A Jewish lifestyle is fostered and enriched through the synagogue, but it begins in the family home. For those that would like to make their space representative of a Jewish home, below are a few ways to incorporate and begin the journey.
Having a Jewish calendar in your home, hanging on the refrigerator, in your pantry, or in your home office, allows you and your family to see and plan for upcoming Jewish holidays. Many Jewish calendars are available with pictures of exquisite Judaica from around the world, showcasing parts of Jewish history. Beth Tikvah offers Jewish calendars in our lobby year-round.
The Union for Reform Judaism provides information in the holiday section of their website for valuable resources to help you and your family understand and celebrate Jewish holidays. This is great way to teach yourself and family about Jewish holidays and traditions. Books are also available in the Sisterhood Gift Shop on specific holidays and traditions.
As Jews we make choices with what we eat countless times per day. Many Jews, including Reform Jews, choose to keep kosher which involves separation of meat and milk, not eating pork, shellfish, and certain other animals. However, there are other ways in which Jews can make food choices, including eating locally grown food. During the holiday of Passover, Jews often choose to avoid eating chametz or leaven and eat matzah during the week. There are many cookbooks available that can help you plan your meals for holidays as well as every day. To learn more about making food choices please visit the URJ page on Ethical Food Choices.
Celebrating Shabbat at home with family and friends creates a warm and wonderful end to your week. Saying or singing blessings with family or friends over candles, wine and challah, helps make it sacred. Below you will find 18 things you can do to enhance your Shabbat.
- Ask guests to prepare a Shabbat blessing, song, or story.
- Set a special table for Shabbat dinner.
- Use a special tablecloth.
- Arrange fresh flowers in your home.
- Polish the silver.
- Pour a nice wine.
- Bake or buy a challah.
- Give thanks for the blessings of the week.
- Light special candles.
- Read a Shabbat prayer…then read it again.
- Say blessings over the wine and challah.
- Sing some nice songs.
- Listen to the quiet peace of a dinner at home without a phone, TV, or radio.
- Take a Shabbat walk.
- Attend a Shabbat service on Friday evening.
- Pause for a moment as Shabbat ends on Saturday night and sing havdalah.
- Look forward to the next week’s Shabbat celebration.
Art and Judaica
A framed home blessing or displays of modern or traditional Judaica can warm your home and make it feel welcoming. By affixing a mezuzah to your doorpost, you will be reminded each time you enter your home of your heritage and traditions. Menorahs, dreidels, Shabbat candlesticks, Kiddush cups, seder plates, shofars, challah cover, and sculptures are all Jewish objects that can be purchased in the Sisterhood Gift Shop and displayed in your home to make it feel like a Jewish home.
A Ketubah or embroidered tapestry hanging in your home is another way to remind you of your heritage. Creating a Jewish library in your home is another way to make your home feel like a Jewish home.
Please visit the forms library for instructions on affixing a Mezuzah.
Sisterhood Gift Shop
The Sisterhood Gift Shop has a wide array of modern and traditional items for your home and personal use. Items are generally in stock, but special items can be ordered. If you would like to adorn your home with Judaica, please visit the Sisterhood Gift Shop, they would be happy to assist you in your journey. For more information about the Gift Shop, please contact Rachel Lambermont.