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Jewish Parenting

Being Jewish During the Christmas Season

Jill Patir | Posted 02.02.2015 | Parents
Jill Patir

The holiday season still makes me feel a little left out. It will always bring me back to the days when I was jealous of my friends who got to decorate trees, hang Christmas lights and joyously sing Christmas carols.

Shabbatoween 2014: Keeping it Neighborly and Making it Jewish

Rabbi Ilana Garber | Posted 12.30.2014 | Parents
Rabbi Ilana Garber

How do I undo what I've done to Halloween? I don't want him to participate in trick-or-treating, but there should be joy in helping others to celebrate their holidays (like wishing other people a Merry Christmas). Perhaps it's time to start a new Halloween tradition -- even in this rabbi's home.

Legacy And Family: A Hadran For Harry Potter

Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Posted 07.28.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

When my wife and I chose the names of our three precious children, we were committed to naming them after family members we had loved and lost. It struck me immediately, when our youngest daughter was named, that the pantheon of my ancestral family was whole again.

Explaining Tragedy To Our Children

Sara Esther Crispe | Posted 07.28.2013 | Religion
Sara Esther Crispe

It is never too early, they are never too young, to learn that they can make a difference. They count. They matter. Their actions affect others. And most importantly, that they are a world and they can save a world.

Naming A Baby In Contemporary Jewish Life

Ron Kronish | Posted 07.22.2013 | Religion
Ron Kronish

Naming a child in any religious tradition is a momentous occasion. In recent decades, in the Jewish tradition, one can combine traditional Jewish ceremonies and contemporary Jewish customs in a personal, familial and communal way which perpetuate the values and ideals which we cherish.

What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Parenting: Missteps On The Path Of Spiritual Growth

Aryeh Ben David | Posted 07.21.2013 | Religion
Aryeh Ben David

My father had never apologized to me. I am certain that my grandfather had never apologized to my father. Was there some wise tradition of not apologizing that I was supposed to know?

What Is It About Bedtime?

Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Posted 07.20.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

Daylight is fading, eyelids are drooping -- a gentle goodnight seems natural. On the other hand, there is the "simple task" of getting a child to bed, tucking them in, and finally going to take care of "grown-up stuff." How difficult it is to preserve this escapable sacred experience.

An Open Letter To The Theist Community

Rabbi Adam Jacobs | Posted 07.07.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Adam Jacobs

In the same way as you would never use a Stradivarius as a door stop or a Porsche as a plough, we must strive to not cause the masses to believe that authentic, transformational, brilliant and beautiful spirituality is just so much vapor.

It Won't Rain On The Parade

Tzipah Wertheimer | Posted 06.23.2013 | Religion
Tzipah Wertheimer

The human experience is not always pretty. Sometimes it's very tragic and difficult. Lag BaOmer is a day of joy that stands out in a time of sadness. It is a day that six years ago we forced ourselves to leave our broken hearts behind and participate in The Great Parade.

The Radius Of The Boston Bomb

Judy Bolton-Fasman | Posted 06.17.2013 | Religion
Judy Bolton-Fasman

The great Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai wrote how the lives of these dead and wounded increase the radius of a bomb's crater. If that's the case, then the diameter of the bombs that went off in Boston stretched across the world.

Two Kinds Of Jews: Ashamed And Proud

Eliyahu Federman | Posted 06.15.2013 | Religion
Eliyahu Federman

My father grew up with little to no Jewish tradition. No Shabbat. No Menorah. No Kosher. He spent much of his life searching for an identity. Eventually, he discovered and embraced his Jewish heritage at an Oglala tribal meeting on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Unicycle Yourself To A Better You

Tzipah Wertheimer | Posted 06.12.2013 | Religion
Tzipah Wertheimer

As we count each of the days of the sefira, we are meant to realign ourselves. The goal is to hold back what needs to be held back and push ourselves into those awkward uncomfortable places that ultimately make us into better people.

Who Else Loves To Pay Taxes?

Rabbi Evan Moffic | Posted 06.08.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Evan Moffic

Even though it may seem odd, tax season is actually a perfect time to teach our children about gratitude. Doing so is critical, because our culture does not reinforce it.

Simultaneous Joy And Pain: The Wisdom Of The Counting Of The Omer

Rabbi Wendi Geffen | Posted 06.08.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Wendi Geffen

Will we view life as some sort of diminishing, increasingly limiting count down to the end, or will we see life as opening to an unending fount of opportunity, hope and joy? The Omer tradition, linking Passover to Shavuot, gives us the answer.

The Four Grown Ups: A Passover Piece

Tanya Tolchin | Posted 06.01.2013 | Religion
Tanya Tolchin

I have always found the section about the four children both compelling and off putting depending on the interpretation. I started to play with the idea a bit and turned it upside down.

Why I Don't Keep Kosher For Passover Anymore

Mara Shapiro | Posted 05.28.2013 | Religion
Mara Shapiro

It's that time of year that every Jew dreads. Eight days without bread, pizza, pasta or anything else that leavens. But not in our house.

New Haggadah Options In Time For Passover

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 05.22.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Jason Miller

The 21st century has seen a seismic shift from the rather bland (and free) Maxwell House Haggadah to more creative versions. And that transition has afforded many Jewish families some poetic liberties with the seder script.

Innovative And Fun Passover Seder Ideas

Rabbi Jason Miller | Posted 05.15.2013 | Religion
Rabbi Jason Miller

For young children ,it can be a frustrating and kvetchy experience as they watch each adult at the table take a turn reading the midrashic commentary of our ancestors' exodus from Egyptian slavery.

Authenticity In A False World

Ari Hart | Posted 05.06.2013 | Religion
Ari Hart

Our world may feel false. But we can accept it. And in the midst, we can create spaces and relationships where we can be real. And even when the world is at at its maddest, we can remember, remember who we truly are.

Sarah Silverman's Adorable Dad Tells Childhood Stories

Posted 03.01.2013 | Comedy

Donald Silverman, the notoriously adorable father of comedian Sarah Silverman, chatted about his love of his daughters in an appearance on HuffPost Li...

Jewish Inclusion: Dare To Dream

Elaine Hall | Posted 04.22.2013 | Religion
Elaine Hall

I always longed to share and connect with my son in my religious observance. I dreamt that I could sit with Neal in prayer. However, like many things when you have a child with severe autism, this did not seem likely to happen. Twelve years later, my fantasy became real.

Sparks Of Light That Keep Hope Alive

Heidi Rome | Posted 04.03.2013 | Religion
Heidi Rome

To love a child, see him suffer, and not know how to help him -- surely one of the worst experiences in the world. My worry muscle became very strong from continual, relentless exercise.

Drew Barrymore Considers Converting To Judaism

USA Today/Religion News Service | Maria Puente | Posted 04.29.2013 | Religion

(RNS) Drew Barrymore is telling the world that she and her Jewish husband plan to raise baby daughter Olive as Jewish, and the former child star may n...

Waiting To Announce Your Jewish Baby's Name

Nina Badzin | Posted 03.18.2013 | Religion
Nina Badzin

Perhaps nothing unifies Jews across levels of observance and backgrounds more than our adherence to superstitions involving babies. We Jews don't mess around with this stuff. Frankly, I find this curious.

A Letter To My Daughter

Avram Mlotek | Posted 02.19.2013 | Religion
Avram Mlotek

When I came home the other day and listened to the radio as I was preparing dinner, I knew I would have to write you this letter. When I saw pictures of children walking in line, holding each other's backs and hands, crying, and read the numbers of those killed, I broke down.