Category Archives: Community Blog

Community Blog Karen Leitner

Parenting Is A Work in Progress

From the time we were married, my husband and I committed to raising a Jewish family. Life intervened however, and in the chaos of having three children and two careers, the implementation of this became a challenge. I fully intended to bring my babies to shul for their naming ceremonies…yet in the blink of an eye I now have 3, 6 and 9 year-old daughters, none of whom received that… Read Article →

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Parenting for Kindness in Troubled Times

As we gathered for the sixth and final session of Parenting Through a Jewish Lens at Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, we focused on how to parent for kindness. After reading an early text about the Jewish value of greeting people with an open heart, parents quickly started raising a myriad of questions. “My children won’t stop being mean to each other. What can we do?” “How do I help my children… Read Article →

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Resisting Our Need for Approval

My parenting epiphany came unexpectedly when my older child was 4 years old. I was reading, of all things, a book review in The New Yorker, not a regular part of my media consumption. But the title of the 2012 article caught my attention: “Spoiled Rotten: Why do kids rule the roost?” In it, Elizabeth Kolbert writes that a not insignificant portion of American children are among the most privileged… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

“Betzalel came and healed the wound.”

Last week’s parsha, Ki Tisa, recounts what is quite possibly the lowest moment in the relationship between God and the people of Israel in the entire Torah. Last week, when Moshe and God became aware of the chasm between what was happening on top of the mountain and what was happening down below, it was devastating. Whatever made the people build that golden calf—whether it was lack of imagination, or… Read Article →

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‘Talking with God’ Leads Meli Solomon from Berlin to Hebrew College

“The love of God’s creatures must include all humankind, regardless of religion and race.” Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook  While living and working in Berlin, Germany, it would have never occurred to Meli Solomon to be enrolling in a Master of Jewish Liberal Studies (MJLS) Interreligious program at Hebrew College. In 2009, she made a life-style decision to move to Berlin to experience living in another culture. A practicing Jew throughout… Read Article →

Community Blog Zoob

What Happened When We Carved Out Time?

Juggling work, family, friends and every other demand in life can make the idea of adding one more commitment unbearable.  Our advice? Carve out the time for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens — it’s absolutely worth it. When Temple Beth David in Westwood started promoting PTJL it peaked our interest due to our different religious upbringings and interfaith marriage.  We had agreed to and were already actively raising our children… Read Article →

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Engage in a New Conversation about Israel with Open Circle Jewish Learning and iEngage

Few subjects in Jewish life today evoke as much controversy – and anxiety – as the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. So when we decided to offer the Hartman Institute’s “iEngage” video curriculum, “Jewish Values and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” in our Adult Education program at Temple Israel of Natick, I wasn’t quite sure how it would go. Every summer the Hartman Institute brings hundreds of Rabbis and lay leaders from across all… Read Article →

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Gratitude in the Morning

On a recent drive to preschool, my 4-year-old daughter and I were talking about how we say “thank you” to God at bedtime. She asked, “Can we say thank you in the morning too?” I responded to my daughter saying we can say thanks whenever she wants, and that our tradition has a special morning prayer just for this purpose called Modeh Ani. מוֹדֶה אֲנִי לְפָנֶיךָ, מֶלֶךְ חַי וְקַיָּם, שֶׁהֶחֱזַרְתָּ… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Speaking Torah: Mi Yodea. Who knows?

I have come to believe that the most important verse in the entire megillah—the verse that represents the pivotal turning point in the Purim story – comes near the end of chapter four, when Mordechai sends a message to Esther, urging her to reveal her identity to King Achashverosh and plead on behalf of the Jewish people.  Remarkably, Mordechai’s message to Esther hinges on two simple words – two words… Read Article →