Category Archives: Community Blog

Community Blog Everyone Will Lead

Everyone Will Lead

I was out on my regular afternoon run a few days ago, when a 45-mile-per-hour wind suddenly picked up on the leading edge of a cold front. The sky went from sunny to ominous, the breeze, from light to gusty, and before I knew it I was running stretches on the track into an intense headwind. Soon, the rain came — and when it rained, it poured. Change happens fast…. Read Article →

Community Blog Weaving Together of Two Worlds

A Weaving Together of Two Worlds

Rarely are the lost worlds of 19th century German Orthodoxy and Polish Hasidism brought together in one moment and in one space. This past Sunday, that rare event took place. I had the privilege of attending the installation of the new president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the rabbinical school founded by Rabbi Avi Weiss that espouses Open Orthodoxy. Rabbi Asher Lopatin, the new president of YCT, a Rhodes Scholar and… Read Article →

staff sharon cohen anisfeld

A Blessing for a New Year of Teaching and Learning

The Sefat Emet associates the be’er — the ever-flowing well of water — with the Oral Torah, the Torah she’be’al peh, the Torah that is passed from generation to generation; the Torah that is sustained and renewed by that very act of passing. Our commitment at Hebrew College to life-long learning — to learning that engages people of all ages and all generations — is not simply a description of… Read Article →


Partnering on the Pulpit

For me, it was a first. Never before did I have the opportunity, as president of Hebrew College, to partner with an alumnus on a synagogue pulpit. On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, I served as a Ba’al Tefila, a leader of synagogue prayers, at Temple Reyim in Newton. Rabbi Daniel Berman, a 2010 graduate of the Hebrew College Rabbinical School, was appointed the new rabbi at Temple Reyim just… Read Article →

Community Blog Rejoicing on Sukkot

Rejoicing on Sukkot

In the rhythm of Jewish time, the festival of Sukkot is known as “z’man simchateinu,” or “season of our joy.” On Sukkot, joy is halakhically mandated; we are not only invited to be joyful, we are obligated to do so. I don’t know about other people, but I do not respond well to being commanded to be joyful. It’s sort of like being told to relax. Tell me I must be happy, and… Read Article →

Community Blog The Makor Challenge

The Makor Challenge

It’s Sunday morning, 9:30 a.m. Roughly 100 sixth and seventh graders from our Makor middle school learning community are sitting in the Beit Midrash at Hebrew College. I stand before them, ask them to close their eyes, lower their heads and answer the following question: “Raise your hand if your parents are making you come to Makor this morning?” Roughly two-thirds of the hands shoot into the air. The vast… Read Article →

Community Blog Taking It a Half Day at a Time

Taking It a Half Day at a Time

I don’t know about you, but I am not so good at the “take-it-one-day-at-a-time” approach to life. People constantly voice this sentiment, and everyone around them usually nods in agreement. Sounds like a good way to live. I, however, am always thinking ahead: planning, planning, planning. I worry about what I have to get done, and even more so, what Ihaven’t gotten done! I suspect I’m not the only one who… Read Article →

Community Blog A High Holy Days Reflection on Teaching

A High Holy Days Reflection on Teaching

I think a lot of people who come to Jewish Studies from the outside underestimate the nature of the commitment demanded by the field. Myself, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to teach. I still do. But my ideas about teaching in general, and Jewish Studies in particular, have changed. A lot of us remember our college experiences and say to ourselves, “that is what teaching would be… Read Article →

Community Blog Contextual Learning Summer Teaching in Israel

Contextual Learning: Summer Teaching in Israel

I recently returned from a six-week stay in Jerusalem, where I had the pleasure of serving as a faculty member for the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel. Founded in 1987, this unique program offers 26 incoming high-school seniors from the United States and Canada intensive study in various dimensions of Jewish life and thought, both ancient and modern. The North American fellows also have the opportunity for substantive interaction with… Read Article →

Community Blog Out of Time 5774 Is Coming

Out of Time: 5774 Is Coming

Cool nights, green apples, blazing foliage and playoff baseball; fall is one of New England’s special treasures There’s no place I’d rather be from, and there’s no place I’d rather be living. I’m a Bostonian through-and-through, and I love to celebrate our four-season climate. But fall, for my money, is the best. As Jewish New Englanders, we have a something that really ratchets up the value of fall — the… Read Article →