In the year since my wife Amy and I took the Parenting Through a Jewish Lens (then called Ikkarim) at Temple Shalom of Newton, we have looked for more opportunities to engage with the Jewish community. When I saw this year’s advertising for the program I got nostalgic and asked CJP and Hebrew College if we could get their support to bring alumni from this program together to continue connecting around the common experience we shared.

  That original experience brought together a group of people from across the spectrum of Jewish affiliation – we are an interfaith family (I am Jewish, and Amy was raised as a Presbyterian, but is now a Bahá’í ) and we were in good company. We all shared a sense that we needed to better understand the scriptural and cultural background that could help inform raising our kids in Judaism.

The community we shared in the course grew closer over the months and we held a wonderful gathering at a classmate’s home shortly after the year ended. At the time many of us wanted to keep going, to build on the friendships we’d started and also to sustain the thoughtful approach to Jewish parenting that Ikkarim had created for us all.

At the end of each week’s session we often felt there was much more we wanted to discuss, in particular around the “take-home” questions toward the end of each module. The course was fulfilling and broadening, but we had truly only opened a door into a world of Jewish study and debate—which I guess explains why one of our classmates was taking Ikkarim for the second time.

I know there are many families around the Boston area that have gained much from Parenting Through a Jewish Lens/Ikkarim. Amy and I are grateful to have the chance to help this group of like-minded people continue to learn about Jewish life and parenting together. We hope to meet up with you later this summer.

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