December 2, 2015 / 20th of Kislev, 5776
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Parenting Through A Jewish Lens

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens
A 10-week journey for parents of all backgrounds*

-Explore core values (ikkarim) that can strengthen your family
-Create community with other parents in your area
-Learn with expert instructors who are also parents

Classes begin October 2015 - February 2016
Fee: $145 per person $240 per couple; scholarships available
Free on-site babysitting for daytime classes.
To register, contact Marcy Leiman at 617-559-8734 or, or log on to

*Students of the program have included interfaith couples, GLBT parents, single parents, those of all faith backgrounds, people with significant backgrounds in study, and those without any background.

“PTJL enabled me to slow down and think about how I want to raise my child.”

“Our discussions afforded me a view into other parents’ lives—I wasn’t alone in searching for answers to my kid’s questions.”

“I had never been excited about text study—suddenly, both ancient and contemporary sources had something to say to me!”

2015-2016 Class Locations

BEVERLY – Temple B’nai Abraham, Sundays, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

BROCKTON/ RANDOLPH – Temple Beth Emunah, Sundays, 10:15-11:45 a.m.

BROOKLINE – Kehillath Israel, Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

BURLINGTON – Temple Shalom Emeth, Sundays, 9:15-10:45 a.m.

CAMBRIDGE – Harvard community and beyond, location TBD, Thursdays, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

CAMBRIDGE – Tremont Street Shul, Sundays, 10:00–11:30 a.m.

CANTON – Temple Beth Abraham, Sundays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.

DEDHAM - (Parenting Your Tween Through a Jewish Lens) – The Rashi School, Wednesdays, 8:15-9:45 a.m.

EIM CHAI – private homes, Wednesdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

EIM CHAI – (Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens) – private homes, Thursdays, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

FRAMINGHAM – (Parenting Your Tween Through a Jewish Lens) – MWJDS meets at Temple Beth Sholom, Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

JAMAICA PLAIN – private homes, Sundays, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

NEEDHAM – (Parenting Your Tween Through a Jewish Lens) – private homes, Sundays, 7:30-9:00 p.m.

NEWTON – (Parenting Your Tween Through a Jewish Lens) – Dorshei Tzedek at JCDS, Sundays, 10:15-11:45 a.m.

NEWTON – Congregation Shaarei Tefillah, Sundays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.

NEWTON – Solomon Schechter Day School, day and time TBD

NEWTON – (Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens) – Temple Emanuel, Thursdays, 7:45-9:15 p.m.

SHARON – Temple Sinai, Sundays, 9:15-10:45 a.m.

WALTHAM - Boston-area Jewish Education Program (BJEP), Sundays, 10:00-11:30 a.m.

WAYLAND – Temple Shir Tikva, Sundays, 9:30-11:00 a.m.

WEST ROXBURY – Hillel B’nai Torah, Sundays, 10:15-11:45 a.m.

Our Events

Our Blogs

  • 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 to a small group of parents. 

    What compels busy parents to come...

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  • If you have every sat with a toddler while reading a book, you know that toddlers love reading the same book over and over and over again. Their attention span for the same Dr. Seuss rhymes or Curious George adventures far surpasses my own. Toddlers can flip through the same pages, lift the same flaps and find new enjoyment, to seemingly no end. I read a study that explained that toddlers are constantly processing so much new information. So much so, that they can only take in a fr...

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  • Nine feet of snow outside, extreme warmth inside. Over a three-month period last winter, seven of us were brought together for Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens. In each session, we explored values, studied relevant Jewish texts, and mostly shared questions and experiences in confidence. Our group was diverse in terms of geography, Jewish practice, and educational choices we have made for our children. For me, with children soon to turn 13 and 10, hearing from moms of older...

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  • As we were lighting the candles last Friday night, my hands cupped to my face, I heard for the first time my daughter’s voice quietly but confidently saying the words along with me. And so I did something that I haven’t done since I was a kid: I opened my eyes, mid-prayer, and ever-so-subtly moved my hands away from my face. Yes, I peeked.

    I had to!

    I didn’t want only to hear this scene unfolding, I needed to see it, too. We were camping with our three-and-a...

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  • “Mommy, do we celebrate Christmas?” my three-and-a-half-year-old asked me recently.

    I had expected—and then fielded—this question back in December when lights, trees, and plastic Santas started popping up all over town. But I was surprised it was coming up again, off-season.

    I told her that we do not celebrate Christmas. Predictably, she pouted. She pouted not because she understands what Christmas is or what it means to celebrate that holiday, but bec...

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  • Several years ago I attended a workshop called “Making Shabbat Special” at the JCC with Rabbi Julie Zupan, a warm and thoughtful rabbi who is now an instructor for Parenting Through a Jewish Lens.  She shared a variety of ideas that sparked my own family practice.  Some of the ideas she shared were nice, but actually were not the type of Shabbat that I wanted – for example, a rule of no driving on Shabbat or, alternatively, Friday night family movie...

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  • This past Sunday I wandered around the SOWA market with my husband and three year old daughter. It was a perfectly sunny afternoon and we had just hit up our favorite coffee shop in the area – I turned to my husband and said “If I didn’t love our community in Cambridge so much I would want to live in the South End.”

    When I spend time in the city I understand why young families are attracted to living there. It’s walkable, family friendly, ...

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  • We stumbled upon Parenting Through a Jewish Lens completely by accident. I was discussing ideas for charitable giving with someone at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP), and at the end of the conversation the person suggested this program would be a good fit for us. He was definitely right.

    I grew up in the atheist Soviet Union, where religious and cultural Jewish practices were strongly discouraged. By the time I arrived in the United States at the age of ten, I didn&rsq...

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  • Through a far-too-snowy and far-too-cold winter, the Sunday morning gatherings of our Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class at Temple Emanuel in Andover have provided a sense of warmth and community beyond anything I anticipated as a first-time PTJL instructor. Over coffee and bagels, we spend some time simply “checking-in” – sharing stories of our lives since we were last together; our challenges, our triumphs, our aggravations, and our comedic moments of parenti...

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  • I remember the day my now husband and I made “the deal”.  He was the first non-Jew I ever dated… and also so clearly the love of my life.  While I couldn’t envision asking him to give up his religious beliefs and traditions, I also wasn’t willing to give up mine or compromise on raising my future children with Jewish religious beliefs and traditions.  And so we agreed, well before we ever got engaged, that he would fully participate in ...

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