MazelTogether Rabbi Amanda Schwartz, Author at MazelTogether

Mazel Blog

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November 2, 2017

Rethinking Sunday School

In my role as education director, I often talk with parents about their own experiences in religious school or their children’s experiences.  The children and adults who tell me that they love or loved religious school are definitely the outliers in these conversations (my husband happens to be one of them). My own experience with religious school seems much more normative- I really hated going and would use basically any excuse to get out of attending.  When I knew that…

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Babies | Kids | Tots
March 29, 2017

Pregnancy, Parenting, and Pesach – In The Narrow Moments

For roughly the second half of my pregnancy I was terrified about labor.  As I approached my due date, I explored many different tactics to help feel more calm when the actual moment of labor arrived.  Someone, though unfortunately I don’t remember exactly who, recommended humming a song during contractions.  I liked this idea and knew just the perfect song, one that had gotten me through other scary moments of my life, Rebbe Nachman’s “Gesher Tzar M’od.”  The words to…

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Babies | Kids | Tots
December 20, 2016

Our Daughter Won’t be Opening Presents After We Light the Menorah

An idea began to percolate in my head last Chanukah. My husband and I were at a good friend’s Chanukah party and were chatting with another couple. They described how often the magic of the lights and Chanukah songs were quickly extinguished by their daughter’s excitement about moving on to opening presents. At the time of the conversation, our daughter was only one, and had not really been old enough to really experience either Chanukah or presents, but I could…

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Babies | Couples | Kids | Tots
September 12, 2016

How To Feel Connected To The High Holidays When You Can’t (or don’t want to) Go To Synagogue

Two years ago, the day of Erev Rosh HaShanah (the first night of Rosh HaShanah), I spent the day unlike any of my rabbinical school classmates.  While they were busy preparing for leading services and giving sermons at synagogues around the country, I was busy in a very different way- in labor.  Instead of hearing the shofar blast that evening for Rosh HaShanah, we heard our daughter’s first cry in the delivery room.  Though it may not have been the…

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