The following was written by Beth Shulman and Meredith Fried, graduates of Ikkarim
When Ikkarim was offered at Temple Beth Shalom four years ago we didn’t know much about the class, but anything that might help with raising young children sounded like a good idea! Little did we know just how transformative this experience would be.
The topics covered included things like: The bond between a parent and a child, the partnership of marriage, interpersonal communication, and making our world a better place. Of course, just discussing these topics on their own would have been a great learning opportunity. But the thing that really made the class come alive was the opportunity to talk about these things from a Jewish perspective, and how to integrate these ideas and values into our daily lives. It became a practical guide for helping us build our Jewish homes and families. What we learned during that year really helped us frame how we do so many of the things that we still do today.
Initially, nineteen sessions sounded like a huge investment of time. But the commitment for Ikkarim did not go much beyond the 90 minutes of class time, and there was wonderful food for thought to carry us from one week to the next. Indeed, every class dynamic is different, but our group was so engaged that as our initial year wound down we decided we didn’t want it to end! In fact, we continued to study together for two years after our formal Ikkarim curriculum ended. Our appetite had been whetted, and as our children grew we found that continuing to learn about core Jewish themes and values helped us make deliberate and stong choices for ourselves and for our families.
Please feel free to contact either of us to learn more about this amazing opportunity. We can’t say eneough about it!