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Raising kids with Jewish values

Posted by on Sep. 2, 2009 at 8:38 AM
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I am newish to the group...I have never posted before but read a lot of the posts. I have a few questions...

I converted to Judaism about 4 years ago before my husband and I were married. I do Torrah study and go to synogogue. But, now that we have a 1 yo, I feel like I am not sure how to teach him to be Jewish. I don't know any little songs or fun little tings that your parents did with you when you were young. I mean I know how to teach,but grew up all over the world in a hasidic home and my FIL is catholic, so my hubbie wasn't raised very religious other than holidays. Our Rabbi is great, but we do not live in a very Jewish area and the members of our synogogue are a rather older group, not a lot of young families.

Any tips or ideas...I know my son is still very young I just wish I felt more knowledgable in some aspects. I can read all the books and commentaries, but none teach this! Thanks in advance for reading :)

by on Sep. 2, 2009 at 8:38 AM
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Replies (1-8):
mamadiamondof2
by on Sep. 3, 2009 at 8:20 AM

When my guys were little I used to play children's song tapes with little jewish songs aboutthe holidays.  They also had typical Kids songs in hebrew (were is thumbkin). You might want to look for some of them on line. Also there is jewish toys you could add to his colection like stacking blocks and puzzles. But at his age his home is his world so just having jewish books and objects around.  Lighting candles on Friday night and say prayers on a regular basis is really enough for now.

issianemmi
by Member on Sep. 3, 2009 at 11:04 AM

 Try to find a mommy and me class at a synagogue. Or a playgroup with alot if jewish mommies.

Amy

ggkl
by Member on Sep. 3, 2009 at 10:19 PM

I agree that books and music are wonderful ways to start incorporating Jewish learning into your child's life. Look up the holidays on Amazon or Target dot com -- Target.com actually has a lot of Jewish books and toys. There is a great website/catalog called the Source for All Things Jewish. If you google that you can find their website. They have baby toys, board books and all sorts of lovely CD's with music for families to enjoy.

You might google Jewish Music to see what sights come up.

We took our son to Tot Shabbat at Temple when he was little. We also enrolled him in a Jewish preschool that met once a week. We live in Peoria, IL and there is a rather active, but small Jewish community here.

We celebrated the holidays -- so eat apples and honey for Rosh Hashona. Bake a honey cake and tell your child, Happy New Year!"

We celebrate Purim and Shavout and most of the other holidays. We also light our Shabbos candles each Friday and we say the prayer together.

When my son was very young -- and he would do something nice -- like share a toy, or give me a kiss out of the blue, or finish his dinner or say thank you -- I would tell him that was a great Mitzvah -- a good deed. I would explain to him as he got older about different Mitzvahs and I would make a point to thank him when he did something good.

I kept him out of Hebrew class until he was 10. I have an education background and I wanted my son to have a solid foundation in English before I introduced Hebrew. So last year my son started Sunday School and Hebrew Class. He's doing really well in both classes. Also, this past summer, we sent our son to OSRUI -- a Reform Jewish camp in Wisconsin. I was a bit nervous having our son go away to sleep over camp -- but he had a wonderful time and learned so much and was with over 500 other Jewish children! What a great experience for him!

Enjoy reading to your son and introducing him to the different holidays. My son loves Chanukah and when he turned 9 we got him his own Menorah.

I know a few Jewish musicians -- Sam Glaser and Debbie Friedman -- both have music that is joyous and fun. Sam Glaser has a children's album out that is wonderful! His music is in both English and Hebrew.

Also, if you are looking for really fun music (not Jewish, just joyous!) look up Jim Gill -- he has a number of albums out that are GREAT for little children -- and their parents.

Have fun!

Kathryn

lbassin
by New Member on Sep. 12, 2009 at 3:12 PM

I am not sure where you are living but we just switched temples because the one that was closest to us is dying.  It's membership is largely older people without kids.  Now they all love my children and say how wonderful they are but at the same time they were about to start Sunday school and I did not want them to be in that religious school.  It is a good thing because at the membership meeting this week they basically decided to not change any of their spending habits and run out of money at the latest in 5 years.  I think that is crazy but they would not make changes.  So basically they will not be in existence much longer.

I recommend all the things everyone else has said.  I also converted to Judaism before my kids were born.  Luckily my husband had some up bringing but I do way more with the girls then he does.  Every night we say the Shema.  I think it also helps to ground them in the religion.  I spent a lot of money at our local borders before they got rid of the religious section.  Amazon is a great source for books.  I think I have a recommended reading list on their.  I am sure you can search and people have tons of list for jewish children.   I do recommend books by Sandy Sasso.  She has another last name but the final name is Sasso.  She is a Rabbi and has some great children's books.  Also the Sammy the spider series are great when your child is preschool age.

Feel free to email me anytime you have questions I have a similar situation.


Linnea

mere123
by New Member on Sep. 24, 2009 at 11:02 PM

Hi.  I agree with what the others have posted so far.  As far as what to do with little kids, I've found what has worked so far (kids are now 4 and 2) are books on Jewish topics and Jewish puzzles/toys for the holidays.  The wooden menorah set has to be the biggest hit.  I've tried to incorporate some standard traditions but they've pretty much failed.  For their first few years of life, my kids were not at all interested in sitting at the table for toddler-oriented seder (much to my dismay).  Haven't tried Friday night traditions with them but I might give that a try.  As far as my own childhood, honestly what I remember the most (other than wishing my parents would oversleep so I wouldn't have to go to religious school) are going to High Holy Day services with my mother each year and enjoying the fun/goofiness she brought to the long seder meal.   Just make fond memories with them and you'll be fine.  Good luck.  I know its tough to "drive the bus" on your own. 

tzelvy
by Member on May. 3, 2010 at 3:44 PM

I know this is an old post but I hope you get this post! Have you heard of the PJ Library? It's a wonderful organization that sends you a FREE children's Jewish book every month. They are always age appropriate and often align with upcoming holidays. We've been receiving them since my oldest was born over three years ago. Here's their website:

http://www.pjlibrary.org/

 

nomadbrat83
by on May. 25, 2010 at 10:37 PM

 hehe I was going to suggest this too.  DD has been getting her books for over a year and I will enroll the new baby when she is born.

Quoting tzelvy:

I know this is an old post but I hope you get this post! Have you heard of the PJ Library? It's a wonderful organization that sends you a FREE children's Jewish book every month. They are always age appropriate and often align with upcoming holidays. We've been receiving them since my oldest was born over three years ago. Here's their website:

http://www.pjlibrary.org/

 

 

 Devoted Navy wife to Joe, mommy to Isabel, & expecting #2!




tzelvy
by Member on May. 26, 2010 at 8:44 AM

How funny! We enrolled our new guy last February. We still only get one book though so I don't know if it's just for the whole family or what.

That's exciting you're pregnant! When are you due?

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