My Hanukkah Hooplah Story: Celebrating the Holiday with a Special Needs Child (with a Giveaway!)


When my kids were small, I initiated a tradition in our house of giving eight gifts over the course of the eight days of Hanukkah. I didn't have this tradition when I was younger, but I liked the idea of lighting a candle every night and giving my children a gift to unwrap to celebrate. It was easy to go into a toy store and pick up tchotchkes for less than $10 each, or even $1 each (at the Dollar Store). My children didn't ask for anything much in particular and they liked whatever they got. As the years progressed, I kept up the tradition of eight Read More


Candle Seven: Growing Up a Fish Out Of Water

Hanukkah with Kids

When I was growing up in Atlanta, there were less than 100,000 Jewish residents in a city of several million.  My parents had moved there from Philadelphia, and they retained much of that Northern Jewishness that set us apart growing up.  Much of that was cultural - bagels and lox on Sunday mornings, for example, instead of grits and fried chicken. We were members of the Temple, the biggest Reform shul in the city, and my sisters and I went to Sunday School and were had Bat Mitzvahs and confirmations.  We were involved members of the community, and it Read More


A Chanukah Celebration with Mama Doni at the Soho Center for Jewish Life

In a spirit of outrageous fun, The Mama Doni Band brings its special brand of “funky music with a Jewish twist” to an all-ages Chanukah show at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8 in the performance space at 100 Reade Street, NYC.  This concert is sponsored by the SoHo Center for Jewish Life. Doni Zasloff Thomas, a.k.a. Mama Doni, is the lead singer/songwriter of The Mama Doni Band, winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music” in competition with more than 100 bands from 15 different countries at the 2008 International Jewish Music Read More