Category Archives: Parenting Through a Jewish Lens

Community Blog elisha 2016

Are we Off Topic?

Five sets of parents sat around the stylish South End living room, all very comfortable with one another after two-plus years of learning together. This comfort wasn’t just an extension of the hours they’d sat swapping parenting struggles and tips, or looking at texts to find layers of meaning that could add to their family life. They’d also spent time with one another’s families outside of the monthly meetings, and… Read Article →

Community Blog blintzes

A Kosher State of Mind…

What is it with Jewish holidays and food?  We each have our seasonal favorites.  Latkes on Chanukah, Matza brie on Passover, apples and honey on Rosh Hashanah; they all come and go with the cycle of the Jewish calendar.  This week, I am preparing dairy foods for the upcoming holiday of Shavuot, which marks the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.  One reason for eating dairy is that the… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Elizabeth Bailey Strzetelski

Chores for Shabbat

This fall, my husband and I participated in Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) at BJEP. It has given us the confidence to explore our own personal Jewish identities and create meaningful family traditions. The session “Shabbat: A Time to Reconnect and Recharge” inspired us to do just that. Over the past few months, Shabbat has become a time to unplug from the external world and to focus on the internal… Read Article →

Community Blog Robin F

Neither Vertical nor Horizontal, But at an Angle

There are certain moments of Jewish parenting that are so well-defined and ritualized that managing our way through them is, if not easy, at least clear. We are shepherded through life cycle moments like brit milahs and b’nai mitzvah with lots of congregational and rabbinic support. The Jewish playbook covers these situations explicitly – and we parents can feel confident in our response. Unfortunately for most of us, those clear-cut… Read Article →

Community Blog ahava-rosenthal

The Perfect Job

“Sounds like the perfect job for you Mom”, my 19 year old son said to me wryly, “You’re a parent and you’re Jewish.” Would that it were so simple. As new parents, we are reminded frequently that children are not born with a manual. Yet, Jewish text and tradition can serve as guides that help us navigate the daily challenges of raising kids. Creating a home rich in Jewish values… Read Article →

Community Blog Sarah Bob 2

Does my Voice Count? A Musician’s Jewish Journey

I had been joking with friends that re-examining Judaism at this point in my life was part of my midlife crisis. My story is not original: I was raised Reform, and though I took Yiddish in college and identified with Jewish culture, I didn’t practice Judaism with any sort of rigor for many years. For most of my life, I identified first and foremost as a pianist. With the title… Read Article →

Community Blog tree in winter

Sap in the Dead of Winter

This is the time of year when I tend to feel the most discouraged with my personal accomplishments. The winter is dragging, the days too short for my taste, and it seems that many of the aspirations with which I started the year in the fall are now somewhat distant, even fuzzy. Where did the goal of learning the weekly Torah portion with my daughter go? And what exactly happened… Read Article →

Community Blog JamesKaplan

Beyond “Finder’s Keepers”

This Fall, along with my wife, I participated in the Parenting your Tween Through a Jewish Lens class led by Judy Elkin.  It was a great experience, and I came away with a number of insights on how to parent our daughters (ages 10 and 7) as they grow into teenagers. One of the biggest insights I took away from the class was the Jewish concept of tzimtzum, which means… Read Article →

Community Blog woman smiling

What Do You Need From Me?

I think we can safely say that, as parents, we love our children. And I think we can say with equal surety that we don’t always like them. I mean, do we ALWAYS like anyone?  Even ourselves? We have a lifelong challenge to accept our kids for who they are. Why is it so hard to do? Perhaps one reason is because when they come to us with their struggles,… Read Article →

Community Blog David Lobron2

Enough Slack on the Rope

This fall, I participated in Parenting Your Tween Through a Jewish Lens at the Dorshei Tzedek religious school while my kids were in their classes. The course was led by Judy Elkin, and took place over 5 Sunday mornings. Our class of 18 parents explored a wonderful variety of texts together, everything from “Maimonides on Anger Management” (Is there anything this prolific Jewish medieval philosopher didn’t cover?) to “How to Hug… Read Article →