One of the challenges I seem to come up against pretty often in life is starting something not, as Julie Andrews, would have it, “…at the very beginning/a very good place to start.” I once found myself being a trainer in something at which I myself was a novice, and while the stretch was good for me (and developed my skills too), I also wished for the chance to learn slowly and at my own pace, not jumping the gun.

Parenting has been a bit like that as well; I was a stepmother before I was a mother, and so by the time I had our twins, I was both a “new mom” and not a new mom at all. And while I was beginning my full, unmodified journey as a Jewish parent, I was also already a rabbi, who did not have the luxury of slowly figuring out how Jewishness fit into our life. Judaism was my job. Even while I was a brand-new Jewish parent, I was by no means brand-new to either category (and my husband was already well down both paths too). I never felt, or took, the luxury of going slowly and being mindful, of thinking about my Jewish parenting journey from scratch.

All of which is to say that I’m a little bit jealous (in the nicest possible way) of the participants in my Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class. While they range in Jewish backgrounds from being a rabbi to just-about-to-become-Jewish, with one exception their oldest (or only) children are four years old or younger. They are starting at the very beginning. And they’re doing so in community.

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