Tag Archives: Teachers

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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 →

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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 →

Seventy Faces of Torah Sukkah

Sukkot: Staying a Little Bit Longer

My sukkah, my little holiday booth, is up. A few of my students came by today, pulled the old wooden frame with its lattice-work sides out of the garage, and put it together.  The whole construction job took about 15 minutes, but created a moment of great significance and joy. Sukkot is far and away my favorite holiday of the Jewish year. It forces me to spend time outdoors, something… Read Article →

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Seventy faces of Torah

Last Wednesday, May 7th, over 400 community members, supporters, alumni, students, faculty, and staff gathered at Gann Academy for the Hebrew College gala to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our Rabbinical School.  Below is an excerpt from the remarks shared by Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, one of the honorees at the event. Limnot yameinu ken hoda v’navi levav chochma. Teach us to number our days that we may attain a… Read Article →

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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 →

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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 →

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Hooked on Adult Learning… on account of Me’ah!

Me’ah is crack for the Jewish intellect (soul, identity).  Stimulating, comforting, lively, addictive – always leaving you wanting more. It is a very well thought out curriculum, a perfect mix of history, philosophy, sociology, individual personalities. Each meeting opened a window onto whole areas of interest and scholarship. From Me’ah I developed a real sense of how we developed over time into the people we are, eg. argumentative, community-oriented, stiff-necked… Read Article →

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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 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 →