I consider myself a dedicated yet anxious Jewish mom. I’m dedicated because I would like my children to have a Jewish upbringing that connects them to our collective stories, history, and values – and I’m anxious because I’m never quite sure whether I’m accomplishing that goal.
It's a conversation I had had hundreds of times in my 44 years as a Jewish educator. However, this time was different: It was with my son.
Two blessings are chanted or recited every night of Hanukkah. The first is a blessing over the candles themselves. The second blessing expresses thanks for the miracle of deliverance. A third blessing—the Shehecheyanu prayer, marking all joyous occasions in Jewish life—is chanted or recited only on the first night.
In the early 1990s, Haifa instituted an annual cultural event, “Festival of Festivals,” to celebrate Jewish, Christian, and Muslim holidays falling during the winter season.