Dear Parents:

There is a systemic flaw in how Jews educate their children, and we at Temple Emanuel, like every other shul, are caught up in it.

The problem is that there is so much energy, juice and focus devoted to the Bar and Bat Mitzvah, and the year leading up to it, and not enough energy, juice and focus to what happens to our children after their B’nei Mitzvah.

As you know, the years from your child’s Bar or Bat Mitzvah to their freshman year in college fly by. Before you know it, you will be taking them to their freshman year dorm. We want the college freshman you take to be enthusiastic and passionate, or at the very least, open and receptive, to living a Jewish life.

To make that happen, we need to add a booster shot in the system after their B’nei Mitzvah. That booster shot is here now, Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens, an 8 session course beginning on Thursday evening, January 26, from 8 to 9:30, and running for 8 weeks. It is taught by Judy Elkin, who is excellent.

It will be full of content. It will be engaging. And if we invest some intentionality and time in how we parent Jewishly in those crucial years from 8th grade through 12th grade, we will increase the likelihood that our sons and daughters will be invested in their Judaism when they are in college, and will have the freedom to choose their own path.

Please sign up now by emailing Terri Swartz Russell at

Thank you!


Wesley Gardenswartz, Rabbi


385 Ward Street



fax: 617.558.8150


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