Take it from another mom: when we say we don't want or need anything, we don't really mean it. So, we are here to help, and have rounded up some of the best gifts we've seen for the new mom and the veteran mom.
And, if you're still not satisfied, here are some other simple ideas to make any mom feel special:
Lastly, I'm a big fan of getting myself a gift. No judgments please! Because I don't want to be upset that no one has picked up the perfect thing, I'll find that perfect thing for myself, let my husband know, and we're both happy (well at least I am).
I would venture a guess that my ingress into Tikkun Olam is different than most, as it emerged from a place of hate.
Five years ago, when I was ten year old, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, known as Operation Protective Edge, launched. I was old enough to follow the narrative, and I found myself frustrated and disillusioned by the account of the conflict told by the media and by public opinion. Israelis were being vilified for protecting their citizens’ lives while Palestinians were working to maximize their own civilian casualties to sway world opinion.
I remember crying from frustration. I could so plainly see the situation and felt powerless against it. For the first time in my life, I really thought I understood hate. Hate for an entire people that I have never personally encountered. Add to the current situation that my maternal grandfather is Iraqi, was ousted from his home in 1952, stripped of all possessions, and absorbed by Israel as a refugee. My paternal grandmother was also forced to leave her home in Morocco due to persecution.
My mother was not sympathetic. While she understood how I arrived at my current state of mind, she made it clear that I was too young for declarations of hate. Ultimately, my Israeli mother said, Israel wants to protect her children, and for that she needs peace with neighboring countries. Instilling hatred in children will make that goal less likely. She turned on Matisyahu’s One Day and left me alone with my thoughts.
And so, in 2015, I wrote my first song for peace (shameless plug time: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/ari-abramovitz/1066960399; and shoutout to puberty, because you can really follow the journey of my changing voice over the three songs), and, when it came to choosing a bar mitzvah project, looked to combine my love for sports with the new task from my mother of finding a better way to deal with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
My bar mitzvah project, with the support of my community, launched Crossovers for Coexistence, where my Jewish friends partnered with Al Aqsa Academy, a local Muslim school, for a game of basketball on the floor of the Wells Fargo Center prior to a Sixers’ game. More importantly, the teams were mixed, allowing for bonding and collaboration, and we had the opportunity to sit together to eat dinner prior to the Sixers’ game. The kids I met that day included Palestinian refugees and Muslims born and raised in the Philadelphia area.
Since that day, my Jewish school and my synagogue have maintained ties with Al Aqsa Academy’s clergy and students, and I learned the valuable lesson that each of us can impact change in our community.
This year, as part of my Tikkun Olam journey, I joined a team of like-minded teens through the Jewish Federation, known as the Teen Giving Project. The program teaches us about fundraising, introduces us to potential causes, and ultimately tasks us with raising money for the cause of our choosing, the environment. As we are nearing the end of our first year in the program, we are in the process of raising money.
I thank you for reading this, invite you to learn more about my journey, and, if you would like to help, donate through my page here: www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/ari-abramovitz/teengivingprojectfirst19-2
Thank you in advance for learning about my project
We grew up eating this charoset and let me tell you it's so good.
The great news is that it's also super easy to make. Last year I shared my initial recipe for my our dad's charoset which only included walnuts and silan (date syrup). This year I've further improved it by also adding pecans.
Eat it at the Seder on matzoh, as a dip with lettuce (that's what we do), or use it as a spread or topping for yogurt during Passover. It's so sweet you'll just want to eat it with a spoon - trust me!
Makes: About 1 cup (double this if you're having a large Seder)
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup silan (date syrup) - I used Soom
1. Mix the pecans and walnut, spray a medium pan with coconut oil, and toast the nuts on medium heat for about 4-5 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Let them cool slightly before proceeding to the next step.
2. Put toasted nuts in a thick ziploc and using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or even a regular hammer, gently smash them into small-medium sized pieces; stop before the nut mixtures becomes a powder
3. Place chopped nuts in a bowl and add the silan. Stir. At this point, you will have a thick spread.
if too thick, add a bit more silan. If too thin, more chopped nuts will do the trick. Experiment and see what consistency is best.
4. This can be made a couple of days ahead and stored in a covered container at room temperature.
Enjoy your Seder with your friends and loved ones, and please share with us your holiday traditions with the hashtag #howdoyoujew.