From Generation to Generation: How Do You Raise Your Children Jewishly?

Joy and Ryan Hoffman with their children Ella (14), Ethan (12), Emily (10) and Evan (4)

In honor of l’dor v’dor, a Jewish saying that means “from generation to generation,” we spoke to young families to find out how and why they raise their children Jewishly.

The Hoffman Family

“We live Jewishly in the little details of our lives. We teach our children about giving back and donating their time to others. We have a Shabbat meal every Friday night and include friends in our community or extended family. We find a true connection to our synagogue. That’s our personal Jewish journey, but there are so many beautiful ways that Judaism can enter our lives on a daily basis. From helping a friend, to being kind, to simply being respectful — we try to model Jewish values as best we can.”

Rachel and Corey Heller and their children Julia (6) and Joey (9)

The Heller Family

“The Jewish community allows for children to understand their part of something greater than themselves and their immediate family. Something their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were a part of and that they will have the same responsibility to pass on to their children. We sent our children to Jewish preschool, where they got their foundation in Judaism as well as going to Hebrew school. More than that, they see it reflected in the time spent with our families celebrating holidays.”

The Varon-Mosquera Family

Daniel Varon and Ivonne Mosquera with their daughter Sarah (7).

“Raising Sarah Jewish is a mitzvah of high priority for us. Raising her with Jewish values as a foundation is a great gift we are giving to her and to the world. Also, for my husband Daniel, it is a way to honor his Jewish heritage. As a mother who has embraced Judaism, I feel very happy to be part of the commitment to help strengthen Sarah’s Jewish identity and pride. We want our daughter to grow up loving being Jewish, and being aware of the social responsibility that this entails and the positive impact that she can have on the world.”

The Rosen Family

Neely and Leon Rosen and their children Symon (8) and Aleah (10)

“Neely is the grandchild of Holocaust survivors so l’dor v’dor – the passing down of traditions – is fundamental to who we are. Raising kids Jewishly means creating a home filled with Jewish ritual and sensory experiences – the sounds of Carlebach around the kitchen table, the smell of the Havdalah spices, the feeling of braiding challah or shaking a lulav, the ritual and rhythm of Shabbat – and modeling a commitment to community and a connection to Israel. We supplement public school with Hebrew school and Jewish day camp.”

  • Neely and Leon Rosen and their children: Symon (8 y.o.) and Aleah (10 y.o.)

3 Ways For Local Families With Kids To Live Jewishly

Check out these Jewish Federation supported programs and see the full list at

  1. Calling all bookworms! Sign up for PJLibrary and receive free Jewish children’s books every month.
  2. If you’re raising an interfaith family, read up on 18Doors and their resources for interfaith families (and couples without kids!) to engage in Jewish life.
  3. Got a budding David Beckham (he’s Jewish!) in your family? Check out the Kehillah soccer league, which starts in September.

Invest in our community’s next generation. Make your gift today. or call 215-832-3484


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