Taking a Deep Breath at Mayyim Hayyim

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by Rose A. Lewis The weeks and days before a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a wedding, or any major life event can be filled with lists, errands, and let’s face it, a bit of anxiety for the entire family. As much as I tried not to embrace the tumult before my daughter Ming’s Bat Mitzvah […]

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A Gift for Mom

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Excerpts from Keeping the Faith: How Compromise, Curiosity and Tradition Guide One Interfaith Family, by Abigail Mnookin Reflections before the mikveh: For my mom’s 70th birthday this month, my brother and I are giving her an unusual gift. Her four grandchildren will be immersed in a ritual bath, or mikveh, which symbolizes their conversion to […]

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Blessings and Decoupage – Creating Together

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by Tammi Levy-Cantor It’s been a busy year for our family. Our child will be invited to and attending almost 60 Bar and Bat Mitzvahs from her classmates at the Rashi School, her camp family, our actual family, and long time friends. My husband, son, and I have also been incredibly fortunate to share in […]

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Enhancing the Bat Mitzvah Experience

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In light of Leeza’s interview blog post with her now husband after doing the Beyond the Huppah class, I thought I would take a stab at one about the Beneath the Surface class I took with my 12-year old daughter, Elliana. Ceceley: Do you want to write a blog post with me about the Beneath the […]

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Learn to Swim

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by Shira Cohen-Goldberg It started when my son was two. In a very busy preschool room, he’d run into a corner, cover his ears, and scream. When we replaced his crib with a toddler bed, he stopped sleeping.  When we finally got him to start sleeping again, he needed to be wrapped in blankets, situated in […]

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Entering the Covenant of her Mothers, Revisted

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As the Jewish world evolves, we will continue to create meaningful ways to welcome and honor women and girls within our tradition. Almost one hundred years ago, a Bat Mitzvah was unheard of. Today, a Simchat Bat (a baby naming ritual for a Jewish girl) is becoming more and more commonplace. When we share our stories about the way our […]

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McGinity is Not A Jewish Name

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by Dr. Keren McGinity If I had eighteen cents for every time someone told me, “McGinity? That’s not a Jewish name!” I’d be a wealthy woman. The statement is based on two assumptions: Jews have distinctive Jewish names and someone with an ethnically “other” name couldn’t possibly be Jewish. OK, so how does a nice […]

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Abba, is Santa Claus Real?

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by Shira Cohen-Goldberg “Abba, is Santa Claus real?” says my four-year-old from the back of the car. This is most certainly my child. I used to put cookies and milk out on the counter for Santa to take when he came to our house on Christmas Eve. In the morning, the cookies and milk were always […]

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The Choices

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By Shira M. Cohen-Goldberg I grew up listening to Marlo Thomas’s “Free to be You and Me,” a compilation of songs and stories geared towards children that immerses the listener in the progressive values of the early 70’s: gender equity, individuality, tolerance, and comfort with one’s identity. In the world of “Free to Be,” Atalanta […]

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An Unconventional Bar Mitzvah: Every Child Deserves to be Celebrated

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by Susan Arndt It’s hard to believe we just celebrated my son’s Bar Mitzvah.  Zachary was born a beautiful healthy baby, but at the age of sixteen months, he started having seizures.  Over the years, with all of the challenges he has faced being non-verbal and having developmental delays, I have always looked for ways of […]

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Drawn to Transitions

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by Lisa Berman, Mikveh and Education Director When I have occasion to mention to people that I work at a mikveh and also happen to be a birth doula (a trained labor and childbirth support person), some of them chuckle and say, “You certainly are drawn to individuals in transition.” And they’re right. I am […]

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Fertility, Healing, Marriage and Relationships, Parenting

Getting Rooted

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by Becca Shimshak “For the Jews, there was light, happiness, joy and honor; so it should be for us.” ~Esther 8:16 with quote from prayer for Havdalah When I got married ten years ago, I chose this quote for our wedding invitation. For all of our friends, there were big, beautiful weddings. Hotels, tuxedos, cute flower […]

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