Category Archives: Adult Learning

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 →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens TA2

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 →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens 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 Through a Jewish Lens dannyandrebecca

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 →