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Monthly Archives: November 2021

  1. Ready-to-Go Hanukkah Lessons for Every Age

    Hanukkah begins Sunday, November 28. 

    We've rounded up some ready-to-go lessons and downloadable resources for Hanukkah to make it easy for you to provide meaningful learning experiences with your students. 

    Grades K-2

    Find meaning in Jewish holidays 

    Students will learn about spinning

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  2. New Hanukkah Stories to Brighten Your Holiday

    Here are some new story books - and some other favorites - to entertain and inspire young children this holiday.

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  3. How A Veteran Teacher is Using a Storybook to Explain Vaccines – and the Value of Protecting Others - to Children

    How A Veteran Teacher is Using a Storybook to Explain Vaccines – and the Value of Protecting Others - to Children

    As a preschool and kindergarten teacher, Hannah Bloom-Hirschberg spent many years nurturing small souls and soothing worries.

    As a provider of professional development to Jewish early childhood educators, she teaches others how to find Jewish values in everyday life.

    And as a parent, she uses those proficiencies daily, along with everything else that parenting young children entails.

    The Covid-19 pandemic and the recently approved vaccine for children have tested those skills as well as opened up opportunities for many conversations with children.

    When Bloom-Hirschberg’s 6-year-old son expressed some anxiety about his impending vaccine appointment, the Chicago mom and educator turned to story books as a way to explain complicated ideas.

    Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor is literally the most perfect, timely, resonant book for right now,” she says. 

    Judah Macca

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  4. On Schlemiels, Friendship, and Hanukkah: Q & A with Author Eric Kimmel

    On Schlemiels, Friendship, and Hanukkah: Q & A with Author Eric Kimmel

    Over a long and distinguished career, Eric Kimmel has written all kinds of books for children. His latest, Shield of the Maccabees, marks a new first for him - a graphic novel.

    The new story, illustrated by Dov Smiley, is set in ancient Judea just before the very first Hanukkah and follows two friends - one Jewish and one Greek - as war comes to their land.  

    In an interview, Eric Kimmel tells us more.

    Why make a graphic novel now?

    Comic books were not considered literature when I was a kid. I hadn’t read any comics since junior high. My agent suggested I learn more about this format since it's now so popular. My friend Michelle McCann took me to Powell’s Bookstore in Portland and loaded me up

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  5. The Blessing of Bewilderment: A Message of Hope for Post-Pandemic Life

    The Blessing of Bewilderment: A Message of Hope for Post-Pandemic Life

    By Rabbi Abraham Skorka

    Excerpted from Returning to Life After the Storm: Hope and Wisdom from Jewish SourcesBehrman House, 2021 

     

    As you read this, the pandemic began about two years ago. Vaccines have since been created and have been found mostly effective, but too many people have also refused to take them, and too many people in the world have not had easy access to them.

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  6. It's Sigd! Time to Celebrate - and Learn About - this Ethiopian Jewish Holiday

    It's Sigd! Time to Celebrate - and Learn About - this Ethiopian Jewish Holiday

    Sigd is a unique holiday of the Ethiopian Jewish community, celebrated exactly 50 days Yom Kippur. This year it falls on November 3-4.

    Sigd is recognized as a state holiday in Israel. Yet very few American Jews know about it.

    The holiday is celebrated on the date thought to be when God was first revealed to Moses. Traditionally on Sigd, members of the Ethiopian Jewish community would fast and walk together to a mountain top. Members of the community would recite Psalms and remember the Torah and their desire to return to Jerusalem. In the afternoon they would descend the mountain and end their fast with a feast and dancing. 

    In recent decades, the Ethiopian community in 

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