Special Sections

Bedtime Stories Good For Publishing Business

Children’s book giveaway writing new chapters in publishing market, and Jewish families.

JTA
06/23/2010

Boston — Once upon a time it was hard to find a wide selection of Jewish children’s books. Mostly there were books on Chanukah and Passover, plus retellings of Bible stories and folk tales.

The market was small and uncertain, and mainstream publishers could not count on large enough sales to justify the expense of publishing new titles.

Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, Harold Grinspoon and his wife, Diane Troderman, at PJ Library event earlier this year in New York.

Virtually There

Guests joining the party from every corner of the world —
on their computer screens. How technology
is connecting families as never before.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/23/2010

A few months before his son Jonah was born, David Bryfman reluctantly told his Australian parents it would be best if they skipped the baby’s brit milah. Their presence in his small Brooklyn apartment would be more helpful a few months later.

His parents came anyway, dining on bagels and lox, tearing up with emotion and toasting the newborn — whose image was projected on a giant screen in a party hall in Bryfman’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia. 

Conservative rabbis Erez Sherman and Nicole Guzik married each other in January.

A Reading List For Harried Parents

Staff Writer
06/23/2010

 I’m not one to read parenting guidebooks — who has the time if they’re truly parenting? — but I adore Wendy Mogel’s “The Blessing of A Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children” (Penguin Compass, 2001). Her book is easy to read and her approach is sensible. She and my mother are my two voices of parenting reason. I anxiously await the October publication of her new book, “The Blessing of a B Minus” (Scribner). 

Wendy Mogel calls Shabbat “the most widely countercultural rejection of the way we live.”

Tips For Avoiding Overscheduled Family Syndrome

Staff Writer
06/23/2010

 When parents sign up for ice skating lessons on Thursdays and yoga on Mondays they have the best interest of their child in mind. But the constant running and shlepping to after-school activities can be draining for parents and in fact, harmful to children. (Not to mention the expense of class fees, sports uniforms and meals purchased on the go, rather than prepared at home.)

Lenore Skenazy’s free-range movement is about common-sense parenting.

The Overscheduled Jewish Child

As families and children juggle multiple activities, congregations seek to accommodate — and provide
a haven from — their demands.

Special To The Jewish Week
06/23/2010

 Traditionally, when Jewish children first learn their Hebrew letters they’re given candy or honey to create a sweet association. At North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, L.I., the connection is more savory — try marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. So begins the Tuesday night Hebrew school for students in seventh grade. 

Blessing of a Friday-night meal: Family dinner takes precedence over soccer and music lessons for some local families.

The Jewish Family Now

Overscheduled kids, all-in-the-family Hebrew school, going green and more.

06/23/2010
The Jewish Family Now

Journal Watch

Staff Writer
06/16/2010

 Keitzad m’rakdim lifnei ha-kallah? “How does one dance before the bride?”

This question, seemingly simple, is in fact a classic formulation of the array of normative procedures, customs and traditions surrounding the marriage ceremony and its attendant activities. Journal Watcher, in a seemingly counterintuitive way, turns first to Yemen for a look at something old, something new.

Struggling To ‘Get’ Out Of Unhappy Marriages

For agunot, the wedding is the easy part; it’s the divorce that’s a Herculean challenge.

Staff Writer
06/16/2010

 When Sharon thinks back to her wedding night, she remembers how the lights of Jerusalem enveloped her, how she adored her groom, and also this: a kiss. After Sharon removed her deck tichel, the opaque cloth that fervently Orthodox brides wear to hide their faces, her new-mother-in-law grabbed her, planted a kiss on her cheek and whispered, “You’re part of the family now.”

Love, Lost and Found

The biblical romance between God and His people, just like all other emotional entanglements, is complicated.

06/16/2010

 Love is not just joy and sweetness. “Love hurts” as the song goes and nowhere is the range of emotions that love excites more obvious than in the Bible.

Intermarried

My husband, a convert, is more observant than I am.

06/16/2010

It is not because Claude was born Catholic that I consider us intermarried. No, it’s the conversion to Judaism that that did it. Though the smoke has cleared for a while—now that Shavuot is over, we are blissfully holiday-free until September—I know that when the High Holidays come, the differences between our commitment to religious practice will make themselves known once again.

 Melinda Camber Porter, Joe and Melinda Dancing in the Sunlight, 1985, Watercolor on paper 24” x 18”
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