Category Archives: Community Blog

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The Whole World Is A Sukkah: Intergalactic Judaism

I’ve probably taught 20 different courses over the past 11 years at Prozdor. While most have been about Israel and the Bible, every now and again I take a shot at something new. This semester I had a crazy idea: what would it be like to teach a class about how Judaism would look, feel, and be celebrated differently if it wasn’t an Earth-based religion? How we would we mark… Read Article →

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Hebrew College Expands Its Presence in Israel

Last night I attended a rally in support of Israel hosted by our local federation and Jewish community relations council. It was only a few weeks ago that the community gathered to mourn the death of four teenage boys — three Israelis and one Palestinian — who were brutally murdered. The rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas that have escalated since the recent murders have brought even more fear and… Read Article →

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Leaders in Adult Learning (LAL) Fellowship Orientation

On June 12, the inaugural cohort of the two-year Leaders in Adult Learning fellowship gathered for an orientation with Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, Rabbi Marcia Plumb, Bernice Lerner and Marjorie Freiman. This was the first gathering for the entire cohort, so the fellows shared their personal objectives as well as their plans for translating their learning from the fellowship into action in their home communities during the second year. Plumb led… Read Article →

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Rabbis and Cantors Singing Together

Rabbis and cantors singing together — what a concept! That’s exactly what happens in Kol Arev, Hebrew College’s choir. This ensemble, the name of which means “pleasant voice,” is composed of cantorial students, rabbinical students, faculty and alumni of the college. Rabbi Daniel Lehmann, the college president, sings in Kol Arev, and yes, even he had to audition! Our choir sings on behalf of the college in many venues. This… Read Article →

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Leviathan And Godzilla: Mythic Creatures And Jewish Texts

I’m a summer movie kind of guy. I like doomsday, special effects, dramatic corny dialogue and exhilaration. Case in point: I saw “Independence Day” five times in theaters. (For those of you who are curious, it’s actually not the movie I saw the most times in theaters; that title belongs to “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” which I saw six times back in the ’80s.) The summer movie… Read Article →

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Creativity in Jewish Education

What would it be like if the desired result of Jewish Education was not textual literacy nor Jewish continuity nor Identity development but the cultivation of a creative disposition; to act b’zelem elohim – as the Creator acts? Over this past year, we convened at Hebrew College a group of Boston Jewish Educators who lead a variety of educational institutions. Following Dr. Jack Wertheimer’s exhortation that we should ‘link the… Read Article →

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Give Me Hevruta or Give Me Death

“O Hevruta, O mituta, Give me Hevruta or give me death.” — Babylonian Talmud Ta’anit 23a For the past six years I have been blessed to learn from and with a compelling and caring colleague, friend, mentor and study-partner (“hevruta”). The Rev. Nick Carter, who just last week retired after 10 years as president of Andover Newton Theological School, taught me a great deal about religious leadership, institutional vision and… Read Article →

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Seventy faces of Torah

Last Wednesday, May 7th, over 400 community members, supporters, alumni, students, faculty, and staff gathered at Gann Academy for the Hebrew College gala to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Rabbinical School.  Below is an excerpt from the remarks shared by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, one of the honorees at the event. Limnot yameinu ken hoda v’navi levav chochma. Teach us to number our days that we may attain a… Read Article →

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Beyond “Auschwitz or Sinai”

Last Wednesday, April 30, we were privileged to host a lecture by Yehuda Kurtzer, president of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. His talk “Aushcwitz or Sinai: Israel and the Culture of Memory” reflected on the influential 1982 essay by Rabbi David Hartman, “Auschwitz or Sinai?” The lecture was the final installment in our three-event series, co-sponsored by the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, in honor of Rabbi… Read Article →

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The Omer, Extra-Time Goals, and Babies: Is Timing Everything?

When I was little, I was notoriously impatient and notoriously meticulous. I would look at older kids and want to be older. I would count down the days until vacations or camp with anticipation and diligence. I would follow the train schedule stop-by-stop on the way from Boston to Washington seeing how many minutes late or early the train was. It was frustrating, but also gave me a clear goal… Read Article →