Volunteering vs Living

Rabbi Nicki Greninger

As a new mom, I have become a fan of a blog called “The Motherlode.”  Published by the NY Times, it is described thus: “The goal of parenting is simple — to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids. The road from here to there, however, is anything but simple. In The Motherlode, Lisa Belkin tackles it all — homework, friends, sex, baby sitters, eating habits, work-family balance and so much more — subjects culled from the news, from… Read More »

Transliteration Dilemma

Rabbi Nicki Greninger

One of the dilemmas facing Jewish educators year after year is whether to use siddurim (prayerbooks) that have transliteration (Hebrew words written in English letters) at tefillah.  There are good arguments on both sides of the debate:  If you use transliteration, it helps everyone feel more comfortable with the Hebrew and it makes the service feel more inclusive.  However, the transliteration can become a “crutch,” so that children rely… Read More »

Kids Lead Tefillah

Rabbi Nicki Greninger

About a month and a half ago I had an idea - either hare-brained or brilliant - that students in the Religious School might like to help me lead weekday tefillah with instrumentation.  Many of our students play instruments, and they rarely have the opportunity to bring those talents to our congregation.  And so this was my proposal to all our 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders:

“If you would like to help me lead tefillah by playing an… Read More »

Choosing Hebrew over Recess

Rabbi Nicki Greninger

I’m very excited to report that at Religious School on Wednesday, we had ten (yes, ten!) kids stay inside during hafsakah (recess) in order to continue working on their Hebrew studies with our new Hebrew program, Mitkadem.  Can you believe it?!  They’re choosing Hebrew over recess!




Managers vs. Makers

Rabbi Nicki Greninger

A few months ago I read a really interesting article in the NY Times about two kinds of people: Managers & Makers. Stephen Dubner (of Freakonomics fame) cites an article by a Silicon Valley innovator named Paul Graham in which he talks about how people use time. He argues that “managers” operate according to a daily schedule divided into hours. Others, whom he calls “makers,” tend to operate according to a schedule of half days or full… Read More »

Teaching Children to Apologize

Rabbi Nicki Greninger

There was an interesting article in the NY Times’ parenting blog last week about teaching children to apologize:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/teaching-children-to-apologize/#more-5385

One of the things I found helpful about the blog is the reminder to parents (and educators) that apologies aren’t only about the words. In Jewish tradition, repentance involves at least 4 steps:

1) Recognize our error/misdeed/sin
2)… Read More »

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