Category Archives: Community Blog

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Jewish Early Engagement Forum (JEEF): A Conversation with Founder Rachel Raz, MJEd’06

Why did you create JEEF? Raz: I founded JEEF for the betterment of the future of the Jewish community in the United States. I want young Jewish families to have rich, meaningful Jewish experiences and strong and proud Jewish identities. I have seen  changes in society that are creating many challenges for our young Jewish families, and JEEF will provide an unprecedented opportunity to bring together professionals, institutions and organizations in order… Read Article →

Community Blog rose-web

Heschel’s Vision of the Sabbath: A Contemporary Challenge

In preparing for the launch of Heart-to-Heart, a new program of Hebrew College’s Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership, I reread many selections from Abraham Joshua Heschel’s classic text, The Sabbath. First published in 1951, this poetic gem has been read by countless spiritual seekers–Jewish and non-Jewish alike–throughout the world. As I flipped through the tattered pages of my copy of the book, I was struck again by Heschel’s remarkable ability… Read Article →

Community Blog elisha 2016

Are we Off Topic?

Five sets of parents sat around the stylish South End living room, all very comfortable with one another after two-plus years of learning together. This comfort wasn’t just an extension of the hours they’d sat swapping parenting struggles and tips, or looking at texts to find layers of meaning that could add to their family life. They’d also spent time with one another’s families outside of the monthly meetings, and… Read Article →

Community Blog blintzes

A Kosher State of Mind…

What is it with Jewish holidays and food?  We each have our seasonal favorites.  Latkes on Chanukah, Matza brie on Passover, apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah; they all come and go with the cycle of the Jewish calendar.  This week, I am preparing dairy foods for the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, which marks the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  One reason for eating dairy is that the… Read Article →

Community Blog Daniel-Lehmann

The Sacred Work of Interreligious Learning and Leadership

I was recently elected board chair of the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), a position I am honored to hold. The chair rotates among board members, but my election is significant in terms of the change it represents in the mission and direction of the BTI. BTI provides Hebrew College with the opportunity to learn from and contribute to an inter-religious community of institutions that share a common purpose in training the next generation… Read Article →

Community Blog Keren McGinity

Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement

Keren McGinity, Ph.D., director of the new  Interfaith Families Jewish Engagement (IFJE) program at Hebrew College’s Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education, weighs in on educating Jewish communal professionals to work with interfaith families. Q. Why is it important to have a program in interfaith family Jewish engagement? It is important because intermarriage is a prevalent reality in American society. Jewish communal professionals need to have the education and skills to serve the… Read Article →

Community Blog daniel-schaefer

Counting the Omer: Cultivating Gratitude & Responsibility

When I first heard about Sefirat Ha’Omer (Counting of the Omer), I was intrigued by the notion that the seven weeks, or 49 days, between the holidays of Pesach and Shavuot could be a time for personal and communal transformation. The more I learned about these holidays, the more sense it made to me to envision this period as a journey. Just as the ancient Israelites traveled from Egypt to… Read Article →

Community Blog Daniel-Klein

Singing in the Dark: Leviticus and the Call for Social Justice

“There’s a part of the singer going way back in American history that is of course the canary in the coalmine. When it gets dark, you’re supposed to be singing. It’s dark right now.” Bruce Springsteen made this statement in 2007, but it is no less relevant today. Current events have brought to the fore and emphasized a dramatic sense of uncertainty, frustration and longing that exists in our society…. Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

Judaism as a Path of Love

An address to Spiritual Directors International on  April 10, 2016 A rabbinic source dating from the early middle ages quotes the famous second-century sage Akiba as saying: “Had the Torah not been given, the world could have been conducted by the Song of Songs alone.” Quite a world!  Instead of the quaking, fiery mountain of Sinai, we would have only “Behold thou art beautiful, my love! My beloved has gone down… Read Article →

Community Blog stephanie-weller-levine

Asking BIG Questions: An Eser Perspective

When I signed up for Eser, I figured that if I’m going to explore hot-button issues and Jewish texts with a group of fellow participants, I’m going to ask the “ultimate” questions of soul and immortality. This year’s Eser theme is “10 Social Issues You Can’t Ignore,” and includes topics such as: race relations, immigration, climate change, and gun control. My feelings about two of the topics – capital punishment… Read Article →