Today is day one of Hanukkah, and what better time to teach children about the Jewish culture than during one of the most important Jewish holidays. In Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays, the book features Hanukkah and 10 more celebrations, including Yom Kippur, Purim and Passover.
Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays teaches children about the symbols of different Jewish celebrations and their purposes through fun rhyme. One such symbol, the menorah – a type of candle holder used during Hanukkah is illustrated, as well as food eaten at the various celebrations including latkes at Chanukah/Hanukkah and matzah, (unleavened bread) at Passover.
Shabbat, which begins on Friday evening and ends Saturday evening is a time of rest, and on Saturday, many go to synagogue, during which the men wear a yarmulke – a type of hat worn during special occasions. The tradition of Passover is featured, which is an eight day festival that celebrates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Purim is also featured, and is celebrated with a parade and and noisemakers called groggers. Purim celebrates the story of Esther, who saved the Jews from destruction. During Purim people attend synagogue in costume and make noise with groggers when the story is told during the service.
Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays includes rhyme, and its beautiful illustrations give the reader a real sense of joyful celebration. While the explanations of each tradition aren’t explained fully until the end of the book in the glossary, it is a wonderful book for introducing young children to Jewish celebrations, as well as a great bedtime book and one for school book reports and/or projects.
With the world’s current state of political and religious uproar, Here is the World: A Year of Jewish Holidays is a great book to read to non-Jewish children to teach the the beauty of Judaism and instill an early sense of tolerance in young children.
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