Category Archives: Adult Learning

Community Blog womenfriendsgroup

Gaining Insight Together

When I found out that Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) was being offered at Temple Beth Avodah (TBA) in Newton, I was excited to join. I have always been part of Jewish communities throughout my life, and I find those connections to be very meaningful, yet PTJL absolutely exceeded all of my expectations! Through this Tuesday mornings class, led by Rabbi Emily Mathis, I gained insight from reading texts by… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Family Shabbos

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “Shabbos dinner was the same, but altogether different. I probably forgot the words to a few prayers and switched the order of events, but we were present, with our family, together.” (Michele Lippens, Participant in Parenting Through a Jewish Lens at Kahal B’raira, Cambridge. Read more.) > More about PTJL  

Community Blog PTJL curric

PTJL, the Shema, and Jewish Humanism

How could I modify the Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) curriculum to teach it without God?  This was my central question when I started to prepare to teach this course. As a Reconstructionist rabbi, I am someone who personally believes in God.  But as the education director of Kahal Braira, I also believe that Jews have the right to experience Judaism without references to God.  Many Jews struggle with… Read Article →

Community Blog Shabbat-wordaizer

Shabbos, A Day of Rest?

Growing up in my Reform Jewish household, Shabbos or Shabbat meant Friday night candles, store-bought challah, sparkling cider, and using the fancy dishes reserved only for special occasions and major holidays.  My younger sister and I would set the table while my older brother always managed to escape any such duty by hiding out in his room or zoning out in front of the TV.  My mom sweetly called us… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens JoshJacobs use this

How Parenting Your ‘Tween Through a Jewish Lens Supported My Interfaith Family

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens has been a part of my family since 2009, when my wife Amy and I took the “classic” PTJL class for the first time. We loved the sense of community and breadth of perspectives among our classmates—several of whom remain close friends—and the chance to apply the lessons of Jewish texts to everyday parenting challenges. I’m Jewish, Amy is a Baha’i and her family is… Read Article →

Community Blog Kindness

Parenting for Kindness

Since hateful words and actions have played such a large role in our collective experience and consciousness over the last year, it was fitting that our last PTJL session at Temple Beth Elohim focused on the opposite of hate: kindness. Our incredible group of twelve parents— with children ranging from newborn to 13 years old— spent our time together struggling with the profound disappointment and fear we feel as parents when… Read Article →

Community Blog Lexi family 1-17

Shema Moments

Being a parent to three young children, though full of joys and rewards, is also one of — if not the most — challenging experiences my husband and I have faced together. It can feel overwhelming, exhausting and full of countless unknowns. One of the most helpful aspects of Parenting Through a Jewish Lens has been the opportunity to reflect on the challenging moments of the day with other like-minded… Read Article →

Community Blog chrysalis

On Order and Chaos

I am spending a lot of time learning and thinking about the Torah portions we read on Shabbat that tell the story of our roots.  In the book of Genesis, our ancestors built, generation after generation, a small family — the family of Israel. In particular these days I am paying close attention to the life of Jacob, the ultimate father of the children of Israel.  His life, an endless… Read Article →

Community Blog cool to be Jewish

Ghosts of Anti-Semitism

As we jumped into a conversation about Jewish pride, ghosts of anti-Semitism began to fill the 3rd floor conference room of the Rashi School. While we proudly described moments of providing rich Jewish experiences for our kids, and seeing our kids confidently and competently stand before the congregation as B’nai Mitzvah, these ghosts slipped in and demanded to be heard. So in the same breath where one woman described how… Read Article →

Community Blog Beth Winograd

Embracing the Evil Impulse

When I signed up to take the course Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens, I was looking forward to meeting some new people in the Jewish community and brainstorming with parents who share my Jewish values on those “tricky” issues we face as the parents of teens. As our final session of the course approaches, I realize how much more this class has meant to me, and has given… Read Article →