JUF News is skewing younger these days--to the pint-sized members of your household. Well, your little ones might not be reading the magazine cover to cover, but we do hope, starting this month, they gravitate toward one brand new children's section in the magazine we're calling "
The idea for the section was born out of these strange times, a realization that this year (both the Jewish new year and the school year that are now both underway) is shaping up to be like nothing we've ever seen. These days, whether your children are attending an actual brick-and-mortar school or daycare, home all day, or participating in some hybrid of the two, we know that all you child caregivers out there could use a little help wherever they--and by they, I mean we--can get it.
We're excited to offer you and your children a break from electronics, screens, and swiping in exchange for good ol' fashioned paper, a writing implement, and occasionally child-safe scissors.
To make the children's section possible, we're teaming up with experts in early childhood- our friends at JUF Young Families, the folks that bring you everything from jBaby programming to PJ Library books. The section will focus each month on a different theme--from a Jewish holiday to Shabbat to the importance of giving tzedakah.
This issue, we celebrate the holiday of Sukkot! In honor of the launch of the new section this month, we turned our cover into a coloring page. Tear off the cover and give it to your kids to color. (Or color it yourself--we won't tell.) Then, snap a photo of your little one with their artwork, and tag our JUF Facebook page, and we may feature your budding artist in an upcoming issue of JUF News. (Posting the photo to the JUF Facebook page implies consent for the photo to run in the print magazine.) You also can use it to decorate your sukkah!
Every month, the children's section will feature several age-appropriate activities, such as an arts & crafts project activity, a simple recipe that kids can make with adult guidance, and a couple other fun and educational activities for your little ones.
Now, about that name. We're calling the section Mini Mensches because we're all trying to raise human beings endowed with strong moral compasses-and it's never too early to start.
You see, one common denominator amongst every parent, grandparent, or mentor in a child's life is we want to raise them to be mensches, people of integrity and honor, who demonstrate compassion and kindness.
In fact, Jewish tradition implores us to do so. Rather than focusing on material inheritance, we're commanded to give children yichus, a pedigree of goodness and kindness. As our tradition teaches: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches." (Proverbs 22.1)
All this talk may sound lofty for a kids section in a magazine that requires little more than 30 minutes of your little one's attention and a box of crayons, but really, we hope to offer you something more profound.
We want to arm you with one more tool to help guide your children on their Jewish journeys-as they grow into not-so-mini mensches.