013

Happy Shavuot–See You Friday

By at 4:51 pm

shavuot cheesecakeShavuot, the holiday that celebrates the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, begins tonight at sundown at lasts through Thursday at sundown. Which means the Kveller office will be closed and we’ll be off eating way too much cheesecake.

If you’re looking for some tips to celebrate Shavuot with your kids, check out this post conveniently titled “Everything You Need to Know About Shavuot.”

And if you’re looking for delicious dairy recipes, check out all of our Shavuot recipes here.

Chag Shavuot Sameach to all! See you Friday.

The Book of Ruth–A Story Close to this Convert’s Heart

By at 9:41 am
ruth and naomi book of ruth

Ruth clings to Naomi.

Conversion to Judaism is a profound thing. Stepping into the ritual waters has a ripple effect on everyone close to you, for better or worse.

My decision to convert was met with long blank stares masking mountains of internal dialogue. Many people inconsequentially convert to religions within Christianity, but for someone who was raised Christian to convert to Judaism is by definition a rejection. Rejecting that the Messiah has come can be interpreted as a dismissal of the morals and lessons you once lived, and in many cases a rejection of those who raised you. It can also be seen as a choice that was made that wasn’t entirely your own. Read the rest of this entry →

May 10 2013

Friday Night: Is One Day of Appreciation Ever Enough?

By at 2:58 pm

breakfast in bed for mother's day“How are you celebrating Mother’s Day?”

This is what all the moms were asking each other in our “Shabbat Shalom” toddler group this morning. For some, it was only their second Mother’s Day as mothers. For others of us (hand raised), Mother’s Day almost feels like a regular facet of the calendar. The real question, though, was eloquently asked by my friend and Kveller contributor Rebecca Schorr: “Are you in the “Mother’s Day means I want to be nowhere other than with my precious children” camp or the “Mother’s Day means I want to be nowhere near anyone who calls me Mom” camp?” Read the rest of this entry →

Everything You Need to Know About Shavuot

By at 11:14 am

mt. sinai signNext up on the Jewish holiday docket is Shavuot, which is a two-day holiday that begins next Tuesday at sundown.

Shavuot was originally an ancient harvest festival celebrating the grain crop. In Hebrew, Shavuot means “weeks” and the holiday is celebrated seven weeks after Passover begins. But today, Shavuot is mostly recognized as the anniversary of the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. Read more about the basics here.

So how do you celebrate this holiday with the kids? Some ideas: Read the rest of this entry →

May 7 2013

Free Stuff Alert: Get Cooking! A Jewish American Family Cookbook

By at 4:09 pm

get cooking! a jewish american family cookbookShavuot–the Jewish holiday celebrating the receiving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai–is coming up next week, May 15-16th. And what better way to get into the spirit of the holiday than to eat bucket loads of dairy? While the reason for the tradition to eat dairy on Shavuot is not entirely clear, the positive benefits of two days filled with blintzes, cheesecake, and rugelach sure are.

If you’re looking for some fun holiday recipes that are both kid-friendly and adult-approved, look no further than Get Cooking! A Jewish American Family Cookbook by Rachel Harkham and “Mama Doni” Zasloff Thomas. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 28 2013

Counting the Omer, Counting the Milestones

By at 1:39 pm

pile of legos“Dear God, how many hours until bedtime?” I mutter from my prone position on the playroom floor as Legos bounce off of my head.

And how long have I been doing this, anyway? I’m home with the kids today, and my husband left for work at 7:30, so it’s been eight hours (not all of them involved being pummeled by Legos, but still). Now the Legos are hitting me in the arm as my toddler flings them into the air, his giggles piercing the torpid afternoon. Let’s see…if there are no major meltdowns, I can reasonably expect to get both kids into bed by 8:30, so I’ve got five more hours to go. Five more hours is doable, right? Five is a lot less than eight, so clearly I’ve reached the downhill part of my day. No problem, I think. I’m golden. I’m coasting. I’m… oh, for crying out loud, can’t they make Legos out of something softer? Read the rest of this entry →

May 25 2012

Shavuot is Coming, See You Tuesday

By at 4:24 pm

delicious cheesecake

Maybe you haven’t been paying attention to all of the blintzes and cheesecake and ice cream recipes we’ve thrown your way, but Shavuot begins at sundown this Saturday, May 26 and lasts through sundown on Monday, May 28.

Yes, this means you’ll be going Kveller-less on Monday since our office will be closed, but chances are you won’t even miss us, being that it’s also Memorial Day weekend. So whether you’ll be pigging out on dairy and staying up all night in celebration of Shavuot or enjoying the (hopefully) nice weather with a family barbecue, we hope you all have a fabulous long weekend.

We’ll see you bright and early on Tuesday. Chag sameach!

May 24 2012

T is for Torah… and Tea Party?

By at 9:33 am

shavuot tea partyShavuot may not be the most popular Jewish holiday on the block, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate and make it fun for young kids. The gist of this holiday is all about the Torah—it commemorates when the Jewish people received it on Mount Sinai. It’s also customary to eat dairy on Shavuot (though reasons are not entirely clear, learn more about it here.)

Now bear with me, because this might be a stretch, but since “T” is for Torah, and also for tea, why not have a tea party to celebrate Shavuot? Get the family together, invite some friends over, and serve up some of your favorite dairy dishes. If you need some inspiration, here are my recipe and decoration ideas. Have fun! Read the rest of this entry →

May 22 2012

Make Your Own Ice Cream (Without a Machine!) for Shavuot

By at 12:58 pm
making ice cream in ziploc bag

The supplies.

Shavuot is coming up, so who wants to make some messy, homemade ice cream? I do. It’s the one time a year my family makes ice cream, so right there it’s a highlight of the Jewish calendar. “The Giving of the Torah,”of course, is at the core of Shavuot, but “The Making of the Ice Cream” is a bit more memorable if you are 5.

Don’t have a proper ice cream maker? The kids can make it with Ziploc bags. Even if you do have a machine, the low-tech baggie way is a good, gloppy group activity. Read the rest of this entry →

May 21 2012

Mt. Sinai Muffins, Origami 10 Commandments & More Shavuot Crafts

By at 12:12 pm

The focus around Shavuot is often on the dairy products: cheesecake, blintzes, and kugel. But it’s fun to change it up with a few springtime crafts. We’ve found some of our favorites to share with you (and check out our Pinterest board for a few more ideas, too).

One of our more popular crafts here on Kveller are these Mount Sinai muffins–an edible craft. They’re simple to make, super-fun to decorate with kids, and a great way to start a conversation about the holiday (for more on that, click here). And did we mention that they taste good, too?

Read the rest of this entry →

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