Reviving our family's Jewish traditions

Growing up I wasn’t very religious, but we always observed and celebrated the Jewish holidays Unfortunately, over the years our traditions lessened. We would observe the holidays, but, for example, we would no longer do a Seder at Passover.


Now I have my own family. My son Max went to the Shaw JCC Early Childhood Education program since he was two years old and is now a kindergartner at The Lippman School. 


What I love about the Shaw JCC is that at times my kids educate me about Judaism. It’s beautiful to listen to them sing Hebrew songs they learned at the J–not even realizing that I am listening and loving every moment. The J has similar core values as my family, which is why the best thing I have done for my kids was enroll them at the Shaw JCC.


The Shaw JCC and Lippman have played major roles in my son’s confidence– socially, academically, athletically, and more. My daughter Emma has been attending ECE for two years and is learning about our religion and special traditions.


When I was a young girl I went to camp, we would always say the HaMotzi blessing before each meal. The last time I recited it was 25 years ago. Recently, my daughter Emma said the HaMotzi blessing before dinner. Since then she has inspired me to recite this blessing before meals as a family.


Emma ends the HaMotzi with “and give a friend a hug.” This doesn’t surprise me. Afterall, the Shaw JCC and Lippman have always done such a great job creating a community for all and they continue to instill the importance of tradition, friendship and family in my children, and all of their fellow classmates.


The Shaw JCC staff does a great job at including family members. Whether it’s my dad (grandpa) reading to Emma’s class or me helping set up and being part of a family Seder, the J encourages us as a parents and family members to share these special moments with our children.


There is no question the Shaw JCC is creating a time in Emma and Max’s life that they will cherish forever and for that I am forever grateful.


Susan Kalal


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