In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 28, 2014 / 28 Iyar, 5774

Let's not forget the play part of kindergarten

By Ana Veciana-Suarez

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | My eldest granddaughters, identical twins, are graduating from kindergarten in a few days. Just 6 years old, they already read chapter books, as do most of their classmates. I don't think I accomplished that until second grade.

This is as much a boast -- watch me puff up with pride here -- as it is a way of recognizing that kindergarten sure has changed. Long gone are the days of finger-painting, of learning those incredibly difficult skills of sharing and sitting still. In the digital era, where the emphasis is on academics and technology, our 5-year-olds are expected to have all those social skills and study habits well before they start their first year of formal school.

Today's version of kindergarten is where you prepare for life, for college, for your career. I'm not exaggerating. The twins had a career day this week. I suspect they want to be professional princesses, a la Disney.

Just a generation ago, the twins' father was not assigned the kind of daily homework that's common now. When he was their age, he could not add or subtract, though I think he might have been able to sound out a few words. He had not a fraction of the science knowledge his daughters now possess, either.

The boy wasn't a slacker. Nor was I an inattentive mother, though I must confess that the early child-rearing years are something of a blessed blur. But the expectations were different then. When he was 6, my son could tie his sneakers all by himself, a lost art in the age of Velcro, and he could tell time on an analog clock -- skills that now seem quaint.

In my day, a time where families had only one phone and one TV (with rabbit ears and four stations max), kindergarten wasn't even mandatory. Those who attended went for a half day. Many mothers didn't work. And 5-year-olds did not know their way around an iPad better than their grandparents, because there weren't any such devices.

This was the kind of kindergarten setting that inspired the 1986 international bestseller, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," one of those books that joyfully captures the valuable lessons learned early in life: Play fair. Don't hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.

If written today, Robert Fulghum's book would no doubt be different. Not bad, mind you, just different, a reflection of a changed world where standardized testing rules, where there's a lot more information to cram into a school year, and where play is a tightly choreographed indoor sport instead of a free-for-all in the backyard.

I'm a vehement proponent of discipline and academics, but I find myself wondering whether our good intentions haven't gone awry. Last month, a school in Elwood, N.Y., axed its annual kindergarten play for fear that the tradition was taking time away from "preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills." Does the decision sound as ridiculous to you as it does to me?

Another of my granddaughters will begin kindergarten this fall. Her mother, my daughter, works with her daily on word families and number recognition. The pressure is high and the stakes . . . well, the stakes seem to grow exponentially every year.

Still, I hope that along with math problems and sentence writing she's given plenty of time to master the serious subjects of childhood. Skipping rope. Climbing trees. Playing tag. Goofing off. You know, the kind of activities that inspire dreams.

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The story of Marissa Alexander: When justice is blind, deaf and dumb

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Mr. Smiley Testing My Patience

We're not forgetful, we just know too much

Why didn't I think of that? Another missed opportunity for invention

When being fair is really not, and other life lessons

Bridging the Generation Gap Has Gone Too Far

Ana Veciana-Suarez is a family columnist for The Miami Herald

© 2014, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.