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What is Purim?

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:00am
From bimbam.com


From the parties to the reading of the Megillah to the piles and piles of Hamentashen, Purim is easily the most fun holiday in the Jewish calendar. This series of videos talks about all of the great traditions, the basics, the story, the graggers (including a video on making your own). Check them out!

Click here.

 

Want more information on Purim? Check out Jvillage Network's Purim Guide. 

How to Make Savory Hamantaschen, Six Ways

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:00am
BY SAMANTHA FERRARO for The Nosher for myjewishlearning.com 


Purim Begins the Evening of February 28, 2018


Purim is all about the party, the fun and the celebrating. Get in the spirit this year and host a build-your-own hamantaschen party! Not everyone wants sweet treats these days, so why not make them savory?

 

Continue reading.

Want more information on Purim? Check out Jvillage Network's Purim Guide. 

 

Pixar and the Zohar

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:00am
BY ELI FINK for JewishJournal.com


If you’ve seen the trailer or any advertisements for “Coco,” you already know that it’s Pixar’s most Mexican film yet. What you don’t see in the trailer is that Coco is also Pixar’s most Jewish film. You probably would not see that by watching the movie, either, but it’s all I saw.

“Coco” tells the story of Miguel Rivera, a Mexican boy who travels on Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) to the Land of the Dead, where he must reconnect with his deceased ancestors to return to the Land of the Living. “Coco” fits neatly in the pantheon of familiar Pixar stories and the film is bursting with wholesome values.

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DIY PLANTABLE FELT GARDEN BOX

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:00am
From A Beautiful Mess


Hey, guys! It’s Katie here. I recently made one of my most favorite toys for my kiddos and I just had to share! I have to admit, when this idea popped into my head I may have gotten a little overly excited. You see, one of our very favorite things to do as a family is tend to the garden, but since we live in the Midwest there has been none of that for many months now. Soon the weather will be warm and we will be growing goodies in the garden again, but until then this toy garden box will help tide the girls over. Here’s how to make your own:

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Find more great ideas on JvillageNetwork's Pinterest page

 

TREE ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Mon, 01/22/2018 - 12:00am
By Shaunna Evans for Fantastic Fun and Learning

 

I didn’t really expect  our alphabet series to be full of exploring natural elements, but I like to follow the kids’ lead. It’s a great time to be outdoors and learn more about the world around us, so we’re seizing the opportunity.

For the letter T we learned about trees. Today I’m sharing some of the many tree-inspired activities around the web.  There are ideas for science investigations, literacy and math activities, book-related projects, and many terrific crafts and paintings to help you put together your own tree activities for the kids in your life. Some of the posts are seasonal, but they can often be adapted easily to meet your needs. I hope you enjoy reading all of these posts as much as I did!

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Find some great ideas on JvillageNetwork's Pinterest page. 

9 Jewish Moms Who Won at Parenting This Year

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 12:00am
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller



Oh 2017, can’t say we’re sorry to say goodbye. Between the political turmoil, JCC bomb threats, and the hurricanes, it’s been a lot to handle. Despite it all, however, there were many inspiring moments — and a lot of them were thanks to Jewish moms who remained strong and stood up for their beliefs.


Here are some moments that resonated with us:


1. Mila Kunis gives her daughter wine, because Shabbat. She said:


Continue reading.

I Use the Three-Letter Word with My Kids

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 12:00am
BY DEBRA FERTIG for Kveller


In our home, we talk about God as if He is a member of our extended family, like Zeydie or Uncle Maury. We also talk about the soul. Our boys, who are 6 and 9, ask questions that are impossible to answer:

“Mom, how do you know God is real? Does He talk to you?”

“Mom, how do you know there is a place we go to when we die?”

“Mom, how do you know that my soul will always be alive?”

“I don’t know exactly how,” I respond. “It’s more of a feeling than anything else.”

This seems to be enough for my kids. At least for now, at these ages.

Continue reading.

Ten Things I’ve Learned After Two Bat Mitzvahs

Mon, 01/01/2018 - 12:00am
By Marjorie Ingall for Tablet Magazine 


Party favors are Satan’s carnival prizes and other bits of wisdom from a seasoned organizer of rites of passage


My second daughter became a Bat Mitzvah a couple of weeks ago. Would you like to know what I’ve learned after ushering two girls through this process? Of course you would.

1.Choose the date well: If you can avoid a mortifying or stultifying Torah portion, do.

2. Pay attention to who your kid is: I had one child who wanted to lead every prayer, read the entire portion (plus hey, toss her the ones from the week before and after and she’d crush those, too), and fight with the entire synagogue about gendered language. I had another kid who… did not. Respect and understand that your child is their own person. Their concerns and values may not be yours. And HELLO, this is a celebration of Jewish adulthood, so insisting on calling all the shots yourself is hypocritical. Work with your kid, rabbi, cantor and education director to figure out how much your kid can and should do in the service. Steer between the Scylla of obsessiveness and the Charybdis of slackerdom. This is not easy.

Continue reading.

PJ Library Radio

Mon, 12/25/2017 - 12:00am

 

New Launch!

 

Are you looking for some great music and videos to share with your children?  The same folks who brought free Jewish books into your home, PJ Library, now has PJ Library Radio.  You'll find songs, videos, photos, profiles of your favorite artists and the ability to submit your own music. 

 

Find it here.


 

This Disney Show’s Hanukkah Episode Is Absolutely Adorable

Mon, 12/18/2017 - 12:00am
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller

Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in Jvillage's Hanukkah Guide.
 


Now that Hanukkah is here, the music videos and TV shows are starting to get in that groove. Disney Junior’s show, Puppy Dog Pals, joined in on the holiday fun with a special Hanukkah episode that’s totally adorbs.

The show, which is about Bingo and Rolly, two pug puppies who have fun roaming their neighborhood when their owner Bob leaves home, often shows the puppy brothers getting into adventures. (They also have a cat sister named Hissy, and a robot dog named ARF.)

Read more, watch clip.

The Chanukah Shaboom! Special

Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:00am
From bimbam

Want more great Hanukkah ideas? Find articles, crafts, and recipes in Jvillage's Hanukkah Guide.
 


Can the Plony family get the house ready in time for their Chanukah party? Looks like they are in need of a Chanukah miracle. Watch this special Chanukah episode to see how Gabi and Rafi fix the world, one Chanukah party at a time.

This episode is a great jumping off point for playing dreidel, eating sufganiyot, frying up latkes, lighting candles and singing songs. BimBam has videos about how to do all those things, so you have come to the right place! Happy Hanukkah!

Watch video. 

Recycled Dreidel "Paper Dolls"

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 12:00am
This project is highlighted in our Hanukkah Guide. Find more articles, crafts, and recipes in the Hanukkah Guide.

 
 
From the Blog: Bringing Chesed Home


I am very excited to be guest posting on Bringing Chesed Home. I think that home is a perfect place for chesed. There are so many ways to accomplish this, especially when you have kids (Sarah's post Night Night is a perfect example of this). I think this blog is a great idea and I am really looking forward to watching Bringing Home Chesed grow! 


These Recycled Dreidel Paper Dolls are great for kids of any age. Any child that is old enough to hold a crayon can participate. You can make them ahead of Hanukkah for decorations or I think it would be a fun activity after you light the Menorah. We hung ours around our foyer which is now covered in dreidels! 


Continue reading.

Hanukkah Reads

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 12:00am
From Jewish Book Council. Find more great Hanukkah ideas, articles, crafts, and recipes check out our Hanukkah Guide.
 

Eight Nights of Stories ProsenPeople series


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Use Thanksgiving to teach kids about blessings, Jewish values

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 12:00am
By JWeekly Correspondent


Thanksgiving brings to mind pleasant images of roasting turkey, pumpkin pie and family gatherings. Perfectly compatible with Jewish observance, the holiday is a traditional favorite of Jewish families.

It always falls on a Thursday, never on Shabbat. The classic main dish is a turkey, available in kosher form. And gratitude for one's blessings is a religious impulse that all Americans can share.

Moreover, popular historical interpretation holds that the pilgrims modeled Thanksgiving after the biblical harvest festival of Sukkot. Whether or not this is accurate — a historian friend of mind considers it an American midrash or creative interpretation — it creates a comfortable association between Thanksgiving and our Jewish heritage.

In that vein, here are a few ideas to make Thanksgiving even more special for your family:

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8 Things You Probably Don’t Know About ‘An American Tail’

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 12:00am
BY JOANNA C. VALENTE for Kveller


Remember Fievel? Fievel is the adorable mouse in the animated series “An American Tail”–and its sequel “An American Tail: Fievel Goes West.” How could you forget the whole Mousekewitz family saga? The movie, which chronicled their move to America, may seem eerily like your own family’s story.

There are a ton of things you may not realize about the American Tail series, however, and I’ve compiled them below:

Continue reading.

A Story for Hanukkah and Going to the Doctor

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 12:00am
From the blog of AnnKofsky.com


More than anything, Judah wants to be a good big brother to his baby sister, Hannah. He even uses his new Maccabee shield to protect her from danger!

On the last day of Hanukkah, during a visit to the doctor, Judah refuses to have his shot. Surely, his shield can protect him from germs, too!

This charming book teaches about Hanukkah and also about check-ups from their doctor and the importance of shots.

Continue reading.

Did You Know...?

Our new rabbi sent us a video!


Click here to hear a message from Rabbi Spinrad.

 

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Beth El House enables formerly homeless families to work toward self-sufficiency and confidence.

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HAMANTASCHEN RECIPE HERE

Please see calendar for baking dates

 

REELABILITIES FILM FESTIVAL

Sunday, February 25 at 4:00 PM

Click here for details
 

brotherhood interfaith dinner

Tuesday, February 27 at 6:30 PM

Please Click Here for Details
Please Click Here to RSVP

 

Beth El Lifelong Learning and JCCNV Joint Program

Sunday, March 18 at 2:00 PM

"Shattering Switzerland's Neutrality Myth:  The Inside Story of
the Investigation of Swiss Banks and Stolen Jewish Assets
During the Holocaust"

RSVP HERE

 

2nd night passover seder

Saturday, March 31, 6:00 PM

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There are activities, meetings, services and seminars at Beth El each week, ranging from service opportunities to Jewish learning and education, drawing members and guests from throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

the full calendar