Once we become parents, our social lives can start to play second fiddle to that of our kids. It’s pretty easy to fall into a rut of only interacting with other adults at work or while rushing to get the kids to and from activities or services. Plus planning a get-together with another family can feel intimidating – what do you cook? What will you talk about? Will they notice you haven’t swept that weird spot under the fridge?
Luckily, hanging out with long-time parent friends or a new family you befriended at a PJ Library event can be simple and easier than you think.
You can invite them over for Shabbat dinner on a Friday afternoon or evening. Get the kids together for Havdalah on Saturday evenings. Build something together – like lego mezuzahs or a little free library or a sukkah. Here are seven more quick ideas to help you do something Jewish with another PJ Library family.
SHABBAT PIZZA PARTY
This video from InterfaithFamily.com is a great reminder that there’s no right or wrong way to “do Shabbat.”
Hosting Shabbat is a lot easier than you think. Don’t stress about perfecting your Bubbe’s roast chicken recipe or saying the motzi just like your dad. Instead invite your friends over, order a few pizzas – or bust out some English muffins and let the kids make their own – and enjoy being together. Play the rose and thorn game over dinner then bless your kids together. If you need a refresher on any of the Shabbat blessings, just visit our Shabbat for Kids page.
JEWISH MOVIE NIGHT
If you’re looking for a grown-ups only idea, you can’t really beat movie night. Or organize a sleep-over for the kids, and after they’re in bed, break out the popcorn, the fancy ice cream, and stream or rent a movie featuring Jewish characters or made by a Jewish director. You can even make movie night a regular occurrence, working your way through the 50 Greatest Jewish Movies list.
JAM SESSION & SINGALONG
Know another musical family? Grab your instruments, toss the kids some pots and pans, and make some noise together. Put together an impromptu “one-night band” and try to write a song, exercising your creativity. And when your fingers get sore from all the strumming and drumming, just visit PJLibraryRadio.com to keep the party going.
RUGRATS WATCH PARTY
Did you watch Rugrats as a kid? Or with the children you were babysitting as a teenager? Now you can share America’s favorite Jewish animated family with a new generation. Past seasons are currently available on streaming services like Netflix, and the series itself is making a comeback in a new reboot.
THE GREAT JEWISH BAKE-OFF
Sure you’ve made challah together at a PJ Library event, but what about rugelach, babka, hamantaschen or bagels? Stock up on flour and try your hand at baking something Jewish with friends.
If the kids are old enough, let them take the reins on the cooking.
Take inspiration from the popular cooking show and turn a potluck gathering into a recipe test kitchen or a friendly “Chopped Shabbat” competition. Everyone attending brings a random ingredient with them. You all work together or split up into teams to figure out how to incorporate all of the randomly assembled ingredients into a dinner for everyone to share. (Just be sure to communicate dietary restrictions ahead of time). Will you be dining on potato-chip pizza? Latke grilled cheese? Everything-but-the-kitchen sink cholent? You won’t know until you make it.
You can be social while making the world a better place. If the weather’s warm, volunteer to do a park cleanup or organize a a neighborhood clothing drive. You can also build a little free library, make get well cards for the local children’s hospital, or meal-prep for a family who needs a little help.
Share your favorite get-together ideas on Facebook with #pjlibrary.
August 31, 2018