Category Archives: Adult Learning

judy elkin

Give God a Chance

The topic for our Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class was spirituality. I knew that this would be a difficult, yet important topic to teach.  As part of the class, we read an extended excerpt about encouraging God talk with your children from Danny Gordis’ book, Becoming a Jewish Parent:  How to explore Spirituality and Tradition With Your Children. I believe that Jewish parents, to paraphrase John Lennon and Yoko… Read Article →


Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Gives Parents New Perspective

Growing up, Needham mother Stacy Ross had been taught that one of the least effective ways to combat homelessness was to give panhandlers money. So for most of her life she heeded this admonition. Then something shifted her perspective. It was a discussion this fall about tzedakah — charity— that she had with a dozen other Jewish parents during a course called Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL). As is… Read Article →

rabbi carl perkins

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens: Good for Parents, Good for Synagogues

Rabbi Carl Perkins of Temple Aliyah calls hosting Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) a “no brainer.”  “A parent who explores the meaning of Judaism for herself or himself is a better Jewish parent. Period.” he says. Co-sponsored by Hebrew College and Combined Jewish Philanthropies, PTJL is held at 15 sites throughout the Boston area and beyond.  The course uses the wisdom of our ancestors — biblical, rabbinical and modern… Read Article →


Parenting: Turns Out There’s More to it Than Diapers, Food, and Sleeping

We’ve come a long way since the start of our Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class. As first-time parents, it felt as if it was everything we could to do to keep our son Gabriel (then five months old) well-nourished and adequately clothed – any extra energy we had was spent thinking about things like how to encourage a regular nap schedule or which food to introduce him to next…. Read Article →

rabbi hillel greene

Seeing the world through a child’s eyes

Before becoming a parent, I received some advice that I only thought I understood.  Things like, “go to the movies while you can,” “sit down to a nice quiet meal now and then”, and of course the perennial advice given to a parent to be, “get as much sleep as humanly possible while you still have the chance.”  On some basic level I recognized that after having children my personal… Read Article →


Parenting and the Giving Tree

Did Shel Silverstein get it right? Are we as parents bound by this fundamental compulsion to serve the needs of our children as the veritable “giving tree”? Is this depiction of parenthood meant to reflect an unfortunate reality or portray an ideal?  This book has been a staple fixture on many bookshelves and for good reason. With its whimsical drawings and poignant representation of a selfless parental figure, many parents… Read Article →

jay's family

An Unexpected Family Tradition

As most parents know, when you have small children, your social life takes a major hit. Gone are the days when Friday night meant going out and blowing off steam at the end of a hard week. But just because you have to stay home, does that mean that you can’t have fun on a Friday night? The answer, I am happy to say, is no. My wife and I… Read Article →

natans kids

Hanukkah, Tzedakkah and Kids

One of the things that a lot of parents (including me and my wife) have been talking about the last few days has been Hanukkah and our kids’ expectation for presents.  People have a lot of different customs and approaches to the subject.  Some families we know don’t do presents at all on Hanukkah.  Most do. Some do one small present every night.  Some do just one big one on… Read Article →