J-Nesting

My home study is now complete!

A home study is required for all adoptions. Last week, the social worker did the final walk through of my apartment (mind you, this is after a 4 hour interview) to make sure I had enough room for a child (check), indoor plumbing (check) and there are no obvious safety hazards in my home like a wood-chipper in the living room (check). Then the social worker said something incredible: “go forth and buy furniture.”

Until now the baby room has stood completely empty. I thought it would be easier to look at all that open space instead of an empty crib every day. I’m overjoyed to be this close to having a child in my home but….how exactly do I create a Jewish nursery? As someone who chose Judaism as an adult, I’ve never seen one.

I do have a few ideas:

- a framed picture of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel walking with Dr. Martin Luthuer King, Jr.  - it’s never too early to start teaching about tzedukah (justice)

- the aleph betthe sooner he/she starts learning those squiggly letters the better

- lots of Jewish books – obviously

- a large Barney with a kippah (skullcap) – what…no?

Clearly, I need some help so I’m turning to you. (Yes, you who are reading this right now.) What belongs in a Jewish nursery? What should a Jewish child see every morning upon opening her/his eyes?

Please give (comment) generously. All advice accepted and appreciated!

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4 thoughts on “J-Nesting

  1. Well, I think any nursery should be about what you want because the baby won’t care what’s on the walls. He or she will care about the love in that nursery. :) Congratulations on such a big step!

  2. Congratulations!  Do you know about the PJ Library program http://www.pjlibrary.org?  It is a Jewish book of the month club for kids ages 6 months – 8 years old and in many areas it is free – at least for the first year.  They send a beautiful, age appropriate Jewish themed book once a month addressed to your child – and sometimes they send cd’s:).  Good luck!

  3. Hi
    Congratulations!!!  As someone who has chosen Judaism as an adult, Your rituals and level of observance will reflect the Jewishness of not only your babies room, but of your home.

    Jewish symbols throughout the house can go far to trigger discussion about your religion.

    I agree with the suggestion of a mezuzah for the door post of the new room.
    You could create your own or purchase one that reflects  a child’s room.
    Maybe when the baby comes, you could have a special ceremony while affixing the mezuzah.  Take pictures then make a book with simple short one line captions of all your family and friends that attend.
    Reading the “pictures” to your baby can reinforce the beginning of building a Jewish home.
    Do the same for Shabbat and any other holiday times and Jewish celebrations.

    A beautiful tzedakkah box made for a child’s room could also contribute to the “Jewishness” of the baby’s room.  Starting a weekly ritual of dropping coins into the box can begin teaching your child the value of performing acts of loving kindness.

    Have fun decorating and furnishing the room.
    The transition into becoming a parent is exciting and it’s great that you’ve reached out for suggestions.

    kol tuv,

    judi

  4. Congratulations!

    Planning is such a sweet part of the process.  I’d suggest adding a super comfy chair near a window for nursing/feeding.  And outside that window, I’d plant a tree.

    When our younger daughter was born, our house was in a development that had been a cornfield — everything was flat.  So we planted a beautiful tree just outside her window.  As we sat in our chair — nursing, cuddling, singing, saying the she-hechayanu — we could watch that tree come to life in spring and dress up for in fall.  We saw wind whipping through it in winter and birds perching on its branches and bursting into song in summer. 

    The emphasis on, and love of, nature is a wonderful part of Judaism.  And that tree led to early seasonal discussions (e.g., before Sukkot, before Passover).  We used to take our kids on “hunts” to look for signs of early spring (buds, grass, bugs.)  With this tree, though, we felt connected to nature every day.

    Enjoy, enjoy!

    If our kits can be helpful to you, please check them out at http://www.JewishHolidaysInABox.com.

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