Category Archives: Community Blog

Community Blog womenfriendsgroup

Gaining Insight Together

When I found out that Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) was being offered at Temple Beth Avodah (TBA) in Newton, I was excited to join. I have always been part of Jewish communities throughout my life, and I find those connections to be very meaningful, yet PTJL absolutely exceeded all of my expectations! Through this Tuesday mornings class, led by Rabbi Emily Mathis, I gained insight from reading texts by… Read Article →

Community Blog PTJL curric

PTJL, the Shema, and Jewish Humanism

How could I modify the Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) curriculum to teach it without God?  This was my central question when I started to prepare to teach this course. As a Reconstructionist rabbi, I am someone who personally believes in God.  But as the education director of Kahal Braira, I also believe that Jews have the right to experience Judaism without references to God.  Many Jews struggle with… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

Speaking Torah: Our deepest service in this world flows from the awareness of, and attention to, what we lack and how we love

“Every individual is a small world unto himself… No person has ever been identical to another person since the creation of the world, and therefore each and every person has a special shlichut, a distinctive purpose for which he was sent… The beginning of all avodah, all service, is discovering for what particular purpose one was sent to this world.” — Rabbi Sholom Noach Berezovsky, Netivot Shalom The longing to live… Read Article →

Community Blog Rachel-Raz-

”A reflection from the Hebrew College 2017 Israel seminar

“When I marched in Selma, I felt my legs were praying” — Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel “When I marched in Israel, I felt my legs were praying” — Rachel Raz Only 24 hours have passed since the first sighting of the land of Israel from our airplane’s window. We did not have the opportunity to stop, reflect and start to grasp the power of our experience. We started our journey… Read Article →

Community Blog Judith Kates

Commencement Address 2017

President Lehmann, members of the Board, honored guests, faculty colleagues, alumni and, most especially, today’s graduates, families and friends: I’m deeply honored to be standing before you as your commencement speaker, asked to offer some words in what we might think of as a modern form of wisdom literature, divrei chokhmah. With humility, I offer you my own version of what the author of the biblical wisdom book, Mishlei, Proverbs… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi Arthur Green

My Rabbinate

An abbreviated version of this text was delivered by Rabbi Green at the Rabbinical School semikhah ceremony on Sunday, June 4, 2017. Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of my ordination as a rabbi.  I was ordained on June 4, 1967 – the day before the outbreak of the Six-Day War.  It was a moment of high drama for all involved.  Elie Wiesel was the graduation speaker; the air was thick… Read Article →

Community Blog Aliza Berger

Training Spiritual Leaders for the Pulpit and Beyond

Hebrew College is training spiritual leaders to meet the challenges of today’s pulpit and beyond. We live in a changing Jewish world in which the demands on clergy and the needs for their strong leadership have never been greater. Patterns of Jewish identification and involvement are shifting and people are searching for new ways of connecting to one another and to Jewish life. At Hebrew College, this year’s Class of… Read Article →

Community Blog Shabbat-wordaizer

Shabbos, A Day of Rest?

Growing up in my Reform Jewish household, Shabbos or Shabbat meant Friday night candles, store-bought challah, sparkling cider, and using the fancy dishes reserved only for special occasions and major holidays.  My younger sister and I would set the table while my older brother always managed to escape any such duty by hiding out in his room or zoning out in front of the TV.  My mom sweetly called us… Read Article →

Community Blog Celene Ibrahim

Can We Talk? Death, Mourning, and the Afterlife

What are the rhythms and practices of mourning a loved one in Muslim or Jewish tradition? How have you experienced them personally, and how have you found them meaningful? Challenging? What is the relationship between the individual and the community in a time of mourning? What does your tradition teach about the existence of an afterlife? Dear Celene, It’s hard to think of any category of Jewish ritual where there… Read Article →