Category Archives: Parenting Through a Jewish Lens

Community Blog Keith 2012 US Junior National Curling Champions

5 Tips from a Parent-Coach

Keith Dropkin, Vice President for Finance & Administration at Hebrew College, is also a coach for USA Curling, training athletes in the US Olympic High Performance Program. His teams have represented the country at World Championships, Youth Olympics and other international events across Europe, Canada and throughout the US. Keith was an athlete in his younger days, playing soccer competitively for 25 years, and at the national level in curling… Read Article →

Community Blog Bar Mitzvah generic

13 lessons Learned from Parenting Through a Jewish Lens in its B’nai Mitzvah Year

I first heard about Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) – then called Ikkarim – from a friend in 2006. We were seated next to each other at a Rosh Chodesh group as I nursed my infant. She raved about the program, then in its second year, and told me I should sign up. Fast forward several years, and in 2012 I registered for PTJL and agreed to be the… Read Article →

Community Blog womenfriendsgroup

Gaining Insight Together

When I found out that Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) was being offered at Temple Beth Avodah (TBA) in Newton, I was excited to join. I have always been part of Jewish communities throughout my life, and I find those connections to be very meaningful, yet PTJL absolutely exceeded all of my expectations! Through this Tuesday mornings class, led by Rabbi Emily Mathis, I gained insight from reading texts by… Read Article →

Pluralistic Perspectives Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Family Shabbos

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “Shabbos dinner was the same, but altogether different. I probably forgot the words to a few prayers and switched the order of events, but we were present, with our family, together.” (Michele Lippens, Participant in Parenting Through a Jewish Lens at Kahal B’raira, Cambridge. Read more.) > More about PTJL  

Community Blog PTJL curric

PTJL, the Shema, and Jewish Humanism

How could I modify the Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (PTJL) curriculum to teach it without God?  This was my central question when I started to prepare to teach this course. As a Reconstructionist rabbi, I am someone who personally believes in God.  But as the education director of Kahal Braira, I also believe that Jews have the right to experience Judaism without references to God.  Many Jews struggle with… Read Article →

Community Blog Shabbat-wordaizer

Shabbos, A Day of Rest?

Growing up in my Reform Jewish household, Shabbos or Shabbat meant Friday night candles, store-bought challah, sparkling cider, and using the fancy dishes reserved only for special occasions and major holidays.  My younger sister and I would set the table while my older brother always managed to escape any such duty by hiding out in his room or zoning out in front of the TV.  My mom sweetly called us… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens JoshJacobs use this

How Parenting Your ‘Tween Through a Jewish Lens Supported My Interfaith Family

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens has been a part of my family since 2009, when my wife Amy and I took the “classic” PTJL class for the first time. We loved the sense of community and breadth of perspectives among our classmates—several of whom remain close friends—and the chance to apply the lessons of Jewish texts to everyday parenting challenges. I’m Jewish, Amy is a Baha’i and her family is… Read Article →

Community Blog Kindness

Parenting for Kindness

Since hateful words and actions have played such a large role in our collective experience and consciousness over the last year, it was fitting that our last PTJL session at Temple Beth Elohim focused on the opposite of hate: kindness. Our incredible group of twelve parents— with children ranging from newborn to 13 years old— spent our time together struggling with the profound disappointment and fear we feel as parents when… Read Article →

Community Blog Lexi family 1-17

Shema Moments

Being a parent to three young children, though full of joys and rewards, is also one of — if not the most — challenging experiences my husband and I have faced together. It can feel overwhelming, exhausting and full of countless unknowns. One of the most helpful aspects of Parenting Through a Jewish Lens has been the opportunity to reflect on the challenging moments of the day with other like-minded… Read Article →

Community Blog chrysalis

On Order and Chaos

I am spending a lot of time learning and thinking about the Torah portions we read on Shabbat that tell the story of our roots.  In the book of Genesis, our ancestors built, generation after generation, a small family — the family of Israel. In particular these days I am paying close attention to the life of Jacob, the ultimate father of the children of Israel.  His life, an endless… Read Article →