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Feb 14 2014

Turns Out Shabbat and Valentine’s Day Have a Lot in Common

By at 11:43 am


Tonight I’m planning dinner by candlelight. It will engage all five senses, with attention lavished on the tiniest details, including our wedding china instead of Corelle, and soup that requires a trip to the butcher instead of just a can opener. They say oysters are an aphrodisiac, but I’m banking on the kneidelach my husband likes: the firmer, the better. Ah, February 14th.

Isn’t this how Shabbat should always go?

My kids’ preschool director sent an email out reminding parents that “we celebrate love and caring all year long, but we do not celebrate Valentine’s Day at school.” Last V-Day, when my son found a cupcake in his cubby with the Post-It note reading “Baked with love in our kosher home,” he thought it was a happy coincidence.

No valentines, no candy hearts–would Friday be any fun? Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 11 2014

Navigating the Elementary School Politics of Valentine’s Day

By at 10:49 am


My first experience with Valentine’s Day was a perplexing one.

At the age of 7, I arrived in the United States (from the Soviet Union) with my parents on January 19. I started school. Less than a month later, everyone in my class gave me a flurry of pink and red cards, some of them heart-shaped. I didn’t have anything for my classmates, and I didn’t exactly know what was going on, in any case. So I came home and taped the cards up on my bedroom walls, like decorations. For the rest of the school year, people would periodically give me other cards, this time not necessarily in pink or red or heart-shaped, but looking enough like the first set that I dutifully went home and taped them to my walls, too. It wasn’t until I learned to speak (then read) English, that I realized the latter were birthday party invitations I had never responded to, and that the former were for something called St. Valentine’s Day.

It was a Jewish Day School, by the way, but, in subsequent years, I got with the program, never giving a lot of thought to what the whole experience is like from a parental point of view.

I’m a parent now. And here is something else I’ve learned about Valentine’s Day. It is even more complicated than I could have possibly imagined. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 14 2013

True Love is Spending Valentine’s in the Hospital with My Ex and His New Baby

By at 8:02 pm

hospital waiting room

When I was a kid in school, I was really into Valentine’s Day. I’d analyze each valentine my classmates sent me, searching for hidden romantic meaning (“He wrote ‘Love’ instead of ‘From’! HE LIKES ME!”). I’d be eager for Valentine’s Day every year, because this would FINALLY be the opportunity for the imaginary suitor of my dreams to show himself and make some grand gesture with roses, a boom box serenade, poetry or all three.

It never occurred to me that I’d find real love in knowing I’d be spending Valentine’s Day evening in the lobby of a hospital, sitting and waiting for my boys to visit their father, step mom and newly-born little brother. Those are my plans for this evening, and I’m surprised to find that they’re the best plans I’ve ever had.  Read the rest of this entry →

Valentine’s Day, Like Any Holiday, is Great for the Kids

By at 2:56 pm

valentine's day decorationsGrowing up, I never really thought much about Valentine’s Day. I’d sign a valentine for every kid in my class, put them in the little boxes we made, and then really enjoy eating the candy I somehow always got.

As I grew older, I pushed back on that whole St. Valentine thing. I don’t know much about the man except that he was a saint–and if he was a saint, well, that doesn’t feel so Jewish to me. I didn’t mind getting flowers or candy if someone decided to give them to me, but I wasn’t going to go searching for Valentine’s Day celebrations. It just didn’t quite feel right to me. Read the rest of this entry →

Valentine’s Day Contest Winners!

By at 11:30 am

my love conversation heartEarlier this week, we asked you how you met the love of your life for a little Valentine’s Day fun. And we must admit, it warmed our hearts to see our inbox filled with your stories of love.

We also noticed some trends that we thought were pretty interesting–like a lot of you met while volunteering (such mentsches!) or on AOL (hello, 90s), and a good number of you got married within less than a year of meeting your spouse. There were so many good stories that we didn’t just want to share one, so below you’ll find some of our favorites. Read the rest of this entry →

Should Jews Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

By at 9:33 am

heart shaped waffles for valentines dayI’ve never had a theological problem with Valentine’s Day. It was never a big deal in my family and my husband and I never really made a big deal about it in our relationship (though on Valentine’s Day 2004 he did give me TiVo. Best present ever!).  And since our kids all attended JCC preschools where it was not acknowledged, we didn’t even have to deal with it until our oldest started kindergarten at a public school.

And that is what got me thinking: is Valentine’s Day an appropriate celebration for Jews? Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 11 2013

Contest Alert: How Did You Meet Your Spouse?

By at 4:31 pm

valentine's day heartsLove (or anxiety, if you haven’t figured out a gift yet) is in the air as Valentine’s Day fast approaches this Thursday. In honor of this celebration of love, we thought it would be fun to travel back in time before diapers and sippy cups filled our lives with joy, back to the time when romance and dating didn’t come with a babysitter’s fee.

That’s right, we want to know how you met your one and only.

Whether through a matchmaker, Jdate, the bar scene or a chance encounter at the DMV (hey, it could happen) we want to hear your funniest, weirdest, most romantic or silliest stories of how you met your future spouse.

Send us your story between 100-200 words of how you met your significant other for the chance to win fame and glory (i.e.  publication on Kveller) and a copy of Brooklyn Love by Yael Levy, an orthodox Jewish romance novel about three young Orthodox women searching for love. All submissions should be sent to with “Valentine’s Day Contest” in the subject line. Send them to us by this Wednesday, February 13th and we’ll announce the winner on Thursday.

Feb 14 2012

When Your Toddler is Your Valentine

By at 11:35 am

pink valentine's day cookiesGrowing up, I was always giddy about Valentine’s Day. Yes it was totally awesome to wrap up a shoe box in sparkly pink paper and have prepubescent boys shove little notes in that said stuff like, “I like your hair” or, “Want to share my cheese?” But my parents always went out of their way to make me feel special on Valentine’s Day and that’s what I looked forward to the most. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 10 2012

Shabbat: The Valentine’s Day of Every Week

By at 1:35 pm

finger people huggingMy husband is an entrepreneur who runs his own company, and I’m a doctoral candidate. This means that five to six nights each week, he comes home from work just as I’m getting the girls in bed. We’ll have a quick dinner together, and then we both sit down in front of our respective computers to get some more work done before we get in bed way too late. Our conversations tend to be more like updates than discussions; he’ll tell me how much the car repair bill is, I’ll remind him that we have to get up early in the morning to make lunch for the girls. It’s not much of a connection, to be honest. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 3 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day! Here Are Some Tush Panties

By at 2:44 pm

tushIn honor of Valentine’s Day, Kveller has teamed up once again with Rabbi’s Daughters to offer our readers a very special treat. For all of February, if you make any purchase at the site, you are eligible for a free pair of the tush panties seen to the right. Yiddish underwear? Yes, please!

So whether you’re getting a mensch t-shirt for the husband, some Shalom Sesame gear for the kids, or a Mamaleh necklace just for yourself, be sure to take up our offer for a free pair of panties.

In order to redeem your gift, upon checking out write “Kveller” in the comments box, and be sure to include the size of underwear you’d like (small, medium, or large). And if you do your shopping quickly, Rabbi’s Daughters is offering free shipping through February 14th.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Now cover that tush!


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