Inspiration for Sukkot Fun

building the Sukkah

Sukkot 2016 starts the evening of Sunday, October 16th. I love fall, nature, excuses to be outside, and autumn harvest foods. So it’s no wonder that I love Sukkot. If you don’t have the luxury of being able to build your own sukkah, there are still 100s of ways to celebrate. To inspire you, here are just a few: Colorful Sukkot Recipes Apple Cider Glazed Sweet Potatoes Easy Roasted Red Pepper Soup from   Mini-Sukkah Crafts Build a Mini Sukkah for Sukkot  from Tori Avey Instant Edible Sukkah from BibleBeltBalabosta   More Family-Friendly … [Read more...]

Building Anticipation for Sukkot

Building a sukkah

“Is It Sukkot Yet?” is a brand new hard cover book by Chris Barash, pictures by Alessandra Psacharopulo designed for young children, 3-6. With a focus on all the senses, the story uses an echoing of the phrase, “Sukkot is on its way,” as it shares the tale of a family in a pastoral setting getting ready for the holiday. With lovely stylized images on each page – from gardens and fences, to trees and birds, squirrels and dogs, wagons, and so on, the color palette is all about fall, with lots of reds, oranges, browns, greens, golds. Because of the short amount of copy on each page (some of … [Read more...]

Helping Kids Understand Tashlich

Rosh Hashanah tradition

One of my new Rosh Hashanah books broaches territory that is more complicated than eating apples dipped in honey. [For a good Rosh Hashanah book for younger children, read our blog about Sammy Spider's First Rosh Hashanah.] “New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story,” was written by April Halprin Wayland, illustrated by Stephane Jorisch. The story helps young readers understand the basics of the ceremony of Tashlich, from the perspective of Izzy who is sorry for several of his transgressions from the past year. It’s easy for him to admit to three: drawing on Miriam’s forehead, … [Read more...]

With Apologies to Sammy Spider

Jewish holiday

Our local public library is doing a program about the Jewish high holidays. And they didn’t have any recent books about Rosh Hashanah for children, so I purchased several – to share with them and to share with you over the next few weeks. I have to admit – I’d never read the Sammy Spider books, and I had a preconceived notion of what they might be. I was so wrong. “Sammy Spider’s First Rosh Hashanah,” written by Sylvia Rouss and illustrated by Katherine Kahn, is charming. I bought the large paperback, so the illustrations have lots of real estate to show their bright, showy, happy … [Read more...]

Cheesecake, Anyone? – Shavuot is Coming!

Cheesecake for Shavuot

Shavuot has so many names. Since it celebrates receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai, one of its names is Z’man Matan Torah, or Time of the Giving of Torah. “Shavuot celebrates the moment when the Jewish people stood before God at Mount Sinai and received a scroll containing all the secrets of the universe as a memento of their encounter.  The scroll was the Torah.  She is called a tree of life.” (Anita Diamant, Living a Jewish Life ) The name itself has the word “shavuah” in it, the Hebrew word for week. So Hag haShavuot, Feast of Weeks, recognizes the seven-week period between Passover and … [Read more...]