Category Archives: Adult Learning

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Eser Discusses Interfaith Relationships

“How Jewish are you?” is how religion first came up in our relationship. Bart asked me on our second date. Even though I thought it was an odd question for someone whose JDate profile read “willing to convert,” I played along and answered. Bart “came clean” immediately: not a J. Two years later, we’re enjoying discussion and debate in our Monday night Eser group. Though we come from different backgrounds,… Read Article →

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Recreating Passover Memories for Our Children

Scallions transformed into the whips of Egyptian task masters, an imaginary suitcase for a journey from Egypt to the Promised Land and someone in an embroidered Egyptian ensemble—these are my childhood memories from the Passover seders my family and I enjoyed with friends in their very eclectic home. Our friends had nine children; the father was from Brooklyn and always ready for a debate, and the mother was from Egypt… Read Article →

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Do You Have a Box of Grumblies at Your Seder?

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens had a fabulous event at Hebrew College on March 30—   Matzah Matters attracted nearly 70 parents, children, educators and community members.  The afternoon included two learning sessions: Rabbi Benjamin Samuels discussed ways to make the Haggadah and the Seder your own, and Elisha Gechter presented various commentators on the Haggadah.  I attended Rabbi Samuels’ session. Reflecting on our discussion, two points stayed with me:  1…. Read Article →

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One Voice Followed By A Symphony

The following exchange between a student (Peter S.) and one of his instructors (Lynne H.) speaks to the Me’ah journey. Dear Lynne, It was so nice to see you at the graduation dinner for Me’ah. I still recall happily the beginning of Me’ah two years ago, studying Bible with you. It was very impressive to see the way you used scholarship, teaching, and above all enthusiasm to engage our minds…. Read Article →

Eser Hamsa Tattoo

My Jewish Tattoo

Beginning this week, 117 Eser participants will be discussing “Ten Best Kept Jewish Secrets,” starting with tattoos. For the occasion we asked JCRC staff member Yana Tolmacheva, whose Jewish tattoo we spotted at a Sip of Eser, to write about her ink. Yana was born in Russia, raised in Brooklyn, and has spent extensive time in Israel and Argentina, and looks forward to her continued trips to the Ukraine. Many times… Read Article →

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Do You Have a Red Bandana?

Purim is by far the silliest, most playful holiday on the Jewish calendar. Children in particular enjoy the customs of Purim – dressing up in costumes, cheering the heroes Mordechai and Esther and booing the villain Haman, eating hamantashen (be they poppy-, apricot-, or chocolate-filled). It may seem amid all this silliness that Purim is a holiday primarily for children. Actually, there are many aspects and themes to Purim that… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Kunkel Family 2013 (2)

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens – Reflection

My experience in parenting has been a mix of small triumphs and an unexpected and often overwhelming sense of love and pride…. coupled with the somewhat ongoing question of whether my husband and I are doing this “right” at all. Five months ago my eldest son (age 5) asked me about G-d. Who was he? Who made him? What happens when you die? Is there really a light inside of… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Bursteins

So Much More Than Bagels

“Parenting Through a Jewish Lens.” Rather self-explanatory course name, one would think at first. A course on parenting, that is, raising your kids, through a Jewish lens, meaning…well, what exactly? Perhaps not as self-explanatory as one might think at first, given the broad experiences and backgrounds one can fit into the idea of being Jewish. After all, while some of us consider ourselves Jewish because of the full observance of… Read Article →