Category Archives: Community Blog

Community Blog 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 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 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 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 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 →

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 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 →

Community Blog 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 →

Community Blog pulpit

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 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 →