Category Archives: family


We read a book last week called

New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story


In the book (and in my Jewish Tradition) we “throw away our mistakes” at the beginning of the New Year to cleanse our hearts and souls. That way your heart feels like “an empty closet” after you have discarded all the old broken toys that you have gotten rid of, “wide and open.” If you’d like to learn more about this tradition first hand, you may join me at Crosby Farm on Sunday:

Community Tashlich Experience to be held at Crosby Farm Park 2595 Crosby Farm Rd, St Paul MN 55116

Tashlich will take us from Rosh HaShanah to Yom Kippur with
dance, storytelling, and reflection on the past year as we cast our regrets away into the water.

Religious School Families: this is our first day of school (in lieu of meeting at Shir Tikvah!) followed by a picnic lunch. Please bring lunch for you and your party.

Famous Montessorians

Stephen Curry

I’m a huge NBA basketball fan and a huge Montessori fan.

So is Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors:
“Montessori gave me a lot of confidence at a young age,” says Curry. “I used to love it when I’d come to school because there was something new I was going to learn every single day.”

Says his mother, who founded the school:

“Montessori for my family has really been the staple of everything,” she says. “I love Montessori for the fundamental aspects that it affords children … independence, the intrinsic love for learning, responsibility, respect for yourself, for other people.” 

Stephen Curry credits Montessori with instilling in him the skills to learn at his own pace as well as to harness his strengths, work on his weaknesses, and develop a sense that he could achieve anything.

Happy Holidays !!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

My wife and I are feeling really grateful to be able to travel this holiday season. One of our most recent adventures was to the Kuala Lumpur bird park in Malaysia back in 2012. All of our classroom study of tropical rainforest animals reminded me of the beautiful and exotic birds we saw there. Here’s a picture:

KL Birds

Here are the answers to my family survey, but first a quiz for you:

Mr. Peter and his wife are traveling to one of the 50 states of the United States of America.

Can you guess which one?

1. It is home to many pueblos, or permanent settlements of Native Americans: the Hopi, Zuni, Apache, Navajo, Anasazi, and the Pueblo ‘Indians’.

2. It has many petroglyphs from ancient civilizations.

3. It’s home to the Rio Grande Gorge and River.

4. Famous people associated with this state: Georgia O’Keefe is a famous artist who fell in love with the beauty of this place and made her home there. Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, researched his rockets there. Billy the Kid and many cowboys lived there too!

If you can figure out the answer by the first week of school, I will give you a handshake (Eagle’s Nest Secret), a hug, or a sticker. You choose!

Answers to my family survey:

Survey for Eagle’s Nest Families: Please return by Wednesday, December 17

  1. What holidays does your family celebrate during this time of year? Christmas? Hanukah? Kwanzaa? Something else? What are some of the important holidays for your family throughout the year?

My family is Jewish so I grew up celebrating Hanukah, Passover, Yom Kippur, and Rosh Hashanah. Kristin’s family is Christian so now we celebrate all the holidays. We often travel to New York City to see my Mom, Dad, and Sister over Thanksgiving or other times of year.

  1. Your child is studying history. We begin with his/her personal history. Please list the members of your family (however you define it) and their respective years of age.

Here is my example from when I was about your child’s age:

Peter, 5
Father: Jon, 40

Mother, Marcia, 33

Sister, Cassie, 9

Grandmother, Nanny Kevitz, 65

Grandmother, Nany Goldie, 70

  1. Where is your family from? What cultures does your child come from? Does your child have relatives in other U.S. states or foreign countries?

My mother and father’s grandparents were immigrants from Russia and Poland and both sides of my family are Jewish going back as far as I can track. My ancestors came from Israel and , like many jews, my family has made it a point to visit there. I grew up in New York City. I moved to the Twin Cities when I was 18. I have an uncle and his family in Canada. My uncle and his wife live on an Indian Reservation in Peace River, Canada. Most of my wife’s family is in Minnesota. 

  1. What are your family traditions? Does your family do something special on Sunday or the weekend that you’d like to share?

When I was growing up Sunday mornings would be about eating bagels and lox from the local deli and my mom and dad would both read and watch the news. My Dad would read three different New York Newspapers as we watched Meet the Press on Sunday morning.

  1. Do you have any pets? What kind? What is the child’s favorite season?

We have no children and no pets but hope to have both soon. I grew up having a dog or two at all times until I moved to Minnesota. Kristin had many cats before me met. 

  1. What kinds of books, magazines, stories does your child like to read? What do you, the adult(s), like to read ? What kinds of things do you read everyday every week? (shopping lists, websites, books for work, newspapers count)

The first book I ever read was Ten Apples Up on Top when I was 5 or 6 years old. I read a lot of comic books when I was in 1st-3rd grade. And by 4th grade I read a lot of Science fiction. Nowadays I still love reading those books but I also read a lot of children’s chapter books and children’s non-fiction. I love children’s literature and hope to write more children’s stories soon. I wrote and published a few children’s stories when we lived in Taiwan from 2010-2012.

I will also be filling out the survey and sharing with and the children. Anything else about your family that YOU or your child wants me to know?

I’m a kid at heart and I make it a point to know about the books, games, jokes, etc. that are popular with the children in my classroom.