Category Archives: Adult Learning

Uncategorized Charna

Christmas in July

“Mommy, do we celebrate Christmas?” my three-and-a-half-year-old asked me recently. I had expected—and then fielded—this question back in December when lights, trees, and plastic Santas started popping up all over town. But I was surprised it was coming up again, off-season. I told her that we do not celebrate Christmas. Predictably, she pouted. She pouted not because she understands what Christmas is or what it means to celebrate that holiday,… Read Article →

Uncategorized Shabbat-wordaizer

Shabbat at Our Home

  Several years ago I attended a workshop called “Making Shabbat Special” at the JCC with Rabbi Julie Zupan, a warm and thoughtful rabbi who is now an instructor for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens.  She shared a variety of ideas that sparked my own family practice.  Some of the ideas she shared were nice, but actually were not the type of Shabbat that I wanted – for example, a… Read Article →

Uncategorized ben-marina

Eser’s First Engagement

Hebrew College’s young adult learning series was never intended to be a Jewish dating service. The program gathers together 20- and 30-somethings every week in living rooms across eastern Massachusetts for informal, but serious, text-based discussions of various aspects of Jewish life and culture. JDate it is not. But for the first time in its history, Eser can claim credit for a match. Ben Ginsburg and Marina Rakhkin of Brighton… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Gary+Becca-Volpaia1

Joining the Jewish Community in Boston

We stumbled upon Parenting Through a Jewish Lens completely by accident. I was discussing ideas for charitable giving with someone at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and at the end of the conversation the person suggested this program would be a good fit for us. He was definitely right. I grew up in the atheist Soviet Union, where religious and cultural Jewish practices were strongly discouraged. By the time I arrived… Read Article →

Uncategorized Mama and Edan August 2014 (3)

Connection and Community

Through a far-too-snowy and far-too-cold winter, the Sunday morning gatherings of our Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class at Temple Emanuel in Andover have provided a sense of warmth and community beyond anything I anticipated as a first-time PTJL instructor. Over coffee and bagels, we spend some time simply “checking-in” – sharing stories of our lives since we were last together; our challenges, our triumphs, our aggravations, and our comedic… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens daraandkids

The Bargained-For Blessing

I remember the day my now husband and I made “the deal”.  He was the first non-Jew I ever dated… and also so clearly the love of my life.  While I couldn’t envision asking him to give up his religious beliefs and traditions, I also wasn’t willing to give up mine or compromise on raising my future children with Jewish religious beliefs and traditions.  And so we agreed, well before… Read Article →

Me'ah Maida2015

Me’ah – The Second Time Around

What would motivate a mature woman with limited discretionary time to sit in a classroom for 3 hours once a week and agree to take on at least “some” homework? Me’ah! And why? Easy. Me’ah is so intellectually exciting and learning with other adult learners – rarely like-minded – is the stuff of personal renewal and growth.  The program is geared towards the intelligent adult learner who is not already… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens 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 →