Posts Tagged: parenting

On Faith, Trust, and Kindergarten



Tomorrow, my oldest child begins kindergarten, and I’m not sure who’s more nervous. My sweet, sensitive, 95-year-old-Jewish-man-trapped–in-the-body-of-5-year-old son has expressed numerous concerns, ranging from: “What if I don’t make friends?” to “Where will the bathrooms be?” I tell him not to worry, that it won’t be so different from his cherished preschool in my synagogue (where everyone knows him, where is he most comfortable outside of our home) – but I know it will be completely new and very different.

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Be Fruitful & Recognize



by Rachel Kasten Despite being a Jewish educator, I have never felt a strong, personal connection to our sacred texts. I read the Tanakh as one reads literature, though this particular series of books had way too many underdeveloped characters and a very loosely held-together plot. It certainly didn’t invoke the kind of emotions that, […]

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Our Plugged-In Shabbat



As in many families, we found that the grip of electronics in the lives of our children was becoming tighter. This was not a good thing. In the mornings, our children would claim that they were not hungry for breakfast so they could watch TV. Invariably, this led to a struggle to get everyone out […]

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Rosh HaShanah Teaches Us About Making Every Moment Count!



The month preceding the High Holy Days is called Elul. It is a time of reflection before we “officially” begin the important process of teshuvah. In some ways this time of the Jewish calendar reminds me of Havdalah – the short but sweet service in which we say good-bye to Shabbat, but not before we […]

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Got Shabbat? Observing the Sabbath With Small Children



If there is one thing I do right in terms of Jewish education for my kids, it’s our weekly Shabbat dinner. It is usually just the four of us—my husband, our two boys (ages 8 and 3), and me—and our celebration tends not to last terribly long because of the boys’ ages, but this weekly […]

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Rosh HaShanah Resources for Parents – Intentional Modeling



“Not living our Judaism while expecting our children to develop an attachment to it is like being an art lover who expects her children also to love art even though she doesn’t bring them to museums or teach them art history or create artwork with them.  Like dedication to art or anything else, Judaism is […]

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A First-Time Camp Grandparent



by Rosanne Selfon I have to say: Being a grandparent of a camper in 2012 is very different from being a camper’s young parent in 1980. For some unknown reason, I wasn’t worried about anything significant when 8-year-old Lysa, our older daughter, began her years at URJ Camp Harlam. My looming concern was if she […]

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The Gift of a Real Jewish Wedding



by Ellen S. Glazer Several years ago I had a running buddy who was a rabbi. We covered many miles together and many topics, among them his beliefs about interfaith weddings. As a member of the Conservative Movement, he said he would not perform interfaith marriages because he felt that Jews should be married in […]

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A Mother’s Love on Her Son’s Bar Mitzvah Day



by Stacey Zisook Robinson Nate. My beloved boy. Just a few weeks ago, we stood in the middle of Rosenblum’s bookstore, where I asked him to pick out a yad (a pointer to use while reading from the Torah).  He walked over to the case and carefully inspected the array displayed there, and then said […]

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18 Ways to Welcome Adoptive Families into Your Congregation



Judaism commands us to “be fruitful and multiply.” Many couples and individuals fulfill this commandment through adoption, providing loving homes to children who desperately need them. Welcoming Jewish families enlarged through adoption into your congregation requires sensitivity to the unique issues they face. Here are 18 ways your congregational community can welcome and embrace adoptive […]

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They Needed Parents and We Needed Children



When my partner and I were adopting our first child, the adoption agency required that all families it worked with take a class. The class was about becoming a multi-racial family. At one session, the presenter, an adoptive parent herself, prepared us for some of the questions we would be asked, often by perfect strangers. […]

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The Essence of Honoring My Father



“Give kavod to your father and your mother; that your days may be long upon the land which Adonai your God gives you.” (Ex. 20:12) This Father’s Day, June 17, 2012, I will give kavod (honor) to my deceased dad by doing something he never would have approved of. Yet, I believe, he would affirm […]

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Camp, Family, and Home



by Deborah Greene Having a place to go – is a home.  Having someone to love – is a family.  Having both – is a blessing.  -Donna Hedges Before Yael left for her second summer at URJ Camp Coleman, we were out running a few errands. There were, after all, a million little things to […]

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This I Believe: “Children are Like Flowers”



by Shana Aucsmith I grew up watching “Leave It to Beaver,” and was always a little jealous that my family wasn’t so perfect. When I got older, I realized the days of the Cleaver family were long past – if they ever were. I learned that real families come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. […]

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