In January JewishBoston.com launched its first-ever Shabbat of the Month Club program for families with young children. The free subscription program offers six monthly kits to families to introduce them to Shabbat through craft projects, easy-to-understand ritual information, recipes and local family events. With just two activity kits remaining in this cycle, we checked in with local mom Kate Blumenreich to find out what receiving the boxes has meant for her family of four. (See her daughters at work below!)
Why did you sign up for Shabbat of the Month Club?
When I learned about Shabbat of the Month Club, we were just in the beginning of figuring out how we would approach Jewish education for our young kids, and really had not done much in this area. Shabbat of the Month Club was a fun way to start bringing information on Jewish holidays and traditions to the family.
What did your family do with the kits so far?
We have started to light candles on Friday nights (when we remember), which was not something I grew up doing. The kids especially enjoy it. We also hosted our family seder using all of the features in the Seder in a Box kit.
What do you think of the Shabbat of the Month Club concept and the specific kits so far?
So far, the kits have provided us with information on Jewish traditions and rituals that make it easy for us to begin to observe. I greatly appreciate the tone of the explanations of the traditions in the materials. The information is accessible, nonjudgmental, and welcoming for families who may not already be observing all of these traditions.
How do you think Shabbat of the Month Club fits a particular need with your family?
As we figure out what type of Jewish education is right for our young children, it has at least given us a fun way to get started.
What did it allow you to do that you might not do otherwise?
It has given me an opportunity to talk about Judaism in a positive way and to get our children interested and excited to observe some of the traditions. It also gave me the energy to look into more formal Jewish education for my kids, which I have done, and they are excited to start.
How do you think Shabbat of the Month Club fits a particular need within the community?
It seems to me that Shabbat of the Month Club is reaching out to the families who are not yet sorted with a temple or other Jewish education, and it gives them an opportunity to begin bringing these traditions to their families. The information included on community events is very helpful as well.
How did it make you and your family feel about being Jewish?
It has made a big impact on us. My husband is not Jewish, and it has helped me to explain the rituals and traditions to my entire family and helped me to understand the importance of bringing these traditions to my family. I can see my older daughter especially beginning to identify herself as Jewish. She may not understand the specific meaning of different holidays and rituals, but she understands these are unique Jewish traditions, and she is excited to observe them with family and friends.
To see Shabbat of the Month Club in action, please view our Facebook photo album, which we are continuously updating. If you have your own photo to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to see your family enjoying Shabbat together!