Playing Games Brings Families Closer

Rosh Hashanah Bingo

My husband comes from serious games-playing people. On my first visit there, we played no-holds-barred contract gin. Coming from my small, quiet family, I found it overwhelming. But I liked it. So when we had children, it seemed natural to incorporate family games from a very young age. Our version of contract gin was more restrained. We take turns. We do not slap at the cards. But we are very serious and competitive, through the laughter and loud music. When our girls were young elementary school age, I sketched out our first version of Hanukkah Bingo onto pieces of cardboard. As … [Read more...]

What Makes a Dessert Jewish?

Rugelach - Yum!

I’m a big fan of a monthly magazine called Our State, all about North Carolina – a wonderful home for our family for 16 years. Their February cover set up the challenge “Pie vs. Cake.” Proponents of each side argued their cases for which makes the greatest slice of all time. That reminded me of the latke vs. hamentaschen debates – so popular that they have their own Wikipedia entry! And it made me ponder “what are typically Jewish desserts?” As a child, the only time I had pie was when my Mom had us pick sour cherries from our cherry tree and she made wonderful cherry pies.  So, for me, … [Read more...]

4 Ways to Teach Preserving the Earth

Growing Beans

I was one of those lucky kids who grew up playing outside – in the woods behind Linda’s house, along the creek far away from anyone’s house, on the hills we rode to on our bikes. That sense of freedom and joy of being outdoors continued at Jewish summer camps. On kibbutz picking pears. Camping with my husband and kids. And now, walking in parks with our grandkids. So I love discovering programs that take “Judaism back to nature,” like Wilderness Torah. Adamah.  B'naiture.  Outdoor Jewish Adventures. Jkidphilly – introducing Jewish values When I read about’s latest program … [Read more...]

20 Fun Tips to Get Your Child to Read – Guest Post

Reading is fun

We’re pleased to feature a guest post this week from JewishconnectEd, a website dedicated to the empowerment and education of Jewish mothers, created by special educators supporting parents raising children with disabilities. Thanks to Zlaty Kahan, JewishconnectEd founder, and Bella Kahn, author of this post. We all know reading is important. Ideally, we try to encourage (nag?) our children to read. (Unless, of course, you’re the parent of a diehard bookworm. In which case you encourage and nag them to put that book down and go to sleep already!) Amongst its many benefits, reading … [Read more...]

5 Fun Kitchen Activities for a Summer Shabbat

Beautiful Veggies for Shabbat

About this time of the summer, you start seeing articles about how to help your child hang onto math and reading skills over the hot, lazy months. Spending time in the kitchen is the perfect solution. I’m with Grandma’s Briefs blogger Lisa about all the wonderful reasons to bake with your children or grandkids -- from reading recipes to measuring to learning fractions to sequencing. Of her eight top reasons to encourage kitchen time together, my three favorites are: Encourages creativity Fun for different ages to work together Natural time to tell family stories about favorite … [Read more...]