Parent Resources

Responding to Pittsburgh: Helping Jewish Children and Educators Feel Secure
Thursday, November 1 │ 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EST

The tragedy in Pittsburgh has touched on many of our deepest fears about anti-Semitism and safety in synagogues and other Jewish gathering places. Bringing together experts and voices from the field, The Jewish Education Project examines how to speak with children, teens, and families in the wake of this shifting reality; helping them cope, feel secure, and make meaning in today’s world.
Dr. Betsy Stone, Psychologist and Adjunct Lecturer, Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion; author of Happily Ever After.
Meredith Lewis, Director of Content and Engagement, PJ Library 
Liron Lipinsky, Associate Vice President of Jewish Enrichment, BBYO
Moderator: David Bryfman, Ph.D., Chief Innovation Officer, The Jewish Education Project

Solidarity Shabbat

Friday, November 2 and Saturday, November 3

Our Jewish community will gather together in solidarity and hope at synagogues across North America. We invite you to observe this #SolidarityShabbat at your local congregation, strengthened by the knowledge that synagogues throughout North America will be doing the same. Reclaim Shabbat in the name of love after it was taken in the name of hate.If the tragic events in Pittsburgh are a reminder of the reality of anti-Semitism, it is our hope that this Shabbat will be a reminder of the power of community. Together, we will create holiness in a time and space that has been desecrated by hatred and bigotry. We will reclaim Shabbat, showing that we will not be intimidated in our houses of worship. 

For a listing of Chicago area synagogues use JUF’s Guide to Jewish Living,

Parenting When Your Heart Is Broken: Young Children and Tragedy
Thursday, November 8│ 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM EST

Young children are not immune to the swirl of conversation and concern around them during moments like these. Through experiential communities such as PJ Library and through classroom communities like our preschools, many of us are the touchstones for parents and for educators who are working through how (or if) to talk with children, how to hold grief and parenting at the same time, and how to structure activities where parents feel safe and at home. Join seasoned educators for this semi-structured conversation driven by your questions and concerns.
Facilitators and Resources (in formation)
Meredith Lewis, Director of Content and Engagement, PJ Library 
Shellie Dickstein, Managing Director, Early Childhood and Family Engagement, The Jewish Education Project
Beth Cousens, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Jewish Education and Engagement, JFNA

Support for Families:

  • Guidance from researcher Sivan Zakai about talking to children about anti-Semitism and violence (Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion)
  • “Look for the helpers. You’ll always find people who are helping.” Parent resources for tragic events from Fred Rogers Productions
  • Reflections on Raising Angry Gentle People from Alicia Stoller, Early Childhood Director of the Jewish Community Project (New York)
  • website focused on responding to crisis, from the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, with extensive resources on all topics related to crisis
  • note from Educator Manda Graizel to her community, including several resources and literal scripts for talking about this with children of different ages (Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, Los Angeles, CA)
  • Guidance from Moving Traditions on helping teens in the wake of tragedy.
  • Guidance from Prizmah: Center for Jewish Day School to help us think about talking to children about anti-Semitism and Pittsburgh