I have longed for thy salvation, O L-RD; and thy Torah is my delight. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee; and let thy judgments help me. I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm 119:174-176

22 September 2012

Preparing for Yom Kippur with children

Rose, photo by J.Stahl

As a mother of a four year-old, and a soon to be three year-old, I'm looking for good activities and ideas that we can implement in the coming days leading up to Yom Kippur, and in the coming years before they are old enough to fast and observe it fully.

My new favorite book is "The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays" by Malka Drucker. I got it on, but it is readily available on It's a lovely hardcover with beautiful illustrations, a few recipes and a few songs included.

A Messianic book that I found recently and can slowly begin incorporating into our lives is "Celebrations of the Bible: A Messianic Children's Curriculum" by Lederer Books. It's geared more towards Sunday/Sabbath school and more than two students, so some of the projects we can't really do. I got my copy on version of the site. It has a couple cute Jonah-related coloring pages for Yom Kippur and some items for the older children who can read and write.

Around twelve years ago, I got a copy of Robin Sampson and Linda Pierce's "A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays with Activities for all ages" -  It would be absolutely awesome for Sunday/Sabbath school, or as Homeschool material. In fact, I know people who use it exactly for that purpose and love it.  It is geared towards older ages, but someone who is experienced with teaching some Sunday School and such, would be able to readily translate this down to smaller ages and smaller groups.  Things do get a little "squidgy" trying to do some of the projects gluten free though. (Challah for example) Other items look like they'd only work with a middle to large classroom (5-20 children), but I think if you don't dwell on that fact, you can take some of the ideas and use them to transform your Sabbath table.

A site I absolutely love for Sabbath table (and holiday table) ideas is The Jewish Hostess. As I see table items go on sale (even in the craziest places), I pick things up one at a time to lay by for the holidays or an "every day" Shabbat for the kids to have something good to look forward to. I haven't been as good about it as of late with our health issues, but it is something I really look forward to - setting our Sabbath table and watching the children react to the different items on it.

I'd been searching high and low for something in German, but outside of Chabad and a couple things I could find here and there, I'd not found much.  I found a cute little book called "Mit Ida und J├╝dischen Festen durchs Kindergartenjahr "  It's about a little girl named Ida, and her year in Kindergarten and working through each of the holidays. I lent my copy to the kindergarten last year, so that the teachers in my older son's classroom would know what we are doing instead of the holidays generally practiced here in the Lutheran and Catholic churches in the village.

What books do you like to use to help you through Yom Kippur and the High Holidays with children?

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