Jewish Life

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Our Favorite Rosh Hashanah Recipes

With rich flavors from pomegranate to saffron, these Tori Avey recipes with videos offer tasty turns on traditional favorites. A memorable tzimmes has never been easier, a Persian Jewish side dish is a fragrant and savory complement, and the challah is a sweet surprise.  Every…

These Are Not the Families We Imagined, But…  

When I married in 1974 and started to have our children (1,2,3,4) we went down a pretty conventional and predictable Jewish path … one pidyon ha-ben (the ceremony welcoming a first-born son) was followed by four bar and bat mitzvahs later. And then in birth order, our…

Tzedek Box: Repairing the World, One Righteous Act at a Time

Learn how to keep a family journal of righteous acts with the Tzedek Box. As Andrew Mandel explains, it’s a way of passing along Jewish values and commitments with a ritual that sparks introspection and bonding.  The dog days of summer mean that our Hebrew month…

How the High Holy Days Sounded 100 Years Ago

Curated by Hankus Netsky Ever wonder whether your high holiday experience sounds like the one your grandparents had? Courtesy of the internet, we can revisit some of the great High Holiday moments of the twentieth century, experiencing the passion and urgency of the classic Eastern European Jewish prayer tradition.   …

Tashlich for Children: A Ritual that Welcomes Creativity

Just add water: Invite your grandchildren and family members to embrace and add their own creative touches to the Rosh Hashanah ritual of Tashlich   Because the Rosh Hashanah ritual of Tashlich came late to Judaism (it dates to the 13th century), it is among…

Wonders of Taiglach: Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of Dough

The sticky, nearly impenetrable mound of dough, nuts, and sweets that was once a fixture of our Rosh Hashanah holiday tables became a shorthand for the joys of the “High Holy Days.” What are today’s taiglach? How do we bring sweetness to our family tables…

The Afghan

It was the perfectly silly Zayde game.  I covered Bina, my 18-month-old granddaughter, up with the blanket and she’d pretend to be asleep. I pulled the blanket back and she giggled and announced “awake”.  We did this 10 or 11 times until it was time…

Chai Mitzvah Tikkun Leil Shavuot 

Shavuot, which begins at sundown on May 16, 2021 and ends at sunset on May 18, is a major Jewish holiday celebrated forty-nine days after the second day of Passover. It was originally a harvest festival, but now also commemorates the giving of the Torah….

Recipes for Memories

Our Bubbie Ida Paperny, lived in the kitchen. Seriously. She also “loved” in the kitchen. She loved when her four daughters helped her cook up a huge family Shabbat or holiday meal. Our mothers too, excellent cooks both, worked for hours over hot stoves to…

Ten Minute Virtual Dayenu Seder

Passover begins on the evening of March 27, 2021 Once again, this night will truly be different from all other nights. We are pleased to offer the updated “Ten Minute Dayenu Virtual Seder” designed for multi-generational families to use on the shared video platform of…

Counting Latkes

There are fifty latkes on this tray,” my 95-year-old mother says. I nod and continue peeling potatoes. My sister is frying. My niece is chopping onions. My mother spreads another paper towel on a cookie sheet, and continues counting. It’s that time of year. Where…

Thanksgiving 2020: Finding Gratitude When We’re Gathering Differently

How to have a meaningful and fun COVID-19 Thanksgiving celebration!   Thanksgiving will be here in a few weeks. For many of us it will not be the Thanksgiving of years past. Even as that saddens us, we yearn for greater connection with those we…

Frog Tashlikh OR if a frog jumps into a pond…

Intro to Frog Tashlikh: We are taking a frog that grew from a tiny tadpole as part of an egg sac accidently dropped (we assume) by a bird into a container near my garden earlier this summer.  This event became part of our ongoing lesson…

Rosh Hashanah Books for Children and their Parents and Grandparents

The High Holy Days are upon us, and this year most of us will not be gathering with family or attending services in person. Luckily, we can still connect with loved ones by video chat to share special holiday moments on Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts,…

Chesed and Gevura

26th of Nissan in the Year of the Corona Virus As a grandparent of four, I often wonder about my unique role in sharing with my grandchildren the beauty and brilliance of Judaism. What are Jewish values and why do they matter? What makes them…