Category Archives: Adult Learning

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 →


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 →


Noticing The Good, Doing The Good

A child takes her lunch box from her backpack and brings it to the kitchen. How can this be a sacred act? This question came up in the Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class that I am leading at Shir Tikvah in Winchester. Why is it sacred you may ask? Isn’t it just common courtesy to help out by bringing the lunchbox in, rather than requiring the parent to hunt… Read Article →


My Journey with Raising Jewish Children

The day my son was born was the day my world changed. My world is now all about him and my daughter, who was born 3 years later. Seeing them both for the first time melted my heart as well as my husband’s. We were both excited and anxious about the new journey we were beginning together. During their first years, it was amazing seeing how much they changed each… Read Article →


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 →

Community Blog return to adult learning

Return to Adult Learning

When I moved to Boston in 1998, my first job out of college was that of administrative assistant in the adult-learning division at Hebrew College. Then, the campus was in Brookline, on Hawes Street, and my desk was situated in a hallway between the bathroom and the office of the director of adult learning, then Janet Altman. Despite my modest office, the work environment was warm, engaging, motivating and passionate…. Read Article →

JZ's kidsyounger

Milestone Moments

I was stunned when each of my children, on separate pediatrician’s visits, ran from the doctor’s office without even glancing at the sticker bucket. On many, many previous visits, choosing the perfect sticker had been a 20 minute ordeal. Suddenly it seemed, the sticker stage was over. One of my favorite questions to ask groups of parents is to share a recent family milestone. My sticker bucket story is the… Read Article →

Mikva Mikveh

The Man in the Mikveh

By the time you are reading this, I will have married the love of my life, Rachel. Before our wedding, we had the opportunity to complete the mitzvah of immersing in the mikveh at Mayyim Hayyim in Newton.  ow I got to the mikveh is very important to understanding my experience. As a founding lay leader of Eser, the young adult learning series run by CJP and Hebrew College, I… Read Article →


Joy As Sustenance

I was recently visiting my family in Spain. My mother, sister and I were ordering some drinks in an outdoor bar, enjoying balmy Andalusian weather, when my mother, starting a conversation with the waiter asked how the financial crisis is affecting the business. He responded without missing a beat: “As long as there is money for food and laughter everything is okay”. I was struck. Really? All you need is… Read Article →