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Lookstein Center’s 70 Challenges for 70 days Launched

26 Feb

Detail from the 70 Challenges fo r70 Years Website

The Lookstein Center’s 70 challenges for 70 days launches this week. In honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary, Bar Ilan’s Lookstein Center for Jewish Education has organized a creative daily game from now until Yom Haatzmaut. The games are appropriate for individuals, school groups or home schoolers. There are four grade levels of difficulty to the […]

Engineered Gragger for Purim

25 Feb

Plywood kid made gragger

I am sharing my son’s engineered gragger, that he made in his “young scientist” club at school. This is a great after school club for about 1st to 3rd graders (I think there are separate groups for the older boys) where they work on science activities. Sometimes its a one week project and sometimes a […]

Adding in Prayer for Police to the Prayer for Soldiers

21 Feb

Photo of prayer for the state of Israel from booklet printed and distributed in 1948

Did you notice that in the summer the prayer for the IDF, Mi Sheberach for Tzahal was changed? In July Rav Rami Barchiyahu, the rabbi of the Israel police services, received permission from the chief rabbis of Israel to update the prayer. The update now includes a prayer for police, that is praying for the […]

An Educator’s Guide to An Extra Seat

13 Sep

Detail, A Seat for Sharansky, Illustration by Caryl Herzfeld from An Extra Seat

I have been meaning to post an educator’s guide to An Extra Seat for a while. This time of year is a good time to do it given the books focus on ahavat chinam and helping others. In particular, when witnessing so much is going on around the world today (hurricanes, monsoon…) and the acts […]

Commemorating David Daube

18 Jun

Torah V'Avodah Source book cover with photo of David Daube

Recently my friend David Curwin shared this post on facebook and I felt that given Birkat Chaverim’s connection to Bnei Akiva, and informal education, it was appropriate to share here. I thought David’s commemorating David Daube was thoughtful as well as interesting to those who grew up in Bnei Akiva as well as a note […]

Hanukkah Card Elements

7 Dec

My kids and I have been fooling around with Chibitronics LED circuit stickers. I picked some up over the summer because I thought they would be a fun way to learn about circuits and so forth. We made some simple cards around Rosh Hashana time and plan to make some around Hanukkah as well. For […]

School Labels Beta Testing

11 Sep

Back to School Label Beta Testing Label Designs

Is anyone interested in School Labels Beta Testing? I am working on some new school labels and they can use some beta testing before they get added to the Bikat Chaverim store. The school labels are a completely new thing for me and a result of a personal need. They started because of my daughter’s […]

Seeking Submissions For Our Annual Mitzvot Unplugged

13 Apr

Mitzvot Unplugged Series Welcome from Birkat Chaverim

We are seeking submissions for our annual Mitzvot Unplugged Series. The Mitzvot Unplugged series came about as a way to think about inspiring my own kids in doing mitzvot. Besides role modeling and focusing on learning and doing, I wanted to share creative ways of inspiring towards Jewish values. I wanted a way to think […]

Review: Koren Children’s Siddur

7 Sep

Some of you have had your kids back in school for a while, around here we started September 1. In honor of the new year I am posting a review of  the Koren Children’s Siddur. Since my kids were fairly small we’ve had a ritual for davening on shabbat -one of the few days where […]

Jewish Youth Group as a Mitzvot Builder

17 May

As part of this years Mitzvot Unplugged, I wanted to talk about a classic method of teaching kids mitzvot creatively, the Jewish youth group. As you may know, Birkat Chaverim was started to support Bnei Akiva of North America through the sale of birkonim for family celebrations. I grew up in Bnei Akiva and was […]