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  • Writer's pictureTziporah Altman-Shafer

Is Jewish Life on Hold Until Chanukah? Finding Jewish Meaning Between Holidays

In September and October, GoJewish published five straight posts about celebrating the Jewish holidays. We are now in the Jewish month of Cheshvan, which has no holidays. Does that mean we take a break from “doing Jewish” until Chanukah?

No! Shabbat comes 52 times a year. When you are Jewish, there is always something to celebrate.

Celebrating Shabbat is a wonderful way to make Jewish memories and to spend quality time together as a family. In our fast-paced world where we are always plugged in, some time to relax with family on Shabbat could be just the solution to the problem you didn’t know you have.

Some ideas of how to experience Shabbat as a family:

  • Bake challah. Try this easy recipe for challah in a bag:

  • Make Friday night dinner special: try using a tablecloth or special dishes. Or make special Shabbat placemats to use each week.

  • Light the candles, drink some grape juice, eat some challah. You can find the blessings in transliteration in this video:

  • Enjoy a family favorite meal. It doesn’t have to be chicken and kugel. Make something your family likes or order out. Here are some easy ideas.

  • Take a moment to bless your children. Use any language or words you want, just take the opportunity to tell them how special they are. This video will teach your more:

  • Turn off the screens and talk, play a board game, read books together, sing songs. Make Shabbat different than the rest of the week. Here are some game ideas.

  • Visit one of the local synagogues on Friday night or Saturday morning. There are lots of children’s programs to explore.

  • Get more inspiration by visiting the Shabbat exhibit (The Seventh Day: Revisiting Shabbat) at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee. It is open until December 31 and has inspiring Shabbat art to see.

Shabbat is a great time to slow down, reflect on the week, and just enjoy time together. In the comments below let us know what you like to do on Shabbat.

There are so many educational opportunities in Milwaukee. If you would like some help finding the right program for your child, contact Tzipi Altman-Shafer to talk about how you can “Go Jewish” with your family (414-963-2718 or


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