Here’s yet another post only a Sunday School Teacher could love. I made a portable Torah Scroll for a preschool Simchat Torah family program a while back, to demonstrate “What’s in the Torah.” The idea was to let kids fill the Torah Scroll with objects that represent some of what is—you guessed it— in the Torah. The activity can be tweaked to fit many age groups, and the more irresistible the objects, the better. Continue reading
the Sea of Reeds withThumbprint people
Just in time for Shavuot, here’s another Mt. Sinai project. It’s really a three-holiday diorama, but your kid can make just the Shavuot portion in about half an hour, once you’ve raced around the house collecting supplies. Continue reading
Folks are asking about the chocolate Ten Commandment tablets from my Lag BaOmer post. So easy, I promise. And won’t they look splendid atop Mt. Sinai muffins?
chocolate-esque candy bark
don’t eat these
I made plaster versions, too, for some of my little Israelites on our Lag baOmer Walk. They had to “receive” the Ten Commandments at the mountain, right? But I warn you Continue reading
Lag B’Omer! Here’s a quick glimpse at what we did…
I wanted my K – 3 classes to “embody” the connection between Passover and Shavuot via the Counting of the Omer, to use their bodies to travel from Passover—where the Israelites became a Free Nation, to Shavuot—where the Israelites became a Holy Nation.
view from the Sea of Reeds toward Lag b’Omer and Shavuot
First, we crossed the Sea of Reeds and became a Free Nation. On the floor were 49 steps toward Mt. Sinai on the opposite side of the room. See Mt. Sinai up there, far away? Continue reading
Moses and the Lego Tablets
Google “Lego Moses” and you’ll get beaucoup hits. But just because he’s been done, doesn’t mean I can’t have a go. This one is in honor of Shavuot.
My Moses wears a do-rag because it is not cool to meet an omnipotent Divinity atop a mountain with your head uncovered. Nowadays, you can’t walk into a synagogue without putting something modest on your keppe, and the tradition had to start somewhere. Besides, it was sunny in the Wilderness.
What I really wanted was a Lego way to incorporate the famous rays of light Moses radiated after the Big Meeting (Exodus 34:29). Thanks to a glitch in translation from Hebrew to Latin (#Saint Jerome) those rays are depicted as horns in countless artworks, and are, in part, the root of the persistent idea that all Jews have actual horns. Continue reading
Who wants to make messy, homemade ice cream for Shavuot? I do. It’s the one time a year my family makes ice cream, so right there it’s a highlight of the Jewish calendar. “The Giving of the Torah,”of course, is at the core of Shavuot, but “The Making of the Ice Cream” is a bit more memorable if you are five.
If you don’t have a proper ice cream maker—and I don’t—the kids can make it with Ziploc bags. Even if you do have a machine, the low-tech baggie way is a good, gloppy group activity. Continue reading
This article supplements my Kveller.com piece about making Shavuot Mt. Sinai Muffins with kids.
And hey, the Jerusalem Post picked it up on JPost Weekly Schmooze!
Mt. Sinai Muffin, Jordan almond Tablets, coconut grass, Twizzler slice flowers and a few Lego Israelites
Edible Crafts are one of my favorite ways to prepare for and celebrate a holiday with kids. Shavuot has built-in festive foods like cheesecake and blintzes and all things dairy—great things to make with children. But, they take time. Of course, traditional baking and mixing and whatnot with kids are core identity-building components. No argument here. But what if you are short on time, yet want to make something Jewish, thematic, edible, fun and fast?
Below are edible options both fast and slow, plus a Suggested Reading List for Shavout-y picture books.
FAST: The sweetest thing about Mt. Sinai Muffins is how versatile they can be: homemade or storebought, regular or miniature, cupcakes or muffins.
And you can decorate them as plain or fancy as you wish. See the Kveller article for tips about making your mountains grassy or rocky or snowy, and for repurposing tiny edibles as stone Tablets. Keep the relative sizes of the mountain and the Tablets in mind.
Suggestions for edible Ten Commandment Tablets
Suggestions for edible Ten Commandment Tablets
My favorites are the Jordan almonds with the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet, each of which represents one of the Ten Commandments. Continue reading
Easy Ten Commandments Origami for Shavuot
This simple paper-folding craft is a fun way to prepare for and celebrate Shavuot, the holiday that commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments, and by extension the whole Torah.
With your help, even a young child can fold and decorate the “Tablets.” The finished product can stand up on a table or lie flat as a card.
The PDF template below has a “granite” background and two rows of Hebrew letters that will end up in the right place when folded. What’s with the letters? A common visual representation of the Ten Commandments uses the first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet to symbolize the mitzvot (commandments). There’s a vertical row of five letters on each tablet, each one serving its ancient double-time as a number: aleph for one, bet for two, gimmel for three, and so on.
What exactly are the Ten Commandments? Well, here in the Bible Belt Continue reading
For weeks I’ve had two flyers up on the fridge. The Toddler keeps rearranging them with antique wooden fruit magnets, so I’ve had many opportunities to notice them and actually read what they say. But what I failed to see until yesterday was that they advertise Must Attend Events scheduled for the same day, same time: the beginning of Shavuot.
One is an advertisement for Shavuot services at our synagogue—a Tikkun Leil, or all-night study session—which includes my husband in the lineup. He is giving a lecture called “A Mountain Held Over Our Heads: On the Joyful Difficulty of Revelation?” The question mark is courtesy of the nice man who printed the flyer, and who probably didn’t understand the title, thought he needed confirmation, and forgot to get it. Continue reading
Shavuot starts the evening of May 28. It’s a two-dayer here in the Diaspora, for those of us who do the extended versions of holidays. (Now is the time I start combing the web for gluten-free blintz recipes…..)
Today, I offer the start of the Shavuot link list on http://www.JewishEveryday.com. If you have any links to add, please leave a comment and I’ll wedge them in.
Again, I cannot help but notice that my own denomination, Conservative Judaism, is a bit under-represented. Why is it that other folks have better graphics and sites, generally speaking? I know the uscj, the mother ship of us Conservos, is having its own tsouris at the moment, but I do wish they’d hire somebody web savvy to redesign everything and give us more PDFs of how-tos. Chabad, for example (with whom I have severe moshiach issues) leave us in the digital dust. I am hoping someone will prove me wrong by sharing some kicking conservative links.
• (Best site to start with): My Jewish Learning.com, Shavuot
• A Shavuot Primer (UJC)
• URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Shavuot Parent Pages
• “Best of the Web” Shavuot Links from the Jewish Agency for Israel
• Women’s League for Conservative Judaism, Shavuot
• Ima on and off the Bimah: last year’s blog entry about Shavuot
Sites for kids and parents together:
My Jewish Learning.com: Shavuot resources for kids
NSW Board of Jewish Education: BJE Academy
What is Shavuot, The 3 Pilgrim Festivals, Cool Things to Do for Shavuot, Shavuot Links
Akhlah.com: Traditions, Commandments, Vocabulary, Crafts
Torah Tots: All About Shavuot, the Story of Rurth, Fun & Games, Coloring Pages,
Greeting Cards, Holiday Recipes
Chabad.org: Shavuot resources for children
Teacher Planet: Shavuot Resources (activities, crafts, links)