Yael Schuster is a chemist, runner, mother, and entrepreneur who wants to inspire you to see the beauty of science in every aspect of your life. I discovered her inspiring children’s book series called The Know-It-Alls that follows a group of girls who have science adventures (and the book comes with a science kit–genius, right?).
Yael is giving away a copy of her book to one lucky reader, so be sure to read the giveaway details at the end of the post. Let’s get to know Yael and learn from her.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in the middle of nowhere, Virginia and spent a lot of my childhood exploring and pretending to be MacGyver. I made Aliyah in 2005, and got my PhD in Chemistry at the Technion. I spend my free time sewing and making messes with my kids, and working on my startup.
How do you connect to Judaism?
Primarily by living in Israel. Everything I do is infused with Judaism and a connection to the Jewish people.
How do you prepare to host people for a holiday meal or celebration?
I used to spend weeks planning and cooking bit by bit. Lately, I just wing it and have a lot more fun! My kids love to help, and my older son takes special pride in making things all by himself.
How does the ideal holiday celebration look and feel to you?
The ideal celebration is a ton of family members coming together, the chaos of cramming so many people in a small space with so much food, and catching up and exchanging recipes and news. The beauty is in seeing all the generations together and feeling like a family.
Leading up to, during, and after the holidays, how do you reconnect with yourself?
Wait, I get to spend time with myself? This is even an option? 😛
What is one of your most memorable holiday experiences?
One year when Thanksgiving and Chanukah fell on the same dates, I invited over my Sisterhood of Amazing Women and we had a costume party featuring lots of love, fun, and wine.
What’s your absolute favorite holiday dish?
Persian rice. Except it takes like an entire day to prepare… Please tell me it’s possible to make in some shorter way?
What was something that your mother (or another influential figure) shared with you about the holidays that has stuck with you?
My mom always had us sing the songs on Seder night in the most silly, fun way that I’ll never forget.
What’s your number one tip or trick you’ve discovered that makes the holidays smoother, more positive and meaningful for you?
Not focusing on the perfect, and instead focusing on the people.
Yael, thank you for sharing. I, too, love seeing all the generations together during the holidays. It’s a beautiful, life-affirming experience.
Yael has graciously agreed to giveaway a copy of her children’s book, The Know-It-Alls and the Jet Cars, to one lucky Jewish Food Hero reader. To enter to win, simply post a comment below telling us what most inspires you about Yael’s philosophy and work. (The giveaway winner will be selected by a random number generator and contacted via email–so be sure to include yours in the comment fields when you enter.)
Update: The winner has been selected, and the giveaway is now closed.
This post is part of our Chag Notebook series where we interview inspiring women and men about their approach to the holidays.