Ikkarim: Parenting Through a Jewish Lens is an inspirational journey through Jewish sources of wisdom designed for any parents raising Jewish children. During this unique 19-week program, discover ikkarim (Hebrew for "principles") that can enrich your relationships, inspire your parenting and aid in your quest for meaning. You will enjoy interactive and stimulating discussions with an outstanding instructor in a welcoming environment, plus have the opportunity to connect with other parents.
We asked three Ikkarim instructors—and parents themselves—why they think this program is so valuable for parents:
"Ikkarim has hit upon a wonderful formula. The combination of digestible portions of Jewish text, a well-informed but non-dominating guide and a roomful of peers to discuss is a formula for great discussion, new ideas and community. If my friends and I are any indication, parents with young kids don't have a lot of time to discuss ideas with a group of adults. Ikkarim makes space for these discussions and plants a little seed that can pop up in between carpool and shopping or as you fall asleep at night, adding a little perspective, food for thought or insight."
Natan is currently director of Oraita, a program of continuing education for rabbis of Hebrew College. He lives in Newton with his wife, Ilana, and sons Nadav and Eiden.
"Teaching Ikkarim allows me to share with other parents my journey of delving into our tradition with critical discernment and finding meaning in Jewish texts, rituals and holidays. This seems to be resonating with participants. As one of my students shared at the end of this year's class: 'In Judaism, there are ideas that I don't like; for example, the notion of the "chosen people." Now I have examples of finding interpretations that help me in integrating these ideas, rather than disowning them.' A non-Jewish parent said the class 'offered options and gave us confidence to find our way in raising Jewish children.' This class dialogue has been moving and has built a sense of community that is continuing into a second year."
Ronit serves as Jewish studies and family education consultant to the MetroWest Jewish Day School in Framingham. She is the mother of three children, ages 8, 10 and 20, and lives in Sharon with her family.
"Ikkarim offers parents the opportunity to explore questions around relevant issues in our lives in a friendly, interactive and non-judgmental environment. As we learn Jewish texts together, the conversation often touches on the dilemmas and choices regarding our parenting, the character of our responsibility toward our communities and ultimately what constitutes our identity. The sharing of stories, wisdom and questions has enriched my teaching, as well as my understanding of Jewish values."
Sabrina lived in Israel for 12 years, where she studied English literature and linguistics at Hebrew University and attended the Bezalel School of Art and Design. She studied rabbinic texts and Hasidic philosophy at the Nishmat Center for Advanced Torah Studies and Midreshet Bat Ayin. Sabrina has taught for Ikkarim, Pathways, Ma'ayan and in private classes, where she integrates Torah, art and parenting skills.
Register now for classes beginning in fall 2010 (classes begin the week of October 12 and run for 19 sessions). Tuition is $250 per person. More than 50 percent of the tuition for this 19-week program is subsidized by CJP.
Interfaith families are welcome. For more information or to register, please visit cjp.org/ikkarim, or contact Raylea Pemstein at 617-559-8708 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Ikkarim is a program of Hebrew College and CJP.