It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Sukkot

Sukkot is one of my favorite Jewish Holidays, and it is wonderful and fun for kids.  You get to build a club house and decorate it with all of your awesome art and crayon creations. You can eat, play, and sing in it, and, if you are lucky, camp out under the stars. From a farmer’s perspective, the holiday makes lots of sense.  Sukkot falls during the peak of the fall harvest. I find it very natural to feel a direct connection to our ancestors who built sukkot long ago. And from a mother’s perspective,  shifting meals outside is a …

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And Now For A Little More Rain

I am one of those people who questions conventional wisdom, and sometimes that means stumbling on clichés and common knowledge the hard way. It took working two jobs with a long commute to start to understand why Shabbat matters. It took my short but intense flirtation with homeschooling to start to appreciate public school. And this year, I think I am developing a new appreciation of Rosh Hashanah and why we need it so badly. Rosh Hashanah has come and gone and it is still raining, not constantly, but at least a little bit every day. The rain is falling …

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Rosh Hashana’s Perfect Timing

honey from Israel The Jewish Holidays bounce around the calendar quite a bit and some years I join the chorus complaining that they came too soon, when we are still in summer mode and just not ready.  But this year Rosh Hashana seems to have perfect timing. The holiday starts tomorrow evening, less than a week after the official start of fall.  We just finished packing our largest set of orders for Israeli Harvest, our small business that supports Israeli farmers.   On the farm, our fall crops are starting to look stronger and we have already had a few cold …

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Jewish Farming Article in Tablet Magazine

A few weeks ago, I was happy to speak to the food writer Leah Koenig who I met years ago at a Hazon event in Washington.  She was writing an article about the history of Jewish farming in America and we talked about my family farm and my father’s cousin’s chicken farm in New Jersey.   She did a great job on the story so I thought I would share a link to the story here. Also, I have been off line for most of the summer but I have been writing and will add some posts when I get back to my home …

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Tag Lines

I remember back when I spent a year in Israel after college, I felt like I walked around with this giant loud tag line shouting IN ISRAEL.  For example, I would be sitting in a cafe enjoying one of those awesome sweet iced coffee drinks and thinking, I am drinking coffee IN ISRAEL, or I am riding a bus to meet a friend IN ISRAEL.  And I remember noticing near the end of my trip that the tag line was getting much quieter and even sometimes disappearing. It was starting to be normal, I was just riding a bus (that …

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Jewish Parenting Book Review and Giveaway

Rabbi Ilana Grinblat’s, “Blessings and Baby Steps: The Spiritual Path of Parenthood” recently published by Behrman House offers a refreshing account of one mother’s attempt to infuse Jewish values and education into her parenting. I can attest that her short chapters make reading the book possible — even when you are busy chasing your own small children. I read the book while my children were engaged in sand play — three minutes here, 15 minutes there. Also, the chapters are very topical, so readers will easily hop around to topics of interest. The collection of essays spans pregnancy through age …

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Summer Wish List

Amy from the great Jewish Parenting blog Homeshuling created a summer wish list and invited other Jewish mama bloggers to join her. I am happy to participate, so here is mine.     1) Spend plenty of time hanging out with my extended family by Lake George  2) chase fire flies with the children and show them the night sky 3) swim a lot and generally perfect my beach momma routine (i.e. have the sunblock, sandals, towels, lunch & drinks ready and waiting)  2) teach my 4 year old to swim..or at least get a lot more comfortable in the water  3) teach my …

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I Need a Siren

Another Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Memorial Day came and went last week, and I found myself unprepared to mark the day.  In fact, today we are already on to Israel’s Independence Day — but I seem to be running a bit behind. Back in high school, I probably read more Holocaust memoirs than was healthy and later I spent quality time at both the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Israel’s Yad Vashem. In those pre-mothering days, there was plenty of time for reflection. Now as a relatively new mother, museum visits and heavy reading have seriously fallen by the wayside. …

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Matzah in the Sandbox

Nobody wanted to leave the sandbox at lunch time today. With the perfect spring breeze shaking the new Bradford Pear leaves over our heads and the soft afternoon sun warming our cheeks, we were all content to keep playing. Plus, there was a new bucket of plastic sand toys for digging and building. But I was hungry too, so I ran into the house and grabbed a box of matzah. I have noted the irony of the impressive onslaught of matzah crumbs beginning the moment the house has been cleaned for Passover. The near constant shower of matzah crumbs around …

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Jewish Farming Piece

 I am happy to have a short piece called Back to the Land about farming and Jewish life running on the Jewish Parenting Blog Kveller today.  Feel free to check it out and the rest of the site which has several good Passover posts and  lots of other interesting things to read.  If you are landing here from Kveller,  you might want to click here for another Jewish parenting post on this blog.   Happy Passover!

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