Contemporary Jewish Life
Posted: February 08, 2023|Categories: Teacher Resources , Contemporary Jewish Life
Yom HaShoah begins this year on April 17.
Each passing year brings on a greater urgency to recall this dark time in our history. With fewer living witnesses able to tell their stories firsthand, we need a new way to fulfill the responsibility that Holocaust survivors have entrusted to us - to remember, to tell the story, and to act.
Plan now using a powerful new approach.
Light from the Darkness: A Ritual for Holocaust Remembrance is a 45-minute, structured seder-like experience that helps the next generations remember and honor the Holocaust. It can be done either in-person or virtually. And it is deeply moving.
This program starts
Posted: October 26, 2022|Categories: Teacher Resources , Contemporary Jewish Life
For all of us, the past few pandemic years have been scary and disorienting. For teens in a hunkered-down society, it’s also meant losing opportunities to develop independence.
“What our teens need in this moment is support for finding their voice and finding their autonomy. Then we’ll slowly see the pain and fear untangle,” says Michelle Shapiro-Abraham, an award-winning teen educator and director of strategic innovation and youth programs at the Union for Reform Judaism.
She points to two new resources that are committed to lifting up teen voices and showing them that they can “claim their power.”
Posted: September 07, 2022|Categories: Behrman House Basics , Picture Books , Contemporary Jewish Life , Apples & Honey Press|Tags: values , apples&honeyIt's not enough to teach our children HOW to be Jewish. Apples & Honey Press books also seek to show them WHY the values and the teachings of our tradition are important.Read more »
Posted: July 23, 2022|
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. 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 raising small humans.
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
Posted: June 08, 2022|Categories: New Products , Judaica , Contemporary Jewish Life
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?
Posted: June 08, 2022|Celebrate the sprawling, complicated, glorious nature of being a teen today.Read more »
Posted: June 08, 2022|Categories: Big Ideas , Contemporary Jewish Life
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.”
Posted: May 25, 2022|Categories: Picture Books , Contemporary Jewish Life , Apples & Honey Press
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
Rabbi Steve Leder’s First Book, The Extraordinary Nature of Ordinary Things, Still Touches Hearts and SoulsPosted: May 24, 2022|
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