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Robert Schurz


Parents and children at a community Tot Shabbat program

I love Tot Shabbat.

I’ve written before about how excited my wife and I are to bring our daughter into the world of Reform Judaism and expose her to its values. Tot Shabbat represents her first opportunity to take a step forward and create her own version of Judaism.

For the uninitiated, Tot Shabbat is a Friday or Saturday program series for families with children up to about age 6 that incorporates music and movement to introduce the history, values, and traditions of Judaism to a new generation. It brings the Shabbat experience alive in a fun and engaging way.


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Father squatting to hold toddler in open grassy expanse with mountains in the background

While the resurgent displays of outright xenophobia, racism, and misogyny in our political discourse have been profoundly distressing for me, they have also put me in closer touch with my Jewish identity. Of course, this also means coming to terms with the prejudice that has exerted such a powerful force on the Jewish experience.

Although my daughter is far too young to understand the current migrant crisis or engage with how it relates to Jewish history, my wife and I have an obligation to impress upon her our moral duty as Jews to support immigrants and to instill in her the...

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Baby lying on her back with feet toward the camera

Kids ask questions. A lot of questions. My 1-year-old daughter hasn’t entered the inquisitive phase yet, but she will. I can already see it in her impish grin, her mischievous giggle, and the way she instinctively crawls toward things in the house that she’s not supposed to crawl toward. This kid is a challenger, a questioner, and a seeker of truth.

My wife and I have made a commitment to raising her in the Reform Jewish tradition and having her attend preschool at Shaaray Tefila, become a bat mitzvah, and generally be immersed in a world of Jewish learning and Jewish experiences....

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