Homeshuling, or, Jewish parenting in the comfort of your own home


If you’re new to Homeshuling, welcome! And if you’ve been reading my blog for the past year on its old home on wordpress, welcome to the All-New-Version-of Homeshuling! (Well, mostly all new. This post, not so much.)  


Admittedly, the title of my blog is a wee bit
misleading. We are, in fact, members of a shul.
And we do attend services every now and
then. Sometimes I even sneak out of the house and go to shul on my own. (Clearly, my definition of sneaky has changed substantially since I was a teen.) But I’ve discovered and rediscovered, too many times to count, that shul doesn’t really work for my family.


For one, my daughters are five and six. Too old to
while away the hours breastfeeding, but too young to spend the morning trying
to break into the vending machines the way I did when I was a kid. (Plus, our
shul doesn’t have a vending machine. Do any shuls have candy machines these
days?) We show up for “tot-shabbat” now and then, but it’s only once a month,
and it’s a starting to get a little too, well, tot-y for us.

Second of all, my husband is not Jewish. He’s not
anything else, either, but he’s definitely not of the tribe. Since he doesn’t
read Hebrew, didn’t grow up with the melodies, and isn’t particularly
interested in the Bible, there isn’t much going on within the four walls of the
synagogue that is accessible or meaningful for him. It’s more important for me that our family be together on Shabbat, and all feel good about where we are, than for us be at shul.


Mostly, though, almost everything I love about
being Jewish happens at home. There’s the food, of course, and the making of
the food. And the talking about the food. (Remember the Jackie Mason bit –
“At lunch, Jews talk about dinner; after dinner they talk about where to get
coffee, and after that, where to get cake….?” That’s totally us.) There’s lifting up our daughters so they can reach the shabbat
candlesticks that belonged to my mother’s grandmother; or watching my daughters
play Pharoah and the Jews with their Polly Pockets after reading PJ Library
books about Passover; lying side by side in our sleeping bags, staring at the
stars, while trying to fall asleep in the sukkah (and never quite making in
through the night); and all the other precious moments I’ll be blogging about.

One of
these days we may find a shul that gives us all that. But for now, we’re
home-shuling. I hope you’ll visit us here from time to time. And don’t forget to introduce yourself!

Comments read comments(18)
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Sarah Buttenwieser

posted May 21, 2010 at 6:53 am

For folks who are new, you might as well add the bookmark now! Exciting, Homeshuling to be greeted by MORE READERS!

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Leah Caruso

posted May 21, 2010 at 10:00 am

MAZAL TOV!!! Looks awesome!!

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posted May 21, 2010 at 10:10 am

Congratulations on the new digs, Amy! I’m glad that more people will have the opportunity to read your wonderful writing. (I didn’t even have a chance to comment on the pruning post – just beautiful. A subject that’s been on my mind a lot these days too, as my 2-year-old transforms into a much more independent 3-year-old.)

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posted May 21, 2010 at 10:47 am

beautiful, honest, funny and fun!

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posted May 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

looking forward to reading you here, amy!

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Frume Sarah

posted May 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

So excited to read you here!!! B’hatzlacha.

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Jennifer in MamaLand

posted May 21, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Looking forward to many more posts in your new “home”!!!
Also, greetings from IComLeavWe (International Comment Leaving Week) #115. :-)

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posted May 22, 2010 at 6:22 am

There is something to be said for being in a community of Jews.

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posted May 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm

Indeed, I think there is much to be said for being a community of Jews. (In fact, I plan to say much about it.) We are part of a community, it’s just that synagogue isn’t the organizing force of that community. If anything, our daughter’s Jewish day school is the institution that plays that role for us.

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Minnesota Mamaleh

posted May 22, 2010 at 10:00 pm

so very happy for you amy! glad to see you’re settled and moved in! :)

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Sheri K

posted May 22, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I’m looking forward to reading your blog more often as I am a Youth and Program Director at a synagogue… you will help me to understand how our shul (in NW B’more) will be more welcoming to parents and kids.
Mazal Tov on your new site.

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Tamar Plotkin Genger

posted May 22, 2010 at 10:46 pm

This is a great blog, I feel the same way with my kids, who are so often unwelcome in many shuls. We try and make Shabbat special for them and teach them, but it can be challenging. I find I do a lot of my teaching through food and will post here along with at

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posted May 22, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Thanks, Sheri. Did you know I grew up in NW Baltimore?

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Rose Landowne

posted May 23, 2010 at 10:22 am

Good luck on the move, but please bring back the unbaked challah!

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posted May 23, 2010 at 10:35 am

I wish I could, Rose, but I actually didn’t have the rights to use that picture. I didn’t know much about those issues when I started the blog, so I used a photo I found online, but was not available for free usage.

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Lionden Landin

posted May 23, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Mazel Tov on the new site. It looks great. Thank you for the introduction. I have been reading for awhile but did not know the history. It makes reading even more fun.

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