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  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    July 22, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Day of Sadness

    Tisha B'Av means the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. It is the saddest day in the Jewish year, when we remember some of the terrible things that have happened to our people since ancient times. This year, Tisha B'Av starts at sundown on July 26 and ends at sunset on July 27.



    This Day in History

    Many terrible things have happened to the Jewish people on Tisha B'Av. Do you know what they were? Answer the quiz questions correctly and send the answers to abbygilad@yahoo.com for a prize.

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    June 10, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Giants and Grasshoppers



    oses sends spies into the Land of Israel to scout it out and see if the land is as fertile and beautiful as God has promised. The spies come back with large clusters of grapes, but also with some scary news: the people who live in Israel, that is, the...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    June 3, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    Don't Supersize

    It's the home stretch. A few more weeks and you're free! So here's a lesson about freedom and food: In the movie "Supersize Me," the actor experiments with eating all the fast food he can eat and always ordering it supersized. He gains a lot of weight and gets very...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    May 20, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    What a Woman!

    On Shavuot we read the Book of Ruth. In this story we come to know this extraordinary woman. Even though her husband has died, she decides not to desert her mother-in-law, Naomi. She leaves her home in Moab to accompany Naomi -- who lost her two sons and her husband --...

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  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    April 8, 2004 | 8:00 pm

    A Productive Vacation



    For many of you it is spring break. Do you feel like a newly freed Israelite, having escaped from the hard work of school? For a whole week you can get up at whatever time you want! But remember, even when we are free -- especially when we are free -- we have...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    January 29, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Ring in the New Month

    On Saturday, we will welcome the new month of Shevat.

    Q: Which holiday do we celebrate on the 15th of Shevat?

    A: Rosh Chodesh

    What does this head have to do with the words rosh chodesh or new month?



    So, nu? It's a new, new!



    What Hebrew word does...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    January 22, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Plagued by Math

    It's post-vacation back-to-school time -- again. Here's some math to get you started: The 10 plagues appear in two parshot -- Vaera and Bo.

    How many plagues appear in each parsha?

    Here are your clues:

    The two Hebrew letters that make up the name

    of...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    January 15, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Epic Proportions

    Shemot, the new book of the Bible we begin this week, is the story of the Exodus -- of how the Israelites were freed from their bonds of slavery and sent out into the desert on a long journey. They were free, but they also had many dangers they would encounter...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    January 8, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    A time to Live

    Vayechi is the last portion of the book of Genesis. We have read all about the creation of the world, Noah's ark, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their wives and the 12 tribes. The family ends up in Egypt, which is where the Book of Exodus picks up.

    The meaning of the...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    January 1, 2004 | 7:00 pm

    Looking for Letters

    It's almost back to school for many of you. Oh well -- let's keep having holiday fun anyway. Answer one or more of these puzzles that have to do with the calendar and win a gift certificate for Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream.

    Search for the letters that aren't...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    December 4, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Celebrate Our Home

    At the end of Parshat Vayetze, Jacob sets out to return to his parents' home. He has spent 36 years making money and creating a family. And now he can finally look forward to seeing the land that he loves.

    Many of us feel this way about Israel. We want to visit...

  • For the Kids

    November 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Famous Jewish Immigrants

    Jews, like the pilgrims on the Mayflower, came to America so that they could practice their religion without being persecuted. Your grandparents and great-grandparents probably did the same. Some of these immigrants helped shape American culture:

    Levi...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    November 13, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Fanning the Flames

    Where do you live?

    If your home is in Simi Valley or Moorpark, you were probably pretty scared when the fire came close.

    You know, wildfires are nature's way of clearing the way for new plant growth. But, when you live in a home that is in a fire zone -- watch...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    October 9, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Sukkot is a holiday when we are commanded to be happy. We feel cleansed and joyful after Yom Kippur is over and now it is time to party!



    Here is a tasty sukkah.

    You will need:

    1. 3 halves of Graham Crackers

    (two pieces broken into halves).

    2. Smooth/Creamy peanut butter.

    3....

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    October 2, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    The word for book in Hebrew is sefer. The word for counting is sofer. On Yom Kippur, we count all the good and bad deeds that we've done in the past year and it gets recorded in the Book of Life. God also wants to put your story for the past year in that Book of Life. What great...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    September 11, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Sharing Your Blessings

    The people of Israel are about to step across the border of the Promised Land, a land of abundance, full of fruits and crops. In this portion, the children of Israel are told that they must put all their first fruits in a teneh (basket), and bring it to the...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    July 24, 2003 | 8:00 pm

    Promises Made, Promises Broken

    Have you ever broken a promise? You promised to call your Mom when you got to your friend's house, but you forgot. You promised your friend that you would give her some of your lunch, but you ended up eating it all at lunchtime. In Parshat Matot,...

  • Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    April 3, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    Before You Speak



    In Parshat Tazriya, we learn about the skin disease of leprosy. If one gets this disease, he or she must be isolated outside the Israelite camp until they have recovered. The rabbis inform us that someone gets leprosy because he or she has gossiped about or...

  • Gifts for Hashem

    By Abby Gilad

    February 27, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    When the Israelites built the mishkan, the Torah says:

    "Take from yourselves a portion for Hashem, everyone whose heart motivates him shall bring it, as the gift for Hashem -- gold, silver, copper; turquoise, purple and scarlet wool; linen; goat hair; red-dyed ram skins; acacia...

  • For the Kids

    By Abby Gilad

    January 9, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    And I don't mean the New Year that falls on Jan. 1. I mean the New Year of Trees. This year, Tu B'Shevat begins at sundown on Friday, Jan. 17 and ends Saturday, Jan. 18. This week's and next week's pages will be devoted to Tu B'Shevat.



    Tu B'Shevat is a time of renewal; the winter...

  • History’s Biggest Frog

    By Abby Gilad

    January 2, 2003 | 7:00 pm

    "So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frog came up and covered the land of Egypt." (Exodus 8:2-3) That is how Parshat Vaerah portion describes the plague of frogs.

    Did you know that sometimes our rabbis like to have fun when they interpret the Torah?...

  • Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    December 12, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    Good and Bad Luck

    Have you ever thought: "Oh, I'm having such bad luck. Nothing's going my way." In this week's parsha, Vayigash, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. He says: "Don't feel bad about selling me into slavery. It happened for a reason. Now I'm a leader, and I can...

  • What are you?  An Innovator, Developer or an Adventurer?

    By Abby Gilad

    October 31, 2002 | 7:00 pm

    There are three patriarchs in the Bible: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Which of the above were they? Well, Abraham created a new religion. He was an innovator. Jacob spent his life traveling and encountering adventure after adventure. He brought the God of Israel's religion to all the...

  • Yom HaAtzmaut

    By Abby Gilad

    April 11, 2002 | 8:00 pm

    Yom HaAtzmaut

    It is a difficult time for Israel. Jews all over the world are very sad because of the violence and pain that Israelis and Arabs are experiencing every day. But we still want and need to celebrate our Jewish state. The Israel Independence Day (Yom HaAtzmaut) Festival...

  • Your Letters

    December 20, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    JCC Closures

    The organized Jewish community uses its most needy members to raise money. Elderly, low-income and disabled Jews are featured in ads to attract donations. But it seems that when push comes to shove, these are not the folks whose needs are cared for by the powers that...

  • A Portion of Parshat Haye Sarah

    By Abby Gilad

    November 8, 2001 | 7:00 pm

    Abraham had two sons: Yitzchak and Yishmael. Yitzchak was Sarah's son, and Yishmael was Hagar's son. Yitzchak would become the ancestor of the Israelites, and Ishmael would be the father of the Arab nations. Sarah sent Hagar and Yishmael away when the half-brothers were still boys....

  • Kids Page

    By Abby Gilad

    October 25, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    God tells Abraham to pack his bags. "Leave the land where you were born and move to a country that I will show you," God says. And Abraham leaves everything that has been familiar to him and goes to a strange land. Here he has to meet his new neighbors, and Sarah has to figure out...

  • A Portion of Parshat Noah

    By Abby Gilad

    October 18, 2001 | 8:00 pm

    God gave Noah many instructions on how to build the ark. It took Noah 120 days to build it. The rabbis ask: "Why did it take him so long?" And the answer: "God was giving Noah a chance to talk to his neighbors." The neighbors would come up to Noah and say: "Why are you building this...

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