Positively Helpful

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August 12, 2015

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 […]

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Shabbat in the Woods

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camping2

August 5, 2015

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 […]

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Christmas in July

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Charna

“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 […]

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Shabbat at Our Home

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Shabbat-wordaizer

July 7, 2015

  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, […]

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Something in the City

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elisha

PTJL Instructor
June 17, 2015

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 […]

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Joining the Jewish Community in Boston

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Gary+Becca-Volpaia1

April 22, 2015

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 […]

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Connection and Community

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Mama and Edan August 2014 (3)

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 […]

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The Bargained-For Blessing

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daraandkids

April 1, 2015

I remember the day my now husband and I made “the deal”.  He was the first non-Jew I ever dated… and also so clearly the love of my life.  While I couldn’t envision asking him to give up his religious beliefs and traditions, I also wasn’t willing to give up mine or compromise on raising […]

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Give God a Chance

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judy elkin

Instructor, Parenting Through a Jewish Lens
February 26, 2015

The topic for our Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class was spirituality. I knew that this would be a difficult, yet important topic to teach.  As part of the class, we read an extended excerpt about encouraging God talk with your children from Danny Gordis’ book, Becoming a Jewish Parent:  How to explore Spirituality and […]

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Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Gives Parents New Perspective

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TA2

Associate Director, Parenting Through a Jewish Lens
February 17, 2015

Growing up, Needham mother Stacy Ross had been taught that one of the least effective ways to combat homelessness was to give panhandlers money. So for most of her life she heeded this admonition. Then something shifted her perspective. It was a discussion this fall about tzedakah — charity— that she had with a dozen […]

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