Category Archives: Community Blog

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 →

Community Blog A Resource That’s Even Better Than the Internet

A Resource That’s Even Better Than the Internet

Since the afternoon in high school when my cross-country coach (who was my history teacher, a novelist and a stand-up comedian) shared his philosophy of never being unprepared, preparation has been key to everything I do. Before starting any project, I like to research, investigate, ask questions and then make decisions that are as informed as possible. When pregnant with our first child, our bedroom became a maze of parenting… Read Article →

Community Blog Four Questions with Jessica Silverman

Four Questions with Jessica Silverman

One of the most exciting new offerings at Prozdor this fall will be a science, technology, engineering and math module in which students explore the intersection of Judaism and science in new and creative ways. We have tapped Acton, Mass. native Jessica Silverman, a newly minted Ph.D., to teach this section. Here, Silverman talks about her background, her love of science and her new role at Prozdor. Tell us a… Read Article →

Community Blog Opening American Eyes to Israel's Diversity

Opening American Eyes to Israel’s Diversity

American Jews would benefit from listening to Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie. In a recent talk, Adichie explained that “it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place and that person.” Only when American Jewry exposes its youth to all the stories that make up Israeli society will we be able to remove the indifference that has built… Read Article →

Community Blog Lessons Learned From Rabbi Lamm’s Last Letter

Lesson’s Learned From Rabbi Lamm’s Last Letter

I was an undergraduate and rabbinical student at Yeshiva University in the early to mid-1980s. Rabbi Dr. Norman Lamm was the university’s president. YU was beginning to emerge from a crippling financial crisis, and Rabbi Lamm was leading the revitalization of modern Orthodoxy’s flagship institution. As a student, I did not always agree with his policies or positions on a variety of issues, but his dignified demeanor, his embodiment of… Read Article →

Community Blog My Connection to Judaism

My Connection to Judaism

Me’ah was one of those things you heard about at synagogue meetings, Kiddush, the JCC or other places Jews in the community gather. Most of our friends knew about the two year course of study, and some of the braver types with young children had even taken it. Everyone we spoke to said we must do it! So, as soon as both our kids were off to college, we signed up. One… Read Article →