Use Thanksgiving to teach kids about blessings, Jewish values
By JWeekly Correspondent
Thanksgiving brings to mind pleasant images of roasting turkey, pumpkin pie and family gatherings. Perfectly compatible with Jewish observance, the holiday is a traditional favorite of Jewish families.
It always falls on a Thursday, never on Shabbat. The classic main dish is a turkey, available in kosher form. And gratitude for one's blessings is a religious impulse that all Americans can share.
Moreover, popular historical interpretation holds that the pilgrims modeled Thanksgiving after the biblical harvest festival of Sukkot. Whether or not this is accurate — a historian friend of mind considers it an American midrash or creative interpretation — it creates a comfortable association between Thanksgiving and our Jewish heritage.
In that vein, here are a few ideas to make Thanksgiving even more special for your family:
8 Things You Probably Don’t Know About ‘An American Tail’
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller
Remember Fievel? Fievel is the adorable mouse in the animated series “An American Tail”–and its sequel “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.” How could you forget the whole Mousekewitz family saga? The movie, which chronicled their move to America, may seem eerily like your own family’s story.
There are a ton of things you may not realize about the American Tail series, however, and I’ve compiled them below:
A Story for Hanukkah and Going to the Doctor
From the blog of AnnKofsky.com
More than anything, Judah wants to be a good big brother to his baby sister, Hannah. He even uses his new Maccabee shield to protect her from danger!
On the last day of Hanukkah, during a visit to the doctor, Judah refuses to have his shot. Surely, his shield can protect him from germs, too!
This charming book teaches about Hanukkah and also about check-ups from their doctor and the importance of shots.
Sensory Play Activities for Babies
Readers often ask me for sensory activities for their young babies. While many of the playtimes I share are safe for young ones to partake in on some level, I thought it would be helpful to have a resource full of fun play ideas specifically for babies.
When Everyone in Your Town Ignores Jewish Holidays
BY JULIE GERSTENBLATT for Kveller
When I moved with my husband and family from Scarsdale, New York to Barrington, Rhode Island four years ago, I knew I’d be making a lot of changes.
I didn’t realize that questioning my entire sense of Jewishness would be one of them.
The first inkling that I wasn’t going to fit in easily anymore came early in September, just as Rosh Hashanah did that year. My fourth-grade daughter came home from school and announced that her classmate was having a birthday party.