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Oliver Lapin Family Day VIDEO PICK Melissa Noble Hair Celebrating Diversity & World Peace Craft Museum Family Festival About GISH PICKS About Gish Creative
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Greetings and welcome to GISH PICKS: A GUIDE TO CULTURAL ACTIVITIES FOR FAMILIES, a free weekly e-newsletter/blog I created as a service to the Houston community in 2003 in which I cull from the loads of activities in our city and pick three weekend events (“PICKS”) to recommend to moms and dads all over Houston. Please enjoy and please share -- my business grows by word-of-mouth from people like YOU! And if you’re in Facebooklandia, please sidle over there and like our GISH PICKS Facebook page and share that page, too. Make sure you don’t miss a single post: click on the drop-down LIKE button and then check “See First.” Thanks!

I’m on a soapbox about tv viewing this week – kids watch way too much! This article has some great ideas about teaching choosy tv viewing habits. It’s never too early or too late to work with your kids on that.

On that topic, here’s my favorite anti-television essay. It’s by Roald Dahl and is from his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- it’s the inspiration for the “Mike Teevee” character. My younger son is the one that pointed that passage out to me. This is just a portion – for the full version, click here. If you’re like me, you’ll LOVE it!

The most important thing we’ve learned,

So far as children are concerned,

Is never, NEVER, NEVER let

Them near your television set—

Or better still, just don’t install

The idiotic thing at all.

In almost every house we’ve been,

We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.

They loll and slop and lounge about,

And stare until their eyes pop out.

(Last week in someone’s place we saw

A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)

They sit and stare and stare and sit

Until they’re hypnotized by it,

Until they’re absolutely drunk

With all that shocking ghastly junk.

This week’s VIDEO PICK is a perfect complement to my third PICK, a celebration of diversity and peace. Two girls – one Muslim and one Jewish – perform their very moving poem together. Listen and learn!

Click to view video
Click to view video

Have a great weekend, love one another, please share this, and GO.FIND.FUN.

Picks for the Weekend of November 6, 2015

Karen Fisman; Joanne Rocklin; Zoey Hess


Enjoy many activities for kids this weekend (November 7 and 8) at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center! Their Oliver Lapin Family Day is an annual event for families as a complement to the Jewish Book and Arts Fair, here through November 15. The “Oliver Lapin Family Day” features a kids’ night out, children’s authors, dancing, and singing! The full schedule can be found here and below. All family events on November 8 are FREE and open to the public with the exception of the Funkey Monkeys concert, for which you can purchase tickets here.

Saturday, November 7, 7pm
Nonna's Hanukkah Surprise Kids Nite Out
Ages 5–10

Family Havdallah followed by music, books and activities for the kids featuring Nonna’s Hanukkah Surprise and The Mitten String.

Sunday, November 8, 9am-noon
Mitzvah Projects
Ages 2-8

Bring any canned food (or canned pet food) item to the Mitzvah Project room anytime between 9am-noon and help pack Thanksgiving bags for Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Houston Meals on Wheels clients and their pets. Kids will also create Thanksgiving cards to cheer up children who will be spending their holiday at MD Anderson or Texas Children’s Hospital.

Sunday, November 8, 9:30am-10:15am
PJ Library Event, I Say Shehechiyanu featuring The Funkey Monkeys and Joanne Rocklin, the author of the PJ library book
Ages 2-6

Children will explore the things that make them thankful and want to say “shehechiyanu” and then dance and sing with the Funkey Monkeys.

Sunday, November 8, 9:30am-noon
Shoshana Banana, Family Ties
Ages 5–8

A Jewish girl in New York explores the lives of family members living around the world through the neckties they send to her father. No matter what language they speak daily, on Shabbat they all say the same blessings in Hebrew, the universal language of Judaism.

Sunday, November 8, 12:30-1pm
Shoshana Banana, Family Ties
Ages 5-8
Menchie’s, 6501 S. Fry Road Suite 700, Katy, TX 77494

Sponsored by Big Tent Judaism Houston. For more information on the Menchie's event, please contact

Sunday, November 8, 9:30-10am and 10:15-10:45am
Karen Fisman, Nonna’s Hanukkah Surprise
Ages 5–8

Rachel loves visiting her Italian grandmother, even though Nonna celebrates Christmas and Rachel and her parents celebrate Hanukkah. When Rachel’s special Hanukkah goes missing, her non-Jewish Nonna saves the day. A heart-warming story of family and how love can bridge any differences. Lovely pastel illustrations in this book will capture the attention of young children.

Sunday, November 8, 10:15-10:45am
Joanne Rocklin, I Say Shehechiyanu
Ages 4-6

Jews say “shehechiyanu,” expressing thanks, in all seasons and for many reasons – in new classrooms on the first day of school, at the first winter snow, the birth of a new sibling, or the first flowers of spring. This lovely picture book reminds us of all the goodness and joy in our lives that we can be thankful for.

Sunday, November 8, 10:30-11am
Zoey Hess, The Birthday of an Angel
Ages 5–8

A fifth grader at the Emery/Weiner School, Zoey Hess shows readers how to treasure the memories of their loved ones and connect with those who have died. Demonstrating how grief can be transformed into joy, this book, written after the death of Zoey’s grandfather "Papa", Morton J. Adels M.D., conveys a message of hope and love.

Sunday, November 8, 11:15am-noon
The Funkey Monkeys
Ages 5–8

They’re back! A musical and comedy experience for children of all ages, audiences love the silly and soulful songs and creative presentations of this musical group created by Joshua Sitron, composer for Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer. Singing in English and Hebrew, the talented Monkeys delight their audiences. “Truly innovative: Hilarious for adults and delirious for kids,” –Amy Friedman, Noggin

Hands-On Houston Family Festival


This Saturday, November 7, from 11am-3pm, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC) is hosting their annual “Hands-On Houston Family Festival” with the theme “A Celebration of Wood Crafts!” The Hands-On Houston Family Festival is a super-sized version of “Hands-On Houston,” a free craft-activity open house at HCCC on the first Saturday of every month from 11am-3pm. Each month, a teaching artist demonstrates a craft related to current exhibitions and events. Families and children of all ages are welcome, and materials are provided.

The fifth annual “Hands-On Houston Family Festival” is a free community event. Families and visitors of all ages are invited to this fun day of indoor/outdoor activities. This year, HCCC celebrates wood crafts with hands-on activities, demonstrations by local artists and more. Here are some of the activities:

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft is located at 4848 Main Street. All of the Museum’s “Hands-On Houston” events are free and open to the public. The HCCC parking lot will be blocked off for activities and food trucks, but parking will be available on nearby streets and in the northern end of the First Presbyterian Church’s north lot at 5300 Main Street.

Celebrating Diversity and World Peace


This Saturday, November 7, from 6-9pm, join thousands of Houstonians at Minute Maid Park for the Celebrating Diversity and World Peace event. This year, 2015, marks the 70th anniversary of world events that changed the course of history for people throughout nations. In Houston, noted as the most diverse city in our nation, the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II will be this special event. The Celebrating Diversity and World Peace event has been organized by the International Trade Center and Southern News Group and will honor our country’s veterans while recognizing the many diverse international cultures that have become an ingrained part of the very essence of Houston. The event will include international performances representing all ethnic groups from around the world.

World War II broke out in 1939 and ended in 1945 and was the largest war in modern history, with more than 100 million military personnel being mobilized and directly involved in this world conflict. There were a total of 50 million to 70 million deaths caused by the war -- the largest number of deaths in the history of war. Recently, the 69th United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution to commemorate the 70th anniversary of World War victory. It is well-documented in many ways and the truth remains that World War II for all countries, especially in Asia, Europe and other regions caused untold suffering to millions of people. On June 26, the United Nations commemorated the signing of the United Nations Charter of 1945, marking its 70th anniversary.

The Celebrating Diversity and World Peace event takes place at Minute Maid Park and tickets are $10/each.

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GISH PICKS is a free weekly email in which I highlight family-oriented cultural events, products or services.
Please note that I "highlight" events, but I don't know if they are appropriate for your particular children, so choose wisely based on age, maturity and interests. I know many of you go to events based on GISH PICKS recommendations; PLEASE remember to tell the organization that you are there because of us. Word-of-mouth like yours helps our business to grow. In the same spirit, please also feel free to share GISH PICKS with friends and families.

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The purpose of GISH PICKS is to help parents become aware of all the fun things they can do with their children in Houston and the surrounding area, so GO FIND FUN! Please do give me feedback and ideas, as you are out there in the trenches also looking for interesting things for your family and I want to hear what you find.

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  • OTHER SERVICES including SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS, INTERACTIVE WORKSHOPS, MARKETING, PRIVATE CONSULTATIONS, GUIDANCE SESSIONS FOR FINDING YOUR PURPOSE, and ART PROGRAMS. Talks and workshops cover topics such as summertime fun, passion-finding (for adults, children and families), marketing, historic preservation, art classes, activism, and more. All of these services can be tailored for any audience and budget.

Sarah Gish
Sarah Gish
(Photo: Two Birds Photography)

Sarah Gish
1940-A Fountainview, PMB 116
Houston, Texas 77057
phone: 713.492.1173

© 2015 Sarah Gish

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