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...]

Lag B’Omer – Family Fun Between Passover & Shavuot

Celebrate Lag B'Omer

Lag B’Omer (pronounced lahg b’aw-mehr) is coming! Lag B'Omer  begins Wednesday, May 25th and ends Thursday, May 26th. This minor holiday comes 33 days into the 49-day Counting of the Omer (after Passover and before Shavuot). It often includes outdoor celebrations - think picnics, ball games, roasting marshmallows, and cranking up that grill. If you’re not sure what the significance is, you’re not alone. In fact, there are different points of view about its origins. Lag B’Omer basics What’s it mean? Lag B’Omer means the 33rd day of the omer.  The Hebrew letters of “Lag” – “lamed” which … [Read more...]

Last-Minute Ways to Get Ready for Seder

Seder Plate

Are you hosting the Seder this year – but you haven’t planned it yet? Don’t panic. If you’re looking for easy how-to guidance, grab a copy of our instantly downloadable  Celebrate Passover: How to Plan a Fun, Simple Seder.  You'll get a Seder shopping list, how to set the Seder table, and lots, lots more! Plus, you get two audio tutorials, with a pronunciation guide. Passover 2016 is from sunset, Friday, April 22 through nightfall, Saturday, April 30 And if you want to customize your Seder, but need ideas that are super fast? Look at these for inspiration - then choose from your family's … [Read more...]

Passover Recipes with a Twist

Vintage Passover Seder Plate On Dark Background.

                      I vacillate between wanting to keep tradition and add new elements to our Seder each year. A few years ago, we experimented with not having brisket for Passover, serving chicken Marbella instead. What a big hit! So when I found this Chicago Tribune article with modern Passover recipes, I loved the advice to keep the favorites, but experiment with some new choices. Passover 2016 is from sunset, Friday, April 22 through nightfall, Saturday, April 30 Charoset from two worlds … [Read more...]

Passover Steps – Walking Through the Haggadah

Did you ever attend a Seder, waiting for your turn to read, wondering where you were in the journey through the Haggadah – and when it would be time for dinner? Some of you know my story and the beginnings of Jewish Holidays in a Box. I was leaning on the kitchen counter peeling carrots on the morning of our Seder when I had an AHA moment. The Haggadahs (the booklets that take you through the Seder step-by-step) we’d been using for years weren’t kid-friendly. And they didn’t truly tell the story of Passover, with its wonderful drama and symbolism. At the time, our girls were 6 and … [Read more...]