Category Archives: Pluralistic Perspectives

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Parenting for Kindness in Troubled Times

As we gathered for the sixth and final session of Parenting Through a Jewish Lens at Congregation Dorshei Tzedek, we focused on how to parent for kindness. After reading an early text about the Jewish value of greeting people with an open heart, parents quickly started raising a myriad of questions. “My children won’t stop being mean to each other. What can we do?” “How do I help my children… Read Article →

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Resisting Our Need for Approval

My parenting epiphany came unexpectedly when my older child was 4 years old. I was reading, of all things, a book review in The New Yorker, not a regular part of my media consumption. But the title of the 2012 article caught my attention: “Spoiled Rotten: Why do kids rule the roost?” In it, Elizabeth Kolbert writes that a not insignificant portion of American children are among the most privileged… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin

Tzav: Offering Our Whole Selves

Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36) My first summer on staff with the PICO faith-based national organizing network, I heard an encouraging presentation about a model state federation, call it OSC, and how it was changing the politics of its state. Yet, the following summer, all of the OSC staff were inexplicably missing from the national staff gathering. I later learned from my friend and former OSC staffer, whom I’ll call Emily,… Read Article →

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Learning to Engage Interfaith Families

Humans of Hebrew College #HumansHC “I’m a talker, which is part of why I am pleased to have a job where I get to talk about Judaism every single week. It also means that, in addition to my public conversations, I find myself in lots of regular, day-to-day conversations about Judaism. Over the past many years, it became quite apparent that Jewish intermarriage (or interfaith marriage, or interfaithless marriage, depending… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Michael Rosenberg

Sacred Fat, Vulnerability, and God’s Choice

Parashat Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26) It’s the time of the year when I’ve got fat on my mind. We’ve arrived in the Torah reading cycle to the book of Leviticus, and there are a lot of fleshy, embodied, animal parts going on. We’ve got limbs and meat and blood; it’s a lot—for some too much—to keep track of. But I think that this year, it’s particularly important for us to think… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

“Betzalel came and healed the wound.”

Last week’s parsha, Ki Tisa, recounts what is quite possibly the lowest moment in the relationship between God and the people of Israel in the entire Torah. Last week, when Moshe and God became aware of the chasm between what was happening on top of the mountain and what was happening down below, it was devastating. Whatever made the people build that golden calf—whether it was lack of imagination, or… Read Article →

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‘Talking with God’ Leads Meli Solomon from Berlin to Hebrew College

“The love of God’s creatures must include all humankind, regardless of religion and race.” Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook  While living and working in Berlin, Germany, it would have never occurred to Meli Solomon to be enrolling in a Master of Jewish Liberal Studies (MJLS) Interreligious program at Hebrew College. In 2009, she made a life-style decision to move to Berlin to experience living in another culture. A practicing Jew throughout… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Alyson Solomon

A Practice: To Live Life as a Contribution

Vayakhel-Pekudei (Exodus 35:1-40:38) In parshat Va’yakhel we find the Israelites, convoked, regally assembled at the bottom of the mountain. Moses tells the community eleh d’varim, “these are the things” that connect us to YHVH – the Source (35:1-4). This we spend six days creating: we weave, paint, send emails, drive carpools, buy, trade, and cook—and on the seventh day, we rest. On Shabbat, we take in the beauty and grandeur… Read Article →

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What Happened When We Carved Out Time?

Juggling work, family, friends and every other demand in life can make the idea of adding one more commitment unbearable.  Our advice? Carve out the time for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens — it’s absolutely worth it. When Temple Beth David in Westwood started promoting PTJL it peaked our interest due to our different religious upbringings and interfaith marriage.  We had agreed to and were already actively raising our children… Read Article →