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Raising Kids to Love Being Jewish

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Raising Kids to Love Being Jewish

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Raising Kids to Love Being Jewish
From Toddler to Teen, Everything You Need to Inspire Your Children
By Doron Kornbluth
K'hal Publishing, 2009, 189 pages
ISBN: 978-1-60204-015-1

Reviewed by Israel Drazin - January 3, 2012

Doron Kornbluth is a very interesting story teller and readers would have enjoyed his book just for the stories, but he also has very keen ideas that are significant. He addresses the important issue among Jews: what can Jews do to assure that their children will remain Jewish? The book tells parents what they must do. He stresses that parents must make their children see the joy of Judaism, and tells parents how to do it. Most Jews observe the fast day of Yom Kippur, for example, a single day that is sad. But many parents don't enjoy the eight happy days of Passover, Sukkot, and Chanukah, and as a result their children are misled to believe that Judaism is a solemn religion, devoid of joy. Imagine the message that children receive if they are given a kiss or a lollipop when their mom lights the Sabbath candles!

Kornbluth quotes Mark Twain and others who extol Jews for having contributed to world civilization in every field in a much higher percentage than their percentage of the world population. This is probably the result of Judaism's focus on education, both religious and secular. Thus, parents need to show their children the importance of Judaism.

Parents need to be role models for their children, and Kornbluth shows how this is done. Children need to see their parents involved in Jewish activities. One of many ways is to spend an hour a week taking a course in Judaism or getting involved in a Jewish activity. These will improve the parents' knowledge and inspire their children. Another is to create a Jewish home. Besides improving the family's attachment to Judaism, it also improves family relationships. Other suggestions that Kornbluth includes, among many others, are: saying good night Jewishly, volunteering for Jewish organizations, showing interest in Jewish and Israeli news, preparing for Jewish holidays together, encouraging children to read books about Jews, especially books with lessons, turn Friday night into a warm and positive family Sabbath dinner, bring meaning back to Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations, choose a Jewish pre-school, consider a day school education and a Jewish summer camp, tell family stories, and many more suggestions.


Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of eighteen books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four books on the twelfth century philosopher Moses Maimonides. The Orthodox Union (OU) and Yeshiva University publish weekly chapters of Drazin and Wagner's book Let's Study Onkelos on www.ou.org/torah and on www.yutorah@yutorah.org. His website is http://booksnthoughts.com.
The views expressed in this review/article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Eye.
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