Empowering the Next Generation – L’dor V’dor

By Eli Bass, Jewish Education Coordinator, Macks Center for Jewish Education

Parents have a critical role to play in helping kids to form a strong Jewish identity as parents are their primary Jewish educator and guide. Specifically, the traditions established early in life help kids to develop necessary skills later on.

These skills help us to build better relationships, strengthen responses to stress and anxiety and connect with the infinite. “Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up.” – Deuteronomy 6:7

We celebrate that there are so many ways to affirm and develop Jewish identities. There is an abundance of Jewish traditions and knowledge and it is impossible to know it all.

Invite your family to join you as you grow and develop traditions and further your learning. There are so many small steps which can have a big impact on your child.

Here are a few of our favorite suggestions as you guide your child down their Jewish path.

  • Develop a before bed Jewish ritual. You can use traditional liturgy or an alternative option both are great at developing connection and routinizing bedtime. Make your storytime Jewish with Books from PJLibrary.
  • Bond over Jewish crafts as you go through the Jewish calendar.
  • Put Judaism on in the background with PJLibrary radio. They have a great option which has energetic music for playtime and more relaxing music for bedtime. They have a great app for Apple and Android.
  • Take out a Jewish cookbook and try a recipe. The Library at the Center for Jewish Education at the Park Heights JCC has many options including The Children’s Holiday Kitchen by Joan Nathan. These are great ways to both celebrate and engage with a wide variety of Jewish culinary traditions.
  • Create Shabbat traditions. Braiding challah, shabbat meals and blessings create special family moments in the midst of a hectic week.

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