Category Archives: Parenting Through a Jewish Lens


Our Coordinator Gets Philosophical One Rainy Night

It was a dark and rainy night, the type of evening that makes you yearn for snuggly blankets and hot chocolate by a fireplace.  Yet here I was, avoiding puddles and shielding a heavy box of parent binders from the raindrops. I had a destination – the library of a local congregation for a Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class. I made my way through the twisty halls and introduced myself… Read Article →


We Are All Jewish Toddlers

If you have ever sat with a toddler while reading a book, you know that toddlers love reading the same book over and over and over again. Their attention span for the same Dr. Seuss rhymes or Curious George adventures far surpasses my own. Toddlers can flip through the same pages, lift the same flaps and find new enjoyment, to seemingly no end. I read a study that explained that… Read Article →


The Choices

*Posted with permission from Shira Cohen-Goldberg, Parenting Through a Jewish Lens instructor and Mayyim Hayyim blogger..* I grew up listening to Marlo Thomas’s “Free to be You and Me,” a compilation of songs and stories geared towards children that immerses the listener in the progressive values of the early 70’s: gender equity, individuality, tolerance, and comfort with one’s identity. In the world of “Free to Be,” Atalanta outruns her suitors… Read Article →

Parenting Your Teen logo

Positively Helpful

Nine feet of snow outside, extreme warmth inside. Over a three-month period last winter, seven of us were brought together for Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens. In each session, we explored values, studied relevant Jewish texts, and mostly shared questions and experiences in confidence. Our group was diverse in terms of geography, Jewish practice, and educational choices we have made for our children. For me, with children soon… Read Article →


Shabbat in the Woods

As we were lighting the candles last Friday night, my hands cupped to my face, I heard for the first time my daughter’s voice quietly but confidently saying the words along with me. And so I did something that I haven’t done since I was a kid: I opened my eyes, mid-prayer, and ever-so-subtly moved my hands away from my face. Yes, I peeked. I had to! I didn’t want… Read Article →


Christmas in July

“Mommy, do we celebrate Christmas?” my three-and-a-half-year-old asked me recently. I had expected—and then fielded—this question back in December when lights, trees, and plastic Santas started popping up all over town. But I was surprised it was coming up again, off-season. I told her that we do not celebrate Christmas. Predictably, she pouted. She pouted not because she understands what Christmas is or what it means to celebrate that holiday,… Read Article →


Shabbat at Our Home

  Several years ago I attended a workshop called “Making Shabbat Special” at the JCC with Rabbi Julie Zupan, a warm and thoughtful rabbi who is now an instructor for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens.  She shared a variety of ideas that sparked my own family practice.  Some of the ideas she shared were nice, but actually were not the type of Shabbat that I wanted – for example, a… Read Article →


Something in the City

This past Sunday I wandered around the SOWA market with my husband and three year old daughter. It was a perfectly sunny afternoon and we had just hit up our favorite coffee shop in the area – I turned to my husband and said “If I didn’t love our community in Cambridge so much I would want to live in the South End.” When I spend time in the city… Read Article →


Joining the Jewish Community in Boston

We stumbled upon Parenting Through a Jewish Lens completely by accident. I was discussing ideas for charitable giving with someone at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and at the end of the conversation the person suggested this program would be a good fit for us. He was definitely right. I grew up in the atheist Soviet Union, where religious and cultural Jewish practices were strongly discouraged. By the time I arrived… Read Article →

Mama and Edan August 2014 (3)

Connection and Community

Through a far-too-snowy and far-too-cold winter, the Sunday morning gatherings of our Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class at Temple Emanuel in Andover have provided a sense of warmth and community beyond anything I anticipated as a first-time PTJL instructor. Over coffee and bagels, we spend some time simply “checking-in” – sharing stories of our lives since we were last together; our challenges, our triumphs, our aggravations, and our comedic… Read Article →