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'Dear Bubbie and Zadie'

'Dear Bubbie and Zadie'With his children's book, "Bubbie and Zadie Come to My House," Tufts graduate and author Daniel Bloom has sparked a holiday tradition.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [12.11.06] For nearly a quarter century, Tufts graduate Daniel Bloom has been adding excitement to the holiday season for children around the world. The author, who earned a degree in English from Tufts in 1971, is the creative force behind the fictional holiday figures “Bubbie and Zadie,” who play a similar role to Santa Claus for many children of the Jewish faith.

“As a child, Daniel Bloom remembers feeling left out as other children wrote to Santa Claus with their wish lists each year,” Reuters recently reported. According to the news organization, Bloom dreamed up “Bubbie and Zadie” in 1981 to give children an alternative to Santa Claus. In 1985, he penned a children’s book about the pair.

“Bubbie and Zadie Come to My House” was recently republished after being out of print for more than a dozen years. The book is about “grandparents flying from house to house on the first night of Hanukkah singing songs and telling stories,” according to Reuters. At the end of the book, Bloom encourages children to write to the pair and share their excitement and anticipation of the holiday season.

Since writing the book, Bloom, a native of Springfield, Mass., has received more than 10,000 letters from children eager to share their thoughts with “Bubbie and Zadie,” common Yiddish nicknames for “grandmother” and “grandfather.” While he has captured children’s excitement with the book, Bloom has also encountered criticism from some orthodox rabbis, who believe that “Bubbie” and “Zadie” bare too close a resemblance to Santa Claus.

“I understand the orthodox rabbis, they are defending their own traditional beliefs,” he told Reuters, adding that the negative feedback hasn’t dulled his excitement over the impact his unique story has had on children around the world.

Bloom explained to the news organization that he is especially fond of the tradition of letter-writing that has begun as a result of his creation.

“I love the book. The book is cute, but it’s the letters I like,” he told Reuters.

Written by Carly Burdick, Class of 2009

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