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Monthly Archives: May 2022

  1. Celebrating 50 Years of Women in the Rabbinate

    Celebrating 50 Years of Women in the Rabbinate

    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.

    Sally Opened Doors - coming June 7


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  2. Rabbi Steve Leder’s First Book, The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, Still Touches Hearts and Souls

    Moments of profound introspection can start with a simple story.

    With a new foreword by the publisher and a reflection by the now bestselling author looking back twenty years at his first book, The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things is back to make us laugh and cry and notice the small things in our lives that are actually remarkable insights.  

    “Revisiting these essays is . . . a reminder of who I was, still am, and always will be, and also how I have grown. For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in the ways the most particular and smallest experiences reveal the most universal truths. Much like how identifying the tiniest of particles t

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  3. A Shavuot Story of Friendship to Savor

    A Shavuot Story of Friendship to Savor

    Mr. Mintz was exactly the kind of neighbor everyone wanted.

    He had a friendly word and a smile for everyone.

    Plus, he was awesome at: remembering birthdays, raking leaves, carrying groceries, shovelling snow, giving bike-riding lessons, filling bird feeders, and putting out milk for cats.

    And oh, what a marvelous cook Mr. Mintz was!

    He'd measure and mix and chop and pour. He'd add a sponful of this and a pinch of that. He'd fill and fry and bake.

    And in no time at all there'd be a dish of something so mouth-wateringly delicious that the aroma reached into every house on the street.


    Mr. Mintz is famous in the neighborhood for cooking up cheesy, gooey, and delicious blintzes. He shares them each spring to celebrate the Shavuot holiday.

    But something happens to Mr. Mintz this year, and he can't make his sweet treats.

    Oh no! Can

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  4. Behrman House’s Commitment to Diversity in Learning Materials Has Never Been Stronger

    We recently received a letter from “Concerned Citizen,” an anonymous 8th grader from Boston, who noticed that in the Hebrew series Z’Man L’Tefilah (Time for Prayer) “every single illustration in the book depicts white people,” and urged us to do better than to present “a singular image of Jews.”

    The student is right. This series, developed in the 1980s by the publishing company A.R.E., is illustrated with small line drawings that present what could be called an Ashkenazic world view, a view that North American Jews are exclusively descended from the Eastern European Jews who immigrated during the late 1800s and early 1900s as they fled pogroms and other atrocities.

    Behrman House took over distribution of this series in the early 2000s, and while we regularly review already published titles, as a small independent publisher we do not often have the budget to go back and

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  5. Hebrew Prayer Curriculum Options for Grades 4-6

    As we all know, there is no single magic bullet to ensure our students connect to the language of their tradition.

    It would be easy if the only choice of Hebrew approach were one-size-fits-all. But there’s no single way. 

    Our job as educators is to provide learners with real opportunities to use Hebrew in a way that aligns with the community's goals. 

    For some communities, the goal of Hebrew is to develop prayer skills and meaning - being comfortable participants in and leaders of Hebrew-based rituals and worship with an understanding of the meaning and value of prayer.

    If this is your program's goal, as you're thinking about your Hebrew program for the upcoming year, we're highlighting some of our tried and true Hebrew prayer materials for grades 4-6. These high quality materials have been created by experienced master Hebrew educators, b

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  6. How to Keep the Momentum Going After Decoding Hebrew

     How to Keep the Momentum Going After Decoding Hebrew

    Your students have learned to decode Hebrew - great! 

    Now what?

    Skill-and-drill practice feels tiring. Instead, build on your emerging readers' excitement and new skills by giving them opportunities to experience progress in a meaningful way. 

    Imagine the sense of accomplishment a learner feels when they can not only read a sentence in Hebrew, but understand it too. Or when they learn new vocabulary and can then add it to other words they know to form a sentence. Or when they win a game of tic-tac-toe by reading Hebrew words. 

    Shalom, Reader: 57 Hebrew Activities to Show What You Know offers the perfect fill-in for kids to consolidate their skills and take it to the next level. Think of it as a bridge between a Hebrew primer and more complex texts from a reading or prayer learning program. 

    Shalom, Reader introduces students

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  7. Salt and Honey: The Menu is Overwhelming

    Salt and Honey: The Menu is Overwhelming

    The Menu is Overwhelming

    by Emanuelle Sippy

    from Salt & Honey: Jewish Teens on Feminism, Creativity, and Tradition


    Sometimes age is as muddled as life's unanswerable questions.


    Arbitrary, in our cravings for adulthood and infancy. 


    Forget deciding--knowing alone is a task so cumbersome

    that control is not envied but rather exiled.


    When worry overpowers, I order life without



    and choice.


    Read more »
  8. Planning Hebrew Curriculum? How to Choose the Right Primer

    Strong Hebrew programs have a clear rationale, a reason for doing what you're doing. Knowing your end goal provides you the necessary filter and foundation upon which to structure learning experiences, create effective lessons, choose appropriate materials, and develop benchmarks. 

    We’ve provided a start with this guide that maps four sample learning goals to a range of materials that will help you get there. Download the Consider Your Goals guide.

    This guide - plus more planning help - is available at Just click PLAN on our homepage.

    One key goal for many programs is to help students recognize the Hebrew letters and their sounds, and to put those together to form syllables and words as they prepare to join the c

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  9. A Sweet Recipe to Celebrate Jewish Mothers

    Mother's Day is almost here.

    Celebrate mom with a sweet recipe, from Get Cooking: A Jewish-American Family Cookbook

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  10. Stories to Celebrate Jewish-American Heritage Month

    May is Jewish-American Heritage Month, which pays tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture and society.

    Open a window to the American Jewish experience with these storybooks from Apples & Honey Press.

    American-influenced Tall Tales 


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