Jewish Bedtime Rituals for families

Bedtime Sh’ma Coloring Book with your child’s photo

InterfaithFamily.com (which is a great site, by the way, full of info and ideas and community) just posted an article about making bedtime Jewish written by Chief Education Officer Karen Kushner, with a link to a free pdf booklet: “Goodnight, Sleep Tight: Jewish Rituals for Your Interfaith Family.”

I am delighted Jewish bedtime is getting attention. Transforming the nightly routine into something Jewish is easy: just add a new element or two–something that feels comfortable and genuine. Whether a family is interfaith or not: it doesn’t matter: what matters is that at least one parent is committed to making every day (and night) more Jewish.

Please see my Jewish Bedtime post for a detailed breakdown of every step of a typical bedtime progression, with plenty of suggestions about how to inject a bit of Jewishness.

Just a few of the suggestions:

  • Bathtime can include a repurposed Jewish toy, Jewish songs, or Hebrew foam letters that stick to the sides of the tub.
  • Your child’s pillow can wear a Shema pillowcase with easy reference to the traditional nighttime prayer.
  • Your choice of bedtime story is vast: I divide  into categories and review some popular offerings.
  • Links for bedtime suggestions by different Jewish denominations.
  • The book pictured above might still available by mail order from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s J.E.F.F. program (Jewish Experience for Families). Unfortunately, their adorable Shma pillowcase is no longer produced, but Pitome.com has a kit or you can stencil, rubber stamp or use transfer paper to make your own.
  • See also my review of what I called the best bedtime Sh’ma book, which isn’t even Jewish or about the Sh’ma.
  • And my post about making bedtime Jewish for little kids.
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