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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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March 6, 2017

Standing Up To Bullies – A Lesson From Purim

The holiday of Purim is a time for children to dress up and engage in festive activities but one unusual tradition is to drown out Haman’s name during the Megillah reading.  Why do we do this? Because he was a big bully that threatened the Jewish people.  We celebrate Purim to honor and remember Mordechai and Esther who bravely defied Haman’s orders and saved the Jewish people from annihilation. Nowadays we worry about our children being bullied and standing up…

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Choosing the Right Preschool for Your Child and Family

Choosing a preschool is stressful. Often this is the first time your child is in someone else’s care or away from you for an extended amount of time. Adding to that stress, in some communities the competition to send your child to the “best” preschool is fierce, motivating parents to put their child on a waitlist the moment the child is born. The decision is not just about the child it is about the parents, too. Preschool is a place…

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December 23, 2016

Bee a MaccaBee – How to Lead a Dedicated Jewish Life

There are so many interpretations of Hanukah, so many meanings to explore. Today it is a time of lighting Hanukiyot and eating sufganiyot and latkes as we sing and give presents.  But why all the fuss for this minor holiday? Is it that it falls so near our neighbors’ winter holiday and we don’t want our children feeling left out? I remember that when I was a child and indeed now, I enjoy visiting Xmas.  I love the lights and…

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December 21, 2016

Chanukah Heroes

During Chanukah, we not only celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting for eight days, we also remember the brave heroes who stood up for their beliefs.  These heroes would not hide in fear and let the Greeks take away their rights as Jews.  Hannah and her sons became martyrs rather than give in to the Greeks wishes and convert.  The Maccabees banded together, gathering more people to fight for their freedom.  The heroes’ strength was not in armor or…

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Babies | Couples | Kids | Tots
November 22, 2016

The Many Faces Of Community

Thanksgiving is not just a time to think of what we are thankful for but a time of togetherness.  My memories of this holiday are rooted with my mom. She was good about inviting and including new people in our home.  This may have been a neighbor who did not have family or one of kids could suddenly add a friend or even a boyfriend’s relatives.  She considered everyone who joined our table like family and took great joy in…

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