Bedtime Rituals outs 2005
12:03 PM
Page 1
Model 3
Model 1
The Sh’ma
Step 1—Let your child select a limited
number of his or her favorite books.
Recite while covering the eyes.
Step 2—Sit close to your child or with
him or her on your lap; read the stories
in a soft, dramatic, engaging voice.
Sh’ma Yisra-eil:
Adonai Eloheinu,
Adonai echad!
Step 3—Have a brief discussion about the
books—why your child choses a particular
book, what he or she liked best about it, which
character peaked his or her interest.
>laer;c]yI [mÆç]
Wnyheløa‘ y…y]
‰dj;a, y…y]
Hear, O Israel: the Eternal One is our God,
the Eternal God alone.
Baruch Sheim
k’vod malchuto
l’olam va’ed
Step 4—Sit next to each other on the
bed, cover your eyes and sing the Sh’ma
Step 5—Tuck your child under the covers;
exchange goodnight hugs and kisses.
µve ˚]WrB;
/tWkl]mÆ d/bK]
‰d[,w : µl;/[l]
Blessed is God’s glory
forever and ever!
Model 2
Step 1—After reading a few books
together, start the nightly ritual.
Step 2—Reflect on the day—what went well,
what was challenging, what you learned.
Think about tomorrow—what activities are
scheduled, to what you are looking forward,
what will be challenging, what strategy you will
use to cope with challenges.
Step 3—Breathe deeply and blow out all
the stress and tension so your bodies can
rest and rejuvenate.
Step 4—Sit next to each other on the bed,
cover your eyes and sing the Sh’ma together.
Step 5—Tuck your child under the covers;
exchange goodnight hugs and kisses.
The Sh’ma has been the Jewish declaration of faith for thousands of years. Jews everywhere in the
world say the Sh’ma, especially in the morning and at night, to remind us that life is a gift from God. It is our
personal and communal expression of belief in God and in the unity of the Jewish people, as well as our
recognition that there is a relationship between God and the Jewish people.
The Sh’ma is between the parent and God, the parent and his or her child,
and the child and God. It is an expression of belief and affection. Feel free to express
love for your child as you express love for God through actions as well as words.
What Works Best
for each parent and child is a guide to creating a personalized Jewish ritual.
Transforming bedtime into Jewish time may provide children with an understanding
that being Jewish is a way of life and a constant source of comfort.
Step 1—Have a brief discussion about
the day—what you liked, what you didn’t
like; share something you did that was
helpful to someone or contributed to
making the world a better place.
Step 2—Ask your child to select a
special person to whom he or she would
like to say hello and goodnight. Grandma?
Grandpa? Aunt Becky? Uncle Louie? Call
that person on the telephone; write a
message and draw a picture to send in
the mail; or e-mail a special love message
(with content dictated by the child to
the parent).
Step 3—Review and validate the effort
of reaching out to someone else with love
and kindness.
Step 4— Sit next to each other on the
bed, cover your eyes and sing the Sh’ma
Step 5— Tuck your child under the covers;
exchange goodnight hugs and kisses.
Model 4
Step 1— Let your child choose two
or three CDs or tapes of Jewish music
(see resource list on back page).
Step 2— Listen and sing along with one
Step 3— Pause the music occasionally to
talk about the words, the song’s meaning,
what it might have to do with each of
our lives.
Step 4— Sit next to each other on the
bed, cover your eyes and sing the Sh’ma
Step 5— Turn on the CD or tape again at
a low volume for your child to listen to as
he or she falls off to sleep; exchange
goodnight hugs and kisses.
Bedtime Rituals outs 2005
12:03 PM
Page 2
Suggested Resources for Children and Parents
Listed below are selected resources that will enhance the bedtime rituals described in this brochure. Depending on the age and developmental stage of
the child, the children’s books can be used by parents to read aloud, or the illustrations can serve as a trigger when having a discussion, playing or
singing songs. Parents also may enrich their own learning by reading from the suggested adult resources. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list
of resources. Consult your local public library, visit your synagogue library or browse in a bookstore to find additional resources. Regularly check our
Web sites— OR——for new publications.
Stories to Share With Your Child From the URJ Press
Children’s Books (birth through 3 years)
Children’s Books (4 years through 8 years)
Fun With Jewish Holiday Rhymes by Sylvia Rouss
Good Morning, Boker Tov by Michelle Shapiro Abraham
Good Night, Lilah Tov by Michelle Shapiro Abraham
Let There Be Lights! By Camille Kress
Purim! by Camille Kress
A Tree Trunk Seder by Camille Kress
The God Around Us: A Child’s Garden of Prayer,
revised edition, by Mira Pollack Brichto
The God Around Us, Volume II: The Valley of Blessings
by Mira Pollack Brichto
Shabbat Shalom! by Michelle Abraham Shapiro
Come, Let Us Be Joyful! The Story of Hava Nagila by Fran Manushkin
Hello, Hello, Are You There, God? by Molly Cone
Here Come the Purim Players! by Barbara Cohen
Joshua’s Dream: A Journey to the Land of Israel by Sheila F. Segal
Solomon and the Trees by Matt Biers-Ariel
Sophie and the Shofar: A New Year’s Story by Fran Manushkin
The Tattooed Torah by Marvell Ginsburg
Who Knows Ten? Children’s Tales of the Ten Commandments,
Revised Edition by Molly Cone
The Purim Costume by Peninnah Schram
The Perfect Prayer by Donald Rossoff
A Year of Jewish Stories: 52 Tales for Children and Their Families
by Grace Ragues Maisel and Samantha Shubert
Chanukah on the Prairie by Burt Schuman
Shabbat Angels by Maxine Segal Handelman
Chocolate Chip Challah by Lisa Rauchwerger
Good Morning, Good Night, suitable for framing, illustrations by Selina Alko
Parents’ Books
The Jewish Home: A Guide for Jewish Living by Daniel B. Syme
Honest Answers to Your Child’s Jewish Questions by Sharon Forman
Order Yours Today URJ PRESS 633 Third Avenue–New York, NY 10017 Phone: 888.489.8242 Fax: 212.650.4119–[email protected]
Good Morning, Good Night: Jewish Children’s Songs for Daytime and Bedtime (CD)
Songs for Growin’ (CD and Songbook/CD set)
The Complete Jewish Songbook for Children: Manginot (Volumes I and II)
Haneirot Halalu: A Home Celebration of Chanukah (CD)
Celebrate Shabbat (CD)
Nashir B’yachad (CD)
Do It Yourself Shabbat
Shaarei Shabbat: Songs and Blessings for Your Jewish Home (CD)
Transcontinental Music Publications A division of the Union for Reform Judaism 633 Third Avenue New York, NY 10017
Orders: 800.455.5223 – In NY: 212.650.4101 – Fax: 212.650.4109 [email protected]
Cover art taken from Tot Shabbat by author and illustrator Camille Kress.
Department of Lifelong Jewish Learning
Early Childhood Education
633 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10017-6778
Phone: 212.650.4111 Fax: 212.650.4199
E-mail: [email protected] Web Site: