Tag Archives: Students

mayim hayim

Make a Big Mess and Play with Everything and Other Educational Models

Nine of us crowded around the mikveh.  I sat on the floor with several of my students, while others leaned against the door jamb, squatted by the side of the ‘pool,’ or leaned against a wall.  From my vantage point on the floor, I was struck by the variety and state of our shoes.  One student, an experiential educator who teaches on ropes courses and outdoor adventures, wore his muddied… Read Article →

ben-zoma peckolick_0

Who is Wise? One Who Learns from All People (Ethics of the Fathers, Pirkei Avot 4:1)

The ancient city of Zippori unfolded before our eyes. It is located in the heart of Lower Galilee, Israel; midway between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee. In this city Jewish scholars studied and compiled the Mishnah (Oral law) about 1800 years ago. That day we studied the text and found it relevant to our American lives of the 21st century. Our interfaith group which included early childhood educators… Read Article →

Community Blog return to adult learning

Return to Adult Learning

When I moved to Boston in 1998, my first job out of college was that of administrative assistant in the adult-learning division at Hebrew College. Then, the campus was in Brookline, on Hawes Street, and my desk was situated in a hallway between the bathroom and the office of the director of adult learning, then Janet Altman. Despite my modest office, the work environment was warm, engaging, motivating and passionate…. Read Article →

Community Blog A Journey of Return

A Journey of Return

For more than 40 years, my Jewish heritage was the farthest thing from my conscious mind, even though my background is stronger than most. Both my parents and my beloved aunt were graduates of the Jewish Theological Seminary’s Teachers Institute. I went to the Yeshivah of Flatbush for eight years, then attended Marshalea Hebrew High School and Camp Ramah, took two long trips to Israel (last in 1960) and spent… Read Article →


On Teachers and Students

This week of parashat Shoftim is framed by the yahrzeits (anniversary of passing) of a master and disciple. This past Sunday, the 28th of Av, was the yahrzeit of R David HaKohen, the Nazir. Friday, the third of Elul, is the yahrzeit of his teacher, R Avraham Yitshak HaKohen Kook. Basic outlines of their biographies and work are easily accessible on the internet so I will not reproduce them here…. Read Article →

Community Blog The Makor Challenge

The Makor Challenge

It’s Sunday morning, 9:30 a.m. Roughly 100 sixth and seventh graders from our Makor middle school learning community are sitting in the Beit Midrash at Hebrew College. I stand before them, ask them to close their eyes, lower their heads and answer the following question: “Raise your hand if your parents are making you come to Makor this morning?” Roughly two-thirds of the hands shoot into the air. The vast… Read Article →

Community Blog A High Holy Days Reflection on Teaching

A High Holy Days Reflection on Teaching

I think a lot of people who come to Jewish Studies from the outside underestimate the nature of the commitment demanded by the field. Myself, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to teach. I still do. But my ideas about teaching in general, and Jewish Studies in particular, have changed. A lot of us remember our college experiences and say to ourselves, “that is what teaching would be… Read Article →

Community Blog A Resource That’s Even Better Than the Internet

A Resource That’s Even Better Than the Internet

Since the afternoon in high school when my cross-country coach (who was my history teacher, a novelist and a stand-up comedian) shared his philosophy of never being unprepared, preparation has been key to everything I do. Before starting any project, I like to research, investigate, ask questions and then make decisions that are as informed as possible. When pregnant with our first child, our bedroom became a maze of parenting… Read Article →

Community Blog Why I Am a Jewish Educator and Jewish Learner

Why I Am a Jewish Educator and Jewish Learner

I have studied and taught Judaism now for about 50 years. The first 15 or so (from age 5) were, of course, primarily about learning, but the rest have been learning and teaching at the same time — from teaching “cheder” in the UK in the 1970s through teaching today at Hebrew College. This past year, I taught three graduate courses and was a participant in the inaugural Me’ah for… Read Article →

meah logo

What We Bring, What We Take

I have counseled many adults with work, family or other obligations to enroll in Me’ah, to enjoy learning the compelling story of the Jewish people with outstanding scholars. I tell them that assigned readings deepen understanding, but our instructors know how to teach busy adults who have no time to prepare for class. Finally, I have heeded my own words. I have carved out three hours one evening a week… Read Article →