Providing kids with Jewish cultural experiences that will connect them to their roots

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

May 9, 2017 5:00:19 AM

Providing kids with Jewish cultural experiences can be challenging. You make an effort to connect your kids to their Jewish identity and roots at home.  Whether that’s through a Jewish education, Friday night dinners, preparing traditional Jewish foods, sending them to Jewish summer camp (and the list goes on), it’s part and parcel of American Jewish living.  But what about when you go on vacation?  Chances are, aside from the requisite trip to Israel, your kids haven’t connected to their roots and Jewish identity on a global level through travel.  But travel is the best way to connect to your roots.  We all come from somewhere and seeing the history behind the Jewish communities in different countries helps bring that idea to life.  That, in turn will help your kids grow into adulthood with the desire to remain connected, hold on to the things that they feel make them Jewish and pass those lessons about where they come from to their children.  And that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? 

There are a million ways to go about this as the network of Diasporah Jews spreads far and wide.  Whether or not this is YOUR particular background, you can choose a country that is enjoyable all around so that you and your kids feel that you’re mixing ‘business’ with pleasure.  Spain is the origin of the Sephardic Jews and a must see for any family looking for a Jewish cultural experience that will connect them with their roots.  Take your family on an enriching vacation where together you will discover unique medieval towns oozing with inspiring Jewish history, all the while soaking in the Spanish Sun!  Here are my top destinations to rediscover the Jewry of Spain.

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Topics: jewish education, jewish travel

Top 10 Jewish News Sites to Follow

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

May 8, 2017 7:31:29 AM

In today’s world of fake news, it’s important to keep up to date with relevant Jewish news through reputable and trustworthy news sites.  There is an abundance of current affairs sites in English that will allow you to keep informed on all that is happening both in Israel, the Middle East and worldwide Jewry.  Here are the top 10 Jewish news sites to follow: 

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Topics: jewish education, jewish travel

Educational travel for kids

Posted by Jessica Swiatlo

Apr 29, 2017 8:04:21 AM

Jewish tradition teaches us that we must instill in our children the lesson of giving to our community and those around us in need.  It’s a very basic part of what it means to be Jewish and an important part of a helping create a strong Jewish identity for your kids.  In today’s world of instant gratification and quick fixes, it’s hard to really shock our kids into being passionate about what they have and what they can give. It’s rare to find the opportunity in the daily hustle and bustle to take the time as a family to show our appreciation. That’s why I like to combine my family vacation with an extra component of educational travel for kids, in particular the lesson of Tikun Olam – the  Jewish acts of kindness designed to repair and protect our world.  

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Topics: jewish education, jewish travel

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