Blessings and Baby Steps

Blessings and Baby Steps charts the spiritual journey of parenthood from pregnancy through preschool.

Author Rabbi Ilana Grinblat interweaves her personal experiences with those of friends, congregants, and mentors as well as with tales from Jewish tradition.

From morning sickness to sleepless nights and from labor pains to temper tantrums, this friendly and accessible book grapples honestly with challenges that reveal insights from each stage. The stories illustrate how children can offer us new perspectives and strengthen our character. Blessings and Baby Steps reveals to us the many ways in which our children raise us and teach us, no less than we raise and teach them.

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About The Author

Rabbi Ilana Berenbaum Grinblat teaches at the American Jewish University’s Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles. Rabbi Grinblat is a prolific writer on parenting and spirituality. Her parenting columns have been featured in the websites of the Forward, the Jewish Journal, and the Washington Jewish Week, and her blog can be found at She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Tal, and their children, Jeremy and Hannah.


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From Ilana's Blog:


Happy Independence Day!

Sunny California is living up to its name nowadays. It’s bright and hot outside. As is her custom, Hannah, my strong-spirited two-year-old, insisted on picking out her clothes yesterday morning. Despite the heat, she selected jeans, a sweater, a jacket and bunny slippers! I explained to her that it was too hot for long pants and sleeves, but she refused to wear anything else.

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The Closure

On July 16th and 17th, a ten mile stretch of the 405 freeway will be closed for 53 hours. For the past month, the sign on the freeway has been flashing this warning – as if signaling that the end of the world is coming. The newspapers and internet sites have underscored this message. City leaders have tried to emphasize that alternate routes can’t compensate for the closure of the freeway (which normally serves 500,000 cars each weekend).

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Mother’s Day Message

Last December, on the day my children began winter vacation from school, my publisher sent me a list of revisions they needed me to make to the manuscript of my book. I previously arranged to go with two other families to Adventure Plex, a giant indoor jungle gym for a play date. When we arrived, I apologetically explained the situation and asked my friends if they could watch the kids while I worked.

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