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Judaism in the American Home: Children

A Special Exhibit of decorative, ritual, and household objects from Jewish-American homes featured in the Undergraduate Library April 14, 2013 through May 12, 2013.

Perpetuating Traditions

Perpetuating Traditions

Jewish tradition demands that parents teach children the customs and values of Judaism.  In the American home, Jewish learning for boys and girls has often been carried out in a “playful” manner through games and “fun” books.  In the home as well, proud parents show off the special gifts given to their children by the synagogue upon their becoming bar or bat mitzvah, i.e. becoming an “adult” at the age of 12 or 13.  Young Jewish boys and girls are also taught the importance of charitable giving and the need to support the land of Israel.

 

Teaching through Play

Board games and card games provide educational opportunities and family fun.

Aliyah Board Game

Aliyah (Board Game)

The Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan

Let There Be Light Board Game

Let There Be Light - Electriquiz Game of Jewish Knowledge

The Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan

Children's Literature

Bookshelf of Children's Books in Hebrew

From, In Our Small Garden, a blog that includes "Hebrew & Jewish Kids' Books."

What is a Bar Mitzvah? A Bat Mitzvah?

Bar Mitzvah

"Bar mitzvah is not about being a full adult in every sense of the word, ready to marry, go out on your own, earn a living and raise children...Bar mitzvah is simply the age when a person is held responsible for his actions" - The Jewish Virtual Library

Tzedakah or Charity

 

Ambulance Bank

Donation Box for the Magen David Adom (Israeli Red Cross)

The Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan

"Charity is a fundamental part of the Jewish way of life."  Children in Jewish families learn about helping others from an early age.

Sharing Holiday Traditions with Children

Sharing Holiday Traditions with Children

In Jewish households, children are included in holiday celebrations.  Games, books, toys, and songs, in addition to providing a source of amusement, are used to teach children about Jewish history, customs, and values.

Passover Frog Toy

"Happy Passover" Frog Toy

The Jewish Heritage Collection, Special Collections Library, University of Michigan