Give Children a Safer Searching Experience

Posted on November 28th, 2016

By J. D. BIERSDORFER The New York Times

Q. Children can type sex-related terms into Google and get explicit content, including images. What can be done about this?

A. Google’s SafeSearch filter can block quite a bit of content like pornography from search results, so make sure the feature is turned on. To do this on a desktop browser, go to (The filter is also available in the settings for mobile browsers and the Android and iOS versions of the Google app.)

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Shaboom! Ep 04: Get with the Giving

Posted on November 21st, 2016


Kids & Family

Mensch: upstanding, caring, kind and all-around great people.

Raising Jewish kids? Start their mensch training here.

Is your family ready to talk about giving and tzedakah, which means justice and righteousness?

The Plonys are feeling selfish. The kids fight over their toys, and Papa and Mama can’t seem to take the community charity drive seriously – Papa wants to donate his leftover beans and tuna! ”SHABOOM!” The Sparks magically help the Plonys donate everything they own, from the shirts on their back to all the furniture in the house. Ay yi yi! In the process, the Plonys learn about generosity: giving doesn’t just make us feel good; it’s tzedakah and it’s our important job.

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Nurture the WOW: Spirituality and Parenting

Posted on November 14th, 2016
By Naomi M. Gruer for Hadassah Magazine

In her new book, Nurture the Wow, Conservative Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg explores the mundane and mystical, frustrating and fascinating, physical and philosophical aspects of raising children. Using self-deprecating humor and situations from her own life, Ruttenberg ties the act of parenting to the practice of prayer and spirituality. She also questions preconceived and deeply embedded notions of how to be spiritual. “It’s possible that our kids can be important teachers who help us better find the doorways to the transcendent,” she writes.

Before her first child was born, Ruttenberg prayed the fixed liturgy three times a day. “Then Yonatan was born. My prayer life tanked,” she writes. She asked herself, “Was having a kid going to keep me from accessing the holy?” Ruttenberg describes a harrowing day that culminated in her 1-year-old vomiting during a bath. She was almost out of patience when she prayed, “Help me,” and something amazing happened: “I remembered that I loved him and that I was the grown-up and that we were going to be O.K.”

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How to Explain the Refugee Crisis to Kids

Posted on November 7th, 2016
By Marjorie Ingall for Tablet Magazine  

New children’s books help parents broach a challenging subject

This election season, we’re hearing a lot about how horrible the people who aren’t like us are. Refugees are talked about as rapists, murderers, terrorists, poisoned Skittles. But the photo of a tiny boy in Syria sitting in the back of an ambulance, covered in blood and dust and staring blankly into space, was everywhere. So was the picture of a fully clothed toddler washed up on a beach in Turkey. No matter how we try to protect our own children, they’re seeing images like these. And given our people’s tradition of hachnasat orchim—welcoming visitors—and the just-past holiday of Sukkot’s emphasis on ushpizin (honored guests), and our potent history of fighting for social justice in general, it’s imperative that we explain the refugee crisis to kids.

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