Jewish Holiday Stories

Maggidah Shoshana at a Congregation Emanu-El, Victoria, Fundraiser in 2016

Click on highlighted titles to watch & learn the story…

Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year, celebrated in the fall)

Perhaps Even Higher: Learn how actions speak louder than words. Based on a story by I. L. Peretz, translated from Yiddish by Shoshana’s cousin, Eli Margolus, zichrono l’bracha, may his memory be for blessing (z”l).

The Lion and the Fox: Be your favorite animal and join the parade! Based on a Rosh Hashana story by the Baal Shem Tov (z”l – 1700-1760).

The Announcing Tool: Help Enoch discover the best way to wake up. Based on a story by Marc Gellman in “Does G!d Have a Big Toe? Stories about Stories in the Bible.”

Sukkot (Harvest Festival) or Tu B’Shevat (The New Year of the Trees)

Micah’s Fig Tree: Micah has a dream you can help fulfill, one good deed @ a time. Based on a story from “A Person is Like a Tree: A Sourcebook for Tu BeShvat” (the Jewish New Year if the Trees) by Yitzhak Buxbaum (z”l).

The Apple Tree’s Discovery Be a tall tree, fly like a bird and explore the world beneath your feet. You’ll never look at apples the same way again! Adapted from a story by Penninah Schramm and Ruth Eckstein Davies with an original song by Shoshana.

The Mysterious Guests Meet three wise ushpizen (guests) and experience a truly beautiful sukkah (hut), inside and out. Adapted from a story by Eric Kimmel.

Hanukah (A Winter Festival of Light):

The Shammes Candle: This participatory tale, adapted from Doug Lipman, confirms that you are wonderful just the way you are.

In the Month of Kislev: This sweet tale by Nina Jaffe proves that generosity is the best policy.

Zlateh the Goat: In this classic Isaac Beshevis Singer story, a remarkable goat saves a kind boy and vice verse in time for Hanukah.

Purim (A Joyous Spring Festival):

The Whole Megilla: A beautiful Queen, a party-loving King, an evil royal advisor and the wisest guy around: perfect ingredients for a rowdy tale that invites you to drown out evil while celebrating diversity.

A Pandemic Purim Spiel: A short, irreverent poem in honor of a festive, topsy turvy holiday for our upside down 🌎, featuring some of the sweet stuff I learned & did during lockdown.

The Wise Shoemaker of Studena: Dress up for Purim with this fun tale of a wise shoemaker who teaches a rich merchant a lesson in disguise. Based on a story by Syd Lieberman.

Passover (A Spring Celebration of Freedom):

The Women’s Courage: This participatory retelling of the Passover story celebrates the transformative power of women during a pivotal stage in Jewish history.

Joseph The Potter: Help Joseph of Tel Aviv create the most beautiful bird in the world for an ancient sage in time for Passover in Jerusalem.

Shavuos (Celebrates the Receiving of Torah on Mount Sinai 7 weeks after Passover)

A Story in Honor of Shavuos: Moses breaks the 10 commandments and peace breaks out in the Valley of Ayalon. Based on a Shavuos tale by Alec Silver, translated from Yiddish by Sharon Fitch.

The Storyteller and The Bishop: Find out what happens when the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the popular Hasidic Movement in Poland, sent out the first professional Jewish storyteller before he died on Shavuos, 1760. From “Storytelling and Spirituality in Judaism” by Yitzhak Buxbaum.

Rosh Chodesh (Celebrates the new Hebrew month which begins when the moon is new)

New Moon and the Incredible Terrible Bog: Watch the moon save a traveler while three brave women save the moon.

Shabbat (The Sabbath)

Pan de Dios: When Esperanza’s challah (braided bread) rises so do her children. Based on a story by Rabbi Zalman Schachter.

The Sabbath Lion: A delightful Jewish folktale from Algeria retold by Howard Schwartz and Barbara Rush.

In the Merit of the Sabbat Candles: Sprintza’s Shabbos (Shabbat) blessings change a young man’s life. An inspiring story of hope from “Jewish Tales of Holy Women” by Yitzhak Buxbaum.

Gam Zu La Tova (This Too is Good): Polish rabbis learn trust from erev (the evening before) Shabbos road rage. From “The Light and Fire of the Baal Shem Tov” by Yitzhak Buxbaum.

Hebrew Literacy Year Round

Frida’s FluteA talented young musician saves the world and learns how to read in the process. Shoshana’s adaption of a parable by the Baal Shem Tov (z”l, 1700-1760) was included in, “World on a Maple Leaf: A Treasury of Canadian Multicultural Folktales,” edited by Asma Sayed and Nayankia Kuma, published by the Edmonton School District (2011), as an initiative of United Cultures of Canada Association (UCCA)

Aleph Bet: Russian Jews find a novel way to connect with the Hebrew alphabet.