My family has always celebrated Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Chanukah—usually at a table surrounded by loud family and covered in food. This year’s celebrations looked different: we used the BaBayit materials and prompts to discuss what each holiday meant to us. With the BaBayit community we learned about the history of these traditions and creative ways that other congregants make the holidays meaningful.
BaBayit led my family to create new traditions. This year, we decided to build our first sukkah. My family has always loved making art together, and we used sukkot as an opportunity to be creative and connected. We built a mini sukkah using clay, cheese cloth, and paper bags. My mom, sister, and I spent a day in the kitchen building our sukkah, brainstorming how we could put ourselves into a sukkah that was too small to physically enter. I felt more connected to the holiday and its meaning than ever before.
BaBayit helped me see how Jewish rituals and teachings can play a consistent role in my life. In a BaBayit program, my family learned to make challah. Initially, I just wanted the bread. As making challah became a ritual, Friday mornings became a time for talking, kneading, braiding, and laughing. This ritual allowed me to reflect on my week, notice all that I am grateful for, and find ways to be fully present.
Judaism has always been in my life and in our home. BaBayit has shown me that, while many Jewish rituals have strong foundations in the past, I can find my own ways to participate in these rituals. BaBayit has taught me to approach Jewish holidays not just as moments of celebration, but as moments when I can learn, reflect, and grow, both on my own and within the community.