Category Archives: Community Blog


Barley and the Jews

New England in mid-March is a mishmash of gray and mud; it’s not the prettiest landscape. I daresay that snow cover is somewhat more attractive, but as we get ready for spring, mud will have to do. As the earth awakens and begins to yield its fruit, and the crocuses wait for the first warm-ish day to prematurely bloom, Passover looms on the less-than-one-month horizon, with its promise of carbohydrates,… Read Article →


Community Day: Interfaith Learning on the Hill

Last week I attended the Andover Newton and Hebrew College Joint Community Day. The event was sponsored by Andover Newton, Hebrew College, and the Center for Inter-Religious and Communal Leadership Education (CIRCLE). This was a day I had been looking forward to for weeks! Both schools cancel classes for one day and come together for a day of interfaith learning and dialogue on our two campuses located atop this hill… Read Article →


One Voice Followed By A Symphony

The following exchange between a student (Peter S.) and one of his instructors (Lynne H.) speaks to the Me’ah journey. Dear Lynne, It was so nice to see you at the graduation dinner for Me’ah. I still recall happily the beginning of Me’ah two years ago, studying Bible with you. It was very impressive to see the way you used scholarship, teaching, and above all enthusiasm to engage our minds…. Read Article →

ben-zoma peckolick_0

Who is Wise? One Who Learns from All People (Ethics of the Fathers, Pirkei Avot 4:1)

The ancient city of Zippori unfolded before our eyes. It is located in the heart of Lower Galilee, Israel; midway between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee. In this city Jewish scholars studied and compiled the Mishnah (Oral law) about 1800 years ago. That day we studied the text and found it relevant to our American lives of the 21st century. Our interfaith group which included early childhood educators… Read Article →

Community Blog Henry Lehmann

Henry Lehmann

This week was the yahrzeit of my father who passed away 14 years ago. Henry Lehmann, Yehoshua ben Shelomo, was an active volunteer leader in the Jewish communities of Syracuse, N.Y.; Palo Alto, Calif.; and Baltimore. In particular, he played an active role on the boards of various day schools in each of these communities and helped me with the start-up years of Gann Academy, then the new Jewish High… Read Article →

Community Blog the fight for jewish youth

The Fight for Jewish Youth

I don’t care much for conflict. My natural inclination in a confrontation is to mend fences. Psalm 34 teaches us, “bakesh shalom v’rodfehu,” seek and pursue peace. For me, it’s an instinctual value, a core element of who I am and what I expect of myself in my interactions with others. Professionally, opportunities for teamwork excite me. Collaboration? Whoa, baby! Partnership? Don’t get me started! Lately, however, I have this… 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 →

Community Blog the write stuff

The Write Stuff

By this point in my life, I’m certainly old enough to realize what I’m good at. I’ve also reached the point that I recognize what needs a lot of work. Case in point: writing. Don’t get me wrong, I love to write. I enjoy blogging, I’ve been keeping a daily journal for 25 years and I even like editing other people’s writing. But really, I’m a charlatan. I never took… Read Article →

Community Blog Hanukkah and Thanksgiving An opportunity for Hybridity

Hanukkah and Thanksgiving: An Opportunity for Hybridity

Everyone is talking and writing about the rare overlap between Hanukkah and Thanksgiving this year. Thanksgivukkah has become a virtual industry with bloggers, websites and commercial products focusing attention on this unusual calendric phenomenon. Beyond all the hype, is there something of substance that can be derived from the intersection of these two different holidays? I would like to suggest that we are in a moment of American Jewish history… Read Article →

Community Blog A Journey of Return

A Journey of Return

For more than 40 years, my Jewish heritage was the farthest thing from my conscious mind, even though my background is stronger than most. Both my parents and my beloved aunt were graduates of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Teachers Institute. I went to the Yeshivah of Flatbush for eight years, then attended Marshalea Hebrew High School and Camp Ramah, took two long trips to Israel (last in 1960) and spent… Read Article →