Rabbi’s small tokens make big connection for toddler


All it took was some pocket change. In a brief moment, our rabbi connected to our 2-year-old this past Shabbat. Our toddler had no idea that tzedekah meant charity. But he loved it when our rabbi pulled out a handful of change from his pocket, and let Simon pick out coins and stick them into a tiny slit in the box. One by one.

Rabbi Howard Jaffe, a towering man with a booming voice, showed the softest of hearts. No words were exchanged. It did not matter. It’s all about … Continue reading

Teaching tots about Shabbat: Don’t blow out the candles


Shabbat had little meaning to me as a child. My family never attended a Friday night service, lit candles, or bought challah, and my husband’s family did not either. Shabbat dinner? Neither my husband nor I attended one until we were grown-ups. Now, as parents, we want to make Shabbat a part of our 2-year-old son’s existence.