How to use ‘carpool Judaism’ to teach our next generation

Posted on 12 January 2017 by admin

Dear Families,
A number of years ago, I taught a class called “Carpool Judaism.” The idea behind the class was that driving in the car is the perfect time for conversations with your children — they are held captive. Today more than ever, as we spend more and more time in the car, we can use the time to learn together.
First, make this easy and fun so start with questions: Take a stack of 3-by-5 cards and write questions on them and then take turns picking one for the drive (and it doesn’t have to be every ride). Here are a few possible questions:

  • What is your favorite Jewish holiday and why?
  • What is the best mitzvah anyone has ever done for you? What is the best mitzvah you have done for others?
  • What do you like the best about being Jewish?
  • What do you think were the biggest problems Noah had on the ark?
  • Who is your favorite Jewish hero and why?
  • What does it mean to you to be a mensch?

Second, get Jewish CDs for the car. There are many that are not only fun to sing but are filled with great lessons and values about Judaism. Here are a few of my favorites that I still sing in the car (you can find these artists at jewishmusic.com):
Debbie Friedman
Shlock Rock
Peter and Ellen Allard
Rabbi Joe Black
Andi Joseph
The best part about music is that it is fun, but also talk about what the words mean (even if they don’t ask). And remember, when the Torah said to “teach the words as you go on your way” they may not have been talking about the car, but that is our life today. Learn together in every way possible! And you can do all of these things even if you don’t have children — fill your time in the car with learning!
Shalom…from the Shabbat Lady.
Laura Seymour is director of Camping Services at the Aaron Family Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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