Rosh Hashanah Survival Guide–Updated for 2017/5778

I first wrote the checklist below ten years ago. I'm republishing it as a new post, for the third time. I've also set up a page with the best posts about Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. Some of the tips below only apply when Rosh Hashanah is on Shabbat or leads into Shabbat. Don't hesitate to … [Read more...]

Preschool Pesach Haggadah

I'm happy to be participating in the Passover for Kids series over at the Multicultural Kids Blog (MKB). Today I'm reposting a popular craft, a simplified children's haggadah that preschoolers can make themselves and use at the family Passover seder. Be sure to check out the other posts in the … [Read more...]

Fallen Soldiers with No One to Remember Them: Esther Koifman

Connecting with Yom Hazikaron, Israel's  memorial day for fallen soldiers and terror victims, can be difficult for immigrants. Unlike most Israelis, immigrants may not know any families who have lost loved ones. So I was intrigued when my friend Deena Levenstein wrote about participating in a … [Read more...]

On Passover and Daughters-in-Law

A year or two ago, the haredi magazine Yated published an article in its family section about the plight of the haredi woman in her forties. With a large number of children of different ages, she has to worry about shidduchim (match-making), teenage ups and downs, and elementary school issues. She … [Read more...]

The Orlah Man

My daughter made this figure in honor of Tu BiShvat, the holiday known in the Mishnah as the New Year of the Trees. The teacher said it wasn't for eating, but because my daughter stayed home from school with a fever we will enjoy it for our Shabbat dessert. According to the Talmud, the majority … [Read more...]

Printable Hebrew Activity Pages for Chanukah 2012

Happy Chanukah! My neighbor Bruria prepared Hebrew printable activity page for kids, at a first to second grade Hebrew reading level.  Each sheet starts off with a chapter of Tehillim (Psalms) and a list of names of sick friends. Bruria gives permission to share, as long as you keep all of the … [Read more...]

Rabbi Elgazi on Breastfeeding, Fasting and Yom Kippur

In last week's Matzav Haruach, Rabbi Ben-Zion Elgazi's column is devoted to fasting on Yom Kippur. I liked his approach to breastfeeding so I am translating it here. You can find the original Hebrew text in this article I contributed to the blog of the Israeli Association of Certified Lactation … [Read more...]

Last-Minute Rosh Hashanah Greetings

How have your Rosh Hashanah preparations been? After a lot of typical pre-holiday anxiety I just realized that I don't have so much cooking left. When I asked my husband what simanim (symbols) he wanted to see on the table, he said, "Apples and honey." So I decided not to stress about making a lot … [Read more...]

The Indispensable Post-Pesach List

This is an update of a post  first published in 2009. The funny thing about Pesach is that you spend weeks getting ready, obsessing about crumbs and making sure that everything in your kitchen has been switched over and made kosher for Passover. No matter how simply you clean, it is still a ton … [Read more...]

Erev Pesach 2012: My Passover Mantra

This was the first year that I got through the Passover preparations without having a panic attack (so far at least). Last year I got up from shiva for my father about ten days before the holiday.  So when it came to Pesach cleaning I kept telling myself, "Good enough." Since I usually find … [Read more...]