Category Archives: Community Blog

Community Blog mayim hayim

Make a Big Mess and Play with Everything and Other Educational Models

Nine of us crowded around the mikveh.  I sat on the floor with several of my students, while others leaned against the door jamb, squatted by the side of the ‘pool,’ or leaned against a wall.  From my vantage point on the floor, I was struck by the variety and state of our shoes.  One student, an experiential educator who teaches on ropes courses and outdoor adventures, wore his muddied… Read Article →

Community Blog Esther_haram

From Prophets to Process: Purim Ponderings

Rabbi Zadok Hakohen of Lublin (1823-1900) traces the development of the Oral Law to the time of Purim. The basic founding of the Oral Torah began with the men of the Great Assembly … in that generation lived the last prophets … for with the demise of that generation prophecy was stopped up and the writing of the Torah became forbidden, just as was the writing of prophecy … Even… Read Article →

Community Blog tenthlogo_final_v1

Envisioning a Jewish Future

This article originally appeared in Looking Forward, the journal of the Aspen Center for Social Values. Let us begin by distinguishing between two questions. The posed, “What will American Jewry look like in 10 years?” includes various elements — deeper assimilation, higher intermarriage rates, increasing disillusionment with Israel, etc. — all of which seem quite inevitable despite our great efforts to prevent them. “What might American Jewry look like in 10 years?” is a… Read Article →

Community Blog Tzedakah Box

To Give

Recently, as we prepared for our end of year appeal, a colleague asked if it was appropriate to solicit donations from those who receive tuition assistance. It is a frequent question, asked with consideration for those in need. My answer is always the same: in both Jewish tradition and fundraising best practice, it is not only appropriate but an obligation to make the same request of all members of the… Read Article →

Community Blog Vote Ballot

The Power to Choose

Do you miss the campaign ads on television? I know I do … not! (If you are Xfinity owners, you could skip all the ads by watching your shows On Demand. Sshh! Don’t tell the candidates!) Putting the commercials aside, this past Election Day demonstrated that every votes count. Be it the gubernatorial race here in the commonwealth, or the senatorial race in New Hampshire, if you voted, it mattered. And… Read Article →

Community Blog Amos Oz Don't Call It Night

Israel: A Love Affair

I just celebrated 40 years of visiting Israel! I was there recently visiting our Hebrew College education and rabbinic students who are studying in Jerusalem this year. It was a short but delightful visit; packing in countless scheduled and spontaneous meetings with colleagues and friends, wandering the Jerusalem streets as sukkot were erected, the boys came out with their lulavim and etrogim to sell and the early morning predawn call… Read Article →

Community Blog inaug

Presidential Inauguration

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 Sunday, October 5, 2014, was for me a completely new experience, and the only one… Read Article →

Community Blog Noah's Ark

This Side of the Rainbow

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 a friend. “My mother-in-law just told me that I’m her ideal son-in-law!” My mother, who… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

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

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 its count back more than 2,500 years. It is a call to a grand Sabbath… Read Article →