Jewish Values: YaYa and YoYo Sliding Into the New Year

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132 p.
The meaning and traditions of Rosh Hashanah are woven into a story about a twin sister and brother whose family are Conservative Jews. A contemporary style and point of view that connect present-day pluralistic Judaism to the unbroken chain of Jewish beliefs and customs are at the story’s heart. The main characters of Ellie (YaYa) and Joel (YoYo) are portrayed as typical fifth graders whose interactions with each another, their parents and older brother, and their school friends are genuine, laced with humor and warmth. The somewhat repetitive plot concerns Ellie’s excitement over being invited to go with a friend to a sensational new waterslide park, and her disappointment to learn that the date for this excursion falls on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Why does she have to observe both days? Ellie wonders. Isn’t one day of reflection and repentance enough? Guided and goaded by her brother’s greater attentiveness to what Rabbi Green has been teaching them about teshuvah in Hebrew school, Ellie begins to answer those question for herself. Her response leads to an affirmation of Jewish beliefs, traditions, and values
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