Homeshuling

As a public school child in the 70’s, my Valentine’s Day often ended in tears. I remember digging into my optimistically large brown paper bag in first grade to find only three envelopes, even though my mother had insisted I fill out mass-produced cards for every child in my class. “No one likes me!” I…

One of the greatest privileges of being a kindergarten teacher in a Jewish day school is having the opportunity to teach children to recite the four questions. Unlike almost anything else I teach them about Jewish ritual, this is “real work.” The candles will get blessed, kiddush will be recited, and birkat hamazon chanted with…

I’m not exaggerating. The bane of my Passover existence has been pareve baking. I cook a lot more meat during the holiday than I do the rest of the year, which means a lot more pareve desserts. Which has, up until now, usually meant margarine made from disgusting ingredients such as cottonseed oil. Last year,…

I’m not a haggadah junkie. I know many Jews whose shelves are overflowing with numerous versions of the Haggadah – from the traditional Maxwell House to the not-so-traditional Santa Cruz – and whose seders are an amalgam of commentaries, poems, and (alas) responsive readings, from these dog-eared, post- it covered books. Maybe it’s because my…

This time of year, I’m always excited when I look at my google analytics and see that people have landed at my blog by searching for “hamentashen recipe”. I love the idea of people all over the world making my great-grandmother’s fabulous hamentashen, the same ones my mom made with me and that I make…

My very favorite Jewish holiday tradition, bar non, is the mitzvah of mishloach manot – preparing and delivering gifts of homemade goodies to friends and neighbors on Purim day. This is a mitzvah which embodies so much of why Judaism is meaningful to me and why I’m sharing it with my daughters. First of all, I…

The Hebrew month of Adar begins next week, which means that Purim is only a few weeks away. (Which means that Passover cleaning begins in only…..oh, never mind.) Over the next few weeks, I’ll be writing about some of the ways our family celebrates this very, very kid-friendly holiday (and some of the ways we…

Last week I bought a beautiful bracelet on Etsy for my mother for her birthday, with the words Eshet Chayil spelled out in silver beads. It prompted me to finish a post I started a long time ago about this traditional shabbat song.  My father never sang Eshet Chayil to my mother. Although my mother…

Recognizing that it can be hard to find meaningful ways to celebrate trees in the middle (or, depending on the Groundhog’s prediction, almost-the-end of) winter. Last year I posted 15 Other Things to Do for Tu B’shevat. I don’t have 15 more, but I do have a few, just in time for the holiday, which…

Homeshuling
about

ameltzer

I'm a mother of two girls, raised in suburban Baltimore, and transplanted to a small New England town. I teach, write, and try to create a vibrant Jewish home for my family while spending very little time in synagogue. I guess you could say we're home-shuling.

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