Tag Archives: Jewish Identity


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 →

Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld

No Guarantees for the Righteous

Parshat Vayishlach, Genesis 32:3-36:43 The Torah is famously laconic about the emotional lives of its central characters. We are left to imagine what Abraham was feeling as he walked up Mount Moriah with his son Isaac at his side, or what Rachel felt when she discovered that her older sister Leah had laid with Jacob in the marital bed intended for her. It is all the more striking, then, that… Read Article →


Prayer and Meditation in the Aftermath of the Paris Attacks

Last weekend, I served as a teacher at an interreligious peace conference in North Carolina, at a beautiful retreat center at the edge of the Great Smokey Mountains. As we wound down programming on Friday night, word spread throughout the assembled group about the terrorist attacks in Paris. The juxtaposition of our retreat theme and bucolic setting with the violence on the blood-soaked streets of the French capital weighed heavily on… Read Article →


The Long Journey of Cultivating Gratitude

Occasionally, Seventy Faces will include in its publication schedule a timeless column that we especially like—or one that is newly relevant—from our archives. In this week before Thanksgiving, we hope you enjoy (or enjoy again) Judith Rosenbaum’s reflection on gratitude in connection with this week’s Torah portion. Parshat Vayetze, Genesis 28:10-32:3 Next week, we will celebrate Thanksgiving – which for many of us is less about gratitude and more about… 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 →

Vote Ballot

The Power to Choose

Do you miss the campaign ads on television? I know I do … not! (If you are Xfinity owners, you could skip all the ads by watching your shows On Demand. Sshh! Don’t tell the candidates!) Putting the commercials aside, this past Election Day demonstrated that every votes count. Be it the gubernatorial race here in the commonwealth, or the senatorial race in New Hampshire, if you voted, it mattered. And… Read Article →

ecje picture

Creativity in Jewish Education

What would it be like if the desired result of Jewish Education was not textual literacy nor Jewish continuity nor Identity development but the cultivation of a creative disposition; to act b’zelem elohim – as the Creator acts? Over this past year, we convened at Hebrew College a group of Boston Jewish Educators who lead a variety of educational institutions. Following Dr. Jack Wertheimer’s exhortation that we should ‘link the… Read Article →


Relief Trip to Seabright

The 2014 Relief Trip to Seabright New Jersey was a moving experience. 19 Prozdor volunteers drove to Seabright on the morning of Wednesday April 24th, not many of us knew what to expect. Hurricane Sandy struck Seabright, New Jersey so hard that an organization solely for lifting people back on their feet was born: Seabright Rising. The town in which we worked is very small, everyone knows about Seabright Rising… Read Article →


“Wow”–The Jewish Story in Context

“Wow.” Although somewhat inarticulate this word seems to best describe my initial feelings as I complete my Me’ah reading for the week. However, this is no ordinary week. This is the final week, the final reading of two years, four semesters, forty Thursday nights and one hundred hours of class. It’s a strange feeling, this “wow.” There is a wonderful sense of accomplishment in this “wow.” Although, once I began… Read Article →


Finding Friedan in Barcelona

This month our Rising Voices Fellows respond to statements by and about Jewish feminist icons. Be sure to check the JWA blog each Tuesday for a new post from our fellows—and check out the great educational resources provided by our partner organization, Prozdor. It was August of 1970, and a group of 50,000 women marched proudly together in New York, marking the 50th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Betty Friedan, a feminist activist, organized the event… Read Article →