Seventy Faces of Torah Daniel-Klein

Finding our Way Inside: The Priestly Blessing as a Model for Jewish Practice

Parshat Naso (Numbers, 4:21-7:89) In his book Lost Connections, Johann Hari shares a fascinating and, for me, paradigm shifting study about the connection between work and mental health. The study, done by Australian scientist Michael Marmot in the 1970s, shows that workplace stress and depression is highly correlated to the amount of control people have over their work. The more control a person has over her work, the less stressed and… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

What Does Courage Look Like?

Who is rich? The one who rejoices in his portion. (Pirke Avot) In the midst of these profoundly divisive and divided times, I have noticed a troubling trend among people in my own communities, and, if I’m honest, even within myself. We long to respond with courage to a world that is, in so many ways, ravaged with violence—both the slow violence of poverty and systemic injustice, and the more… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Jordan Braunig

In the Wilderness and the Wilderness Within

Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20) Four books into the Torah and here we find ourselves mired in wilderness. This book, Sefer Bamidbar, though commonly known as the Book of Numbers, would more aptly be translated as In the Wilderness. It tells the story of a people stuck; stuck in existential uncertainty, stuck in mundane nametaking, stuck in adolescent rebellion. Stuck…in the wilderness. A generation of Israelites will perish here. Moses will… Read Article →

Community Blog Hebrew College Tablet Logo

Prozdor Celebrates 87th Graduation

On Sunday, May 6th, Prozdor of Hebrew College celebrated its 87th graduation. The 26 graduates from the class of 2018/5778 came from communities throughout the Greater Boston area and reflected the diversity of Jewish life in the region. Dan Brosgol, Director of Prozdor, recognized these exceptional graduates saying, “You are the best of the best. The ones who have elected to add on Jewish education on top of everything else,… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah RabbiBeckySilverstein-100px

Torah:  An Inheritance in this World

Parshat Behar-Behukotai (Leviticus 25:1-27:34) At a recent Keshet LGBTQ and Ally Teen Shabbaton, I asked the participants to consider their relationship with Torah and how it functions in their lives.  Students shared their own experiences of encountering Torah, broadly defined, while considering images of Torah as fire, water, wine, honey, oil, and milk.  The group coalesced around a broad understanding of Torah as path creator, and diverged on how much… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens BostonHaifa

Reflections on teaching M’Dor L’Dor, the Boston-Haifa joint class for parents of ‘tweens

In learning together with our Haifa parent partners, it became clear that raising Jewish kids in Israel is very different than here. The fifth and final session of our joint Boston-Haifa Parenting Your ‘Tween Through a Jewish Lens course, a shared session courtesy of Skype, revolved around the topic of cultivating Jewish connection in our tweens. The opening text, which comes from the Babylonian Talmud, read kol yisrael arevim zeh ba’zeh, “all… Read Article →

Seventy Faces of Torah Rabbi Suzanne Offit

Reembracing Sacred Time

Parshat Emor, Leviticus 21-24 Back in the late 1900s, when telephones were still commonly fixed to kitchen walls and telephone books were found in nearby cabinets, there was a memorable commercial on TV. I would see it when I watched a program at a set time every week. The ad was for the Yellow Pages, the business section of the phone book. “If it’s out there, it’s in here!” If… Read Article →

Community Blog Rabbi-Sharon-Cohen-Anisfeld

Hesed is at the heart of our work as educators, cantors, and as rabbis

This week, I had the privilege of attending the Jewish Education Innovation Challenge (JEIC) 2018 Retreat –a wonderful gathering of educators, investors, and leaders in the world of Jewish day school education. Over the course of the retreat, we were asked to think deeply about the purpose of day school education. We were asked to reflect on our own values, and how we would bring those values to life in a… Read Article →

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens Grandmother and grandfather watching the grandson playing on touch pad while they spending time outdoors

PTJL’s First “Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens” course

This spring, PTJL launched its first ever “Grandparenting Through a Jewish Lens” group. This course, taught by Rabbi Rachel Schoenfeld, is meeting on four Wednesday afternoons. The eight grandparents are members of Shir Hadash, a Reconstructionist Havurah in Newton Centre. I was delighted to sit in for the first session, held in a comfortable Newton living room, and hear about these grandparents’ stories and what motivated them to take the… Read Article →