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Number of Candles in the Box

Chanukah candles have that classic look: colored, twisted. The old traditional blue boxes used to have a prominent number 44 on the box, because that’s the exact number of candles needed for one Menorah throughout Chanukah. More on that later, … Read the rest

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The Pittsburgh Kaddish Headline

This image of these four Hebrew words (which begin the Kaddish, the mourners prayer) spread across the whole front page top of the Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh’s largest newspaper, is chilling and comforting, saddening and uplifting at the same time.  

Tonight at … Read the rest

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I Want My Hat Back – by Jan Klassen

We picked up this “I want my hat back” book at the library the other day. It’s by Jan Klassen who wrote and illustrated several picture books about animals and a hat. This book (surprisingly!) won major book awards and … Read the rest

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Red and White Make Pink

Every few years we do a Pink Shabbat in conjunction with the Sharsheret organization for Jewish breast cancer awareness and support. In fact, we did Pink Shabbat once or twice before Sharsheret. It is important that students (even as they … Read the rest

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Remembering Bubbe Risha (I)

This Shabbat (Noach 5779) is the second yartzeit of my grandmother Bubbe Risha Piekarski. I (and some of my siblings) lived in her and my grandfather Zeide Michel’s home (1672 President Street, near Utica Ave) for nearly ten years while … Read the rest

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Students Speak on Staying Afloat

At Shabbos Lunch of Parsha Noach, we went “around the table” with each student sharing something that helps them stay afloat in times of pressure or stress, when they feel overwhelmed. What are some of your coping mechanisms?

Laundry! Why … Read the rest

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Staying Afloat

Our Simchat Torah “dancing-rabbi”image had been our profile picture for more than a week after the holiday, and while we wish for the Simchat Torah spirit to linger, we realized it’s time to change our profile picture. 

Being that it … Read the rest

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Two Firsts, Two Priorities

As an additional commentary to the verse, Rashi (the great biblical commentator) veers off the literal meaning and parses the first word of the Torah “Breishis” into two: Bais (the letter Bais has a numerical value of 2) & Reishis … Read the rest

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An Historic Saw Mill & Grist Mill and (Jewish) Life

When all the kids are home for the holidays and they’re off from their Jewish school we like to go out on (wallet-friendly and family-friendly) outings and excursions, called “Chol HaMoed Trips.” This is actually a tradition in more traditional … Read the rest

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UAlbany Thinks of Israel – Sukkot 2018

For several years now, the 2nd night in the Sukkah is designated as our Israeli night, with Israeli foods, a theme, and usually student memories of Israel. Great Danes for Israel co-sponsored this night in the Sukkah and ran an Read the rest

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