Tag Archives: Jewish Parenting

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Feelings and Thoughts

There’s probably nothing more important to parents than our kids’ well-being, their growth toward independence, and their ability to thrive in this world as both kids and adults.  And it’s our job to make that happen.  Our job to provide the resources, experiences, and dispositions that will help them be who they want to be and achieve what they want to achieve.  We want that really badly, and we take… Read Article →

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A Vote for Jewish Parenting from a Humanist Dad

Parenting is such a rich, beautiful, and convoluted experience. There’s nothing linear about it. Meeting with other Humanistic Jews, through this format, made me feel more connected to the congregation at Kahal B’raira—and to myself as a father and a husband. Parenting Through a Jewish Lens is a structured way to “practice” parenting through Jewish rituals. For my wife and me, it extended the fulfilling community experience we’re already enjoying… Read Article →

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Parenting Is A Work in Progress

From the time we were married, my husband and I committed to raising a Jewish family. Life intervened however, and in the chaos of having three children and two careers, the implementation of this became a challenge. I fully intended to bring my babies to shul for their naming ceremonies…yet in the blink of an eye I now have 3, 6 and 9 year-old daughters, none of whom received that… Read Article →

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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 →

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Shehecheyanu

The Shehecheyanu is a blessing of thankfulness. It is traditionally said at the beginning of holidays and to celebrate joyous occasions. You can also say this blessing to mark family milestones and other special moments. Blessed are You, Adonai our God, Sovereign of the Universe, who has kept us alive and sustained us and permitted us to reach this time. Baruch atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech ha’olam Shehecheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higianu, laz’man… Read Article →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →