Today, reading “The Diary of Anne Frank” is a rite of passage for every Jewish middle schooler. But once upon a time, Anne was just a normal, carefree girl, on the cusp of adolescence, taking in the world around her.
The day is July 22, 1941; the scene is the Franks’ next door neighbor getting married. As the handome bride and groom exit the home, the camera cuts to an overlooking window where little Anne can be spotted leaning out to catch a glimpse of the festivities.
One year later, on July 16, 1942, the Frank family would received a call-up notice and go into hiding to avoid deportation. Read the rest of this entry →
One of the challenges of being female and Orthodox is straddling the line between halachic modesty, artistic expression, and personal empowerment. Take it from Mina Black, a professional dancer and Orthodox mother of four.
“Being an artist in our community, a dancing artist, is a very odd thing. You’re not allowed to express your body. It’s not modest. A woman is supposed to be covered, humble,” says Black.
One of 14 siblings, Mina was raised in a haredi Jerusalem neighborhood where professional dance was strictly forbidden, and she spent a lifetime struggling to find a niche for her talent. Today she lives with her family in Long Island, where she owns a ballet studio for Orthodox girls, blending prayer and spirituality with the art of dance. Read the rest of this entry →
Meet Josh Orlian, a 12-year-old Modern Orthodox Jew from White Plains, New York, who made his stand-up comedy debut on last night’s episode of “America’s Got Talent.” Not yet a bar mitzvah, young Josh, with sweet red hair and a kippah on his head, explained to the camera before taking the stage that he was quite nervous–until this moment he had only performed his jokes in front of family and friends.
Like any proud Jewish parents, Josh’s folks were there to cheer him on, his mother kvelling, as expected, “Of course I always laugh. I’m his mother!”
Last Friday, a baby orangutan named Pongo marked his 1st birthday at Zoo Atlanta in Georgia. The Huffington Post featured a video of Pongo and his mama acting remarkably “human-like” along with a series of cuddly, adorable photographs.
Pongo almost looks like a human baby. So much so, it’s freaky in some shots. But the mother/son bond captured in these photographs is not quite unlike the one we’re all familiar with. Happy Friday all! Read the rest of this entry →
Tonight is the last night of Hanukkah, which means it’s not too late for your kids to find out what the holiday is all about (besides getting Hello Kitty socks, of course). Thanks to Kveller contributor Avital Norman Nathman for sending us this video made by the gan (kindergarten) class at her son’s school, Lander Grinspoon Academy in Northampton, MA. Adorable kids talking about miracles–what could be better? Enjoy!
All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.
- Forbes asks: Is Modern Motherhood Working Against Women? Not according to one woman, the CEO of a tech company, who explains how she was able to be a business woman and make attachment parenting work for her family. (Forbes)
- For those who question just how busy stay-at-home moms really are, here’s a chronicle of a day in the life that will make you tired just reading it. (Shine)
- Laurel Snyder, Kveller contributer and author of Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher, talks about raising her Jewish kids with religion, but not too much religion–i.e., they don’t keep kosher. (CNN)
- And for your daily dose of cute, here’s a baby who absolutely loves being vacuumed (Jezebel):
Were any videographers in attendance at your seder this weekend? Here’s a video from Kveller contributing editor Sarah Tuttle-Singer of her beautiful children singing the Four Questions. If you captured some footage of your seder that you’d like to share with the rest of Kveller, leave links in the comments below, or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Though it seems like we’ve been talking about it for eight years, the first night of Hanukkah is finally here. Before you stuff your face with latkes (or cupcakes or cookies or cheese) and unwrap some presents (if that’s what you’re into), you may want to light the menorah. And since it’s been at least year a since you’ve done that, here’s a refresher course on just how it’s done. Who better to learn from than our favorite animated fellow, Todd, and his magical friend, um, God.
How to light the Hanukkah candles:
We’re also happy to provide you with this cheat sheet of blessings for lighting the candles. Remember, all three blessings are said on the first night, and then only the first and second blessings are said on the seven nights to follow.
The First Blessing
Praised are You,
Our God, Ruler of the universe,
Who made us holy through Your commandments
and commanded us
to kindle the Hannukah lights.
The Second Blessing
Praised are You,
Our God, Ruler of the universe,
Who performed wondrous deeds for our ancestors
in those ancient days
at this season.
The Third Blessing (First Night Only)
Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe, Who has given us life and sustained us and enabled us to reach this season.