Successful education starts with relationships - among students, and between children and teachers. These sample icebreakers can help get you started.Read more »
Improv games are a captivating way to focus students’ energy and attention, and bring students to the present moment. Here are some ideas to try with your students as you begin the new year.Read more »
Apples, apples all year round
juicy, fresh, and yummy.
Apples, apples, sweet new year,
apples dipped in honey.
Coming August 2!
This tasty tour through the Jewish holidays introduces young children to Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, and Shavuot. Colorful collage illustrations feature a variety of friendly woodland animals enjoying each holiday.
"Apples have been special to the Jewish people since ancient times," write authors Barbara Bietz and June Sobel. "Sweet and juicy, apples are part of Jewish holiday celebrations throughout the year. Sharing holiday meals and preparing recipes together creates meaningful family traditions."
Teacher Guide available for free download at behrmanhouse.com
Miriam looked over the apple orchard. Autumn leaves were turning yellow and gold. The beehives were full of honey. The apples were ready for picking. Rosh Hashanah was coming.
Miriam imagined all the apples and honey on her family's holiday table, as she waited for their guests to arrive.
Miriam didn't come to the orchard just to pick apples.
She also came to practice blowing her shofar. She could practice in the orchard without hurting anyone's ears.
Miriam stood under an apple tree. She took a breath and blew. TEKIAH! SHEVARIM! TERUAH!
She heard a sound above her head. It wasn't a shofar.
Munch! Crunch! Munch! Crunch!
What was making that noise? Miriam looked up into the apple tree.
There sat a sasquatch, munching away at the apples.
Coming August 2!
Just in time for Rosh Hashanah
New parents get overwhelmed, regularly pushed to their limits and confused by contradictory feelings of elation and near-despair.
A recent New York Times article shared parenting advice you really need. One parent contributed this gem: "You're allowed to feel overwhelmed and overjoyed. You can be both. Feeling it all doesn't make you a bad parent. It makes you human."
This is the premise behind the new book from Alicia Jo Rabins, coming in September. Humorous, self-reflective, and comforting, Rabin’s musings on both heartening and cringe-worthy biblical examples of parenting can help any caregiver see beyond the detritus of day-today living with young children and recapture a sense of wonder at the process of r
Posted: July 13, 2022|Categories: Contemporary Jewish Life
Is Judaism in North America dying? Is religious life in general on the wane?
Or is Judaism thriving, but simply doing so outside those legacy institutions that have so far resisted change?
In their new book, Awakenings: American Jewish Transformations in Identity, Leadership, and Belonging, Rabbis Joshua Stanton and Benjamin Spratt invite debate about the future of Jewish communal life in North America, and claim that inspired, nimble religious organizations of all kinds are now retooling to meet the very different needs of today’s congregants.
They show us new organizations now being created and argue that we are already witnessing the early stages of renewal i
Can You See God in a Grapefruit?
by Aliza Abusch-Magder
from Salt & Honey: Jewish Teens on Feminism, Creativity, and Tradition
Thousands of juice packets. Sweet, tangy, sour. Packed so closely together in communities commonly called "pieces," and when you hand me a piece of your grapefruit, you hand me a little collection of individuals held together by a thin, opaque, fibrous skin.
When I passed the grapefruit tree on the way to the bank, I effortlessly plucked the ripe, perfumed, leathered teardrop slowly falling from its tired branch.
I casually held a world in my hand, a real-life Horton Hears a Who!
Don't you see God in Dr. Seuss? Wasn't it divine?
Celebrate the sprawling, complicated, glorious nature of being a teen today.Read more »
Social and emotional learning is at the heart of Jewish education.
According to educators Jeff Kress and Nancy Parkes in a recent article, there is substantial research evidence linking social and emotional competence and academic achievement.
“Educators in Jewish settings are not only concerned with what our learners know, but also in the sort of people they become. A goal of Jewish education, regardless of where or how it takes place, is for learning to inform practice and shape how one lives that learning in the world,” they write.
“Educators in every setting (day school teacher, bunk counselor, etc.) always shape the social and emotional growth of their learners (students, campers, etc.). SEL aims to do this in a more goal-directed, structured, and powerful way. In fact, many educators are already “doing” SEL as part of their everyday practice.”
It was the 1970s. and doors were opening for women all across America. They could be doctors, lawyers, even pilots. But two thousand years of tradition said they couldn't be rabbis. Until Sally.
Sally Priesand wanted not just to learn Torah, but to teach it; not just to listen to a sermon, but give one; not just sit in the congregation, but lead it.
In rabbinical school, people whispered, "She is only here to find a husband."
"She will never finish."
"No congregation will hire her."
But Sally didn't listen. She finished her studies and became the first women rabbi in America. She opened the door for the many women who followed, and her story inspires us all to reach for our dreams.