Can I Really Learn Hebrew?

Congrats to Beth G,  winner of night seven of our Hanukkah Surprise Packs! She gets a pack of Hanukkah napkins that instantly shout “celebrate!” Just put these on the table at dinner and voila! It’s a party. (Available in Hanukkah in a Box.) One night left to enter; just sign up at www.JewishHolidaysInABox.com.    Yes, you can learn the Hebrew blessings My father, z"l, spoke eight languages. When I was a young child, I heard him practicing reading out loud. Maybe that's when I learned to love the variations in hard and soft sounds of different tongues. He taught me Hebrew, in … [Read more...]

Hanukkah. Chanukah. Hannukkah.

Handy primer with an overview of Hanukkah basics

Congrats to Heather, winner of night four of our Hanukkah Surprise Pack Giveaway. One of the things she gets is our 16-page all-about-Hanukkah primer with the story, glossary, FAQs, decorating ideas, latke recipe, and much more. (Available in Hanukkah in a Box.) You can still sign up to enter for the last four nights of the giveaway at www.JewishHolidaysInABox.com. What do folks think about this booklet? Here’s a comment from a seasoned, super-creative Jewish educator: “ [This] booklet details Hanukkah in an accessible, organized way. It captures the big ideas as Three Core Concepts: … [Read more...]

Carrying the Spirit Forward

As the last of the fall holidays winds down, we have to wait two months until Hanukkah. If you attended services or had festive meals with family over Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot, did you feel renewed, inspired, recommitted to Jewish practice? I think this happens for lots us. [Conversely, some people feel more alienated. We’ll talk about that next week, because it can be a powerful letdown.] Establishing new traditions If you do want to rededicate yourself to a new tradition, how could you go about it? You could choose just one addition to your weekly routine that would … [Read more...]

Ways to Capture Your Family’s Unique Story

That grainy picture is of my Bubbeh, z”l, playing the piano.   She also sang beautifully. I’m hoping to find a song she wrote and let the world – and especially our family – know about it. Memoir is Not the Only Option Every few days, it seems, I am reminded of the urgency to collect, document, and share the stories of our families. These three bits from this past week seemed to converge and shout at me: “Get started!”   #1 – Yiddish Gathering I invited some friends over to celebrate Yiddish. We read a funny lesson from the magazine Pak ‘n Treger about what to do if you … [Read more...]