Presidential Inauguration

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President, Hebrew College
October 7, 2014

Since becoming president of Hebrew College, just over six years ago, I had participated in three presidential inaugurations.  Andover Newton Theological School’s was my fourth. The first three celebrated the inaugurations of new presidents at three very different institutions of higher learning. Each president, however, was a committed and active Jew. The fourth one, this past […]

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This Side of the Rainbow

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Dean, Rabbinical School
October 3, 2014

On the day of my wedding, 22 years ago this past August, my mother – who does not distribute such compliments freely or lightly – said to my husband Shimi, “You are the best possible son-in-law I could imagine.” A few minutes later, Shimi – feeling both honored and relieved – shared the compliment with […]

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Why Is This Rosh Hashana Different? (Nitzavim/Vayelekh, Deut. 29:9-31:30)

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September 19, 2014

The new Jewish year, 5775, which starts next Wednesday night, is not like most other Jewish years. This new year calls us to a radically new way of being, a new way of living, for it inaugurates the “shmita,” the sabbatical year — the seventh year in a recurring cycle of sacred sevens that traces […]

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The Whole World Is A Sukkah: Intergalactic Judaism

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Director, Prozdor
September 17, 2014

I’ve probably taught 20 different courses over the past 11 years at Prozdor. While most have been about Israel and the Bible, every now and again I take a shot at something new. This semester I had a crazy idea: what would it be like to teach a class about how Judaism would look, feel, […]

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Hebrew College Expands Its Presence in Israel

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President, Hebrew College
July 18, 2014

Last night I attended a rally in support of Israel hosted by our local federation and Jewish community relations council. It was only a few weeks ago that the community gathered to mourn the death of four teenage boys — three Israelis and one Palestinian — who were brutally murdered. The rocket attacks on Israel […]

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Leaders in Adult Learning (LAL) Fellowship Orientation

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July 2, 2014

On June 12, the inaugural cohort of the two-year Leaders in Adult Learning fellowship gathered for an orientation with Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, Rabbi Marcia Plumb, Bernice Lerner and Marjorie Freiman. This was the first gathering for the entire cohort, so the fellows shared their personal objectives as well as their plans for translating their learning […]

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Rabbis and Cantors Singing Together

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Dean, School of Jewish Music
June 20, 2014

Rabbis and cantors singing together — what a concept! That’s exactly what happens in Kol Arev, Hebrew College’s choir. This ensemble, the name of which means “pleasant voice,” is composed of cantorial students, rabbinical students, faculty and alumni of the college. Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, the college president, sings in Kol Arev, and yes, even he […]

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Leviathan And Godzilla: Mythic Creatures And Jewish Texts

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Director, Prozdor
June 11, 2014

I’m a summer movie kind of guy. I like doomsday, special effects, dramatic corny dialogue and exhilaration. Case in point: I saw “Independence Day” five times in theaters. (For those of you who are curious, it’s actually not the movie I saw the most times in theaters; that title belongs to “Indiana Jones and the […]

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Creativity in Jewish Education

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Dean, Shoolman Graduate School of Jewish Education
May 28, 2014

What would it be like if the desired result of Jewish Education was not textual literacy nor Jewish continuity nor Identity development but the cultivation of a creative disposition; to act b’zelem elohim – as the Creator acts? Over this past year, we convened at Hebrew College a group of Boston Jewish Educators who lead […]

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Give Me Hevruta or Give Me Death

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President, Hebrew College
May 21, 2014

“O Hevruta, O mituta, Give me Hevruta or give me death.” — Babylonian Talmud Ta’anit 23a For the past six years I have been blessed to learn from and with a compelling and caring colleague, friend, mentor and study-partner (“hevruta”). The Rev. Nick Carter, who just last week retired after 10 years as president of […]

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