Category: Jewish Education

Although we maintain a glossary as well, for a quick definition of a term, here we will feature some in depth explanations of topics from the every day to the once a year. If we’re missing a topic that you need help with, let us know! We want this to be a useful place for you.

Hiddur Mitzvah and Putting Heart into Chanukah


On Chanukah we celebrate the triumph of religious liberty: the freedom to openly, joyfully observe the rituals of our own choosing, free from fear and persecution. In the Hellenic society of the Maccabees’ time, conformity of religion forced out religious diversity, driving Jewish families to learn Torah in secret, pulling out games of dreidel when… Read more »

A Blessing for Coming Home


There’s a change of pace in November, when suddenly we walk more quickly down the sidewalks, more intent on our destination. The wind blows colder outside as we sit in the warmth, bookmarking Thanksgiving recipes or booking flights back home for a holiday feast. One brief November moment, and Chanukah seems to be right around the corner…. Read more »

The Call of the Shofar: A Return To Our Best Selves


Summer isn’t over yet, but here in our neighborhood there’s a hint of Fall in the air. Parents are shopping for backpacks and lunch boxes, and the local universities are preparing for the annual influx of college kids, with their summer tans and summer stories. Here at Kolbo, we are getting ready for the High… Read more »

History of the Jewish Menorah


Two-toned heart menorah by Gary Rosenthal One of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith is the menorah. The first menorah in the Temple of Jerusalem was a seven-branched candelabrum that was used, not to light the Temple, but to symbolize the Jewish mission to be “a light unto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6). This artifact… Read more »



One of our favorite challah cookbooks! Challah refers to a portion of dough, separated from that used to make the family’s bread, and given as a gift to the Kohen (priest). His wife would then use the many gifts from the community to make her own bread to feed their family. In the absence of… Read more »

The Mezuzah


The word “mezuzah” literally means “doorpost” in Hebrew. The mezuzah itself consists of the protective casing, or bayit/בית, and the sacred parchment inside, or claf/קלף. The parchment is a holy document, written by a scribe who concentrates on the spiritual meaning of each word. The text inscribed on the parchment is the first three paragraphs… Read more »

Learn About the Ketubah


  Its history: The ketubah initially came about in the first century C.E. as a marriage contract guaranteeing a woman financial and familial support from her husband. The document was unambiguously non-mutual and served to ensure that a woman be supported throughout her and her husband’s life, and after her husband’s passing. The ketubah would be signed… Read more »

Tu B’Shvat


“The almond tree has blossoms and the sun is shining brightly…” השקדיה פורחת ושמש גם זורחת Tu B’Shvat is the Jewish Holiday celebrating the New Year of the Trees. It is known as the Holiday of the Trees, or chag ha’ilanot/חג האילנות, and is mentioned in the Mishnah as one of the four new years that pepper our… Read more »



The Four Mitzvot of Purim “They were to observe them as days of feasting and merrymaking, as as an occasion for sending gifts to open another and presents to the poor” (Megilat Esther 9:22). On the 15th day of Adar, we celebrate Purim, a day of celebration, mirth, and joy. It tells the story of… Read more »