Now that it’s cold and dark by 5 p.m., my regular after-work trip to the playground with my daughter has been replaced by a visit to the play area of our local library.
The other night, while my daughter worked on an insect-themed wooden puzzle, another little girl shyly mosied her way over. After some gentle encouragement from me and her mother, the two girls started playing together nicely, long enough for me to peruse the shelves of board books. I just about shrieked when I found a Hanukkah book featuring Elmo, a big favorite these days — and that’s when I saw the pile of books the other girl’s mother had collected: all Hanukkah stories, too.
I live on the East coast, where it’s not such a big deal to run into a fellow Jew, but among my close friends in town we are the only Jewish family, which means not only are we the only ones diving into eight days of fried potatoes, but the only ones dealing with the particular challenge of being Jewish right now: of still reeling with grief, shock, anger and a perhaps naive hope that things could get better, that this world can still be a place where everyone can live in safety, in dignity, in peace.
I didn’t talk about any of those feelings with the other random Jewish mom at the library. Instead, she told me how her older two kids feel about the local synagogue’s Hebrew school (one yay, one nay) and the best music classes for toddlers, and I told her about our recent dip into the Tot Shabbat scene (my daughter can’t stop bim-bamming, it is ridiculously cute).
It was a short, casual interaction that disproportionately filled my soul with joy, and reminded me of the power of connecting with other Jews in this moment.
That is exactly what we hope Kveller can do for you these days.
In a time when many things can cause distress and worry, we hope that Kveller has remained a source of comfort and connection for you. We strive to create a welcoming and inclusive digital Jewish community where you can feel at home — where you can talk about those big, overwhelming feelings and also get recommendations for the movies, music and TV shows that can offer a much-needed distraction.
If Kveller has had a positive impact on your life, whether it’s made you laugh, provided valuable insights, or simply made you feel seen, heard and less alone, we kindly ask for your support this Hanukkah. Your donations are tax-deductible and play a crucial role in our mission to provide inspiration, advice and connections that matter for our beloved Jewish community.