In celebration of Jewish Book Month, here are some suggestions for fostering critical literacy skills and igniting a lifelong love of reading in your child:
Alberto Senderey is a model Jewish professional, and not just because he invited me as one of five Americans included for the four-day symposium in beautiful Oxford. An energetic, optimistic burst of Argentine energy, he recognized that Jewish media have a unique and underappreciated perspective on Jewish communal life.
On the holiday of Sukkot, it is customary to read Kohelet, the Book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon. The following "updated" version of Kohelet is written by Judy Gruen, with major apologies to King Solomon.
In last week's Torah Portion, the Israelites sat back and watched as God brought seven plagues upon the Egyptians. This week, in Parshat Bo, we read of the last three plagues.
"Mommy, will you read to me?"
My 10-year-old daughter asks me this question every night. Even if I'm exhausted, or just want some time to myself, I almost always say yes. Before I turn around, she'll be 11, then 12, then a teenager.
She will no longer need her reading fix with Mommy. "Time will not be ours forever," as Ben Jonson wrote back in 1607, when the printed word was still a new invention. I want to make this time with my daughter last.
November is Jewish book month, so let me say this: "Daniel Deronda" is one of the greatest Jewish books ever written by a non-Jew. It is two different books, one about a beautiful young woman, Gwendolen, who decides on a bad marriage, and Daniel who is tempted by Gwendolen but falls for Mirah -- a Jewish woman -- and gets involved in her family, even as he discovers that he is, in fact, Jewish himself.
you thought Hebrew school was just for bar and bat mitzvah students, think again. This fall, tens of thousands of Jews around the United States and Canada are learning to read and write Hebrew through Read Hebrew America/Canada. The campaign, which is made possible by the National Jewish Outreach Program (NJOP), a New York-based organization that provides Jewish educational opportunities, is now offering its annual free Hebrew crash course in Los Angeles and other cities across the country during the month of November.
"Hebrew is the language of the Jewish people, yet in America we don't know if more than 20 or 25 percent of Jews can read it," said Rabbi Yitzchak Rosenbaum, NJOP's program director.
Matthew Asner and Danny Gold, the two Reform Jews who wrote, directed and produced the documentary, say that while they don't necessarily believe in the codes, they find them interesting.
The Pilgrims of New Salem, Mass., were so moved by the stories of the ancient Israelites that they thought of America as their Zion and New Salem as their Jerusalem.
I honestly thought my daughter, Bruria, would never learn how to read. My nieces learned how when they were 3, and so I assumed that if I got in early, say around 2, Bruria would be in full swing by 3.
So I dutifully started with letters and sounds, labeling every item in the house, in a constant education mode. Nothing happened. Bruria loved listening to stories, but when I paused before a word to see if she could work it out herself, there was just silence.