By Valerie Gold

In December, my husband Joel and I started the Parenting Through a Jewish Lens class at Temple Israel in Natick. Our first assignment was to decorate name cards with pictures of our family. We drew our three kids, Asher, age 8, Camille, age 3, and our baby, Zeke, then almost 14 months. We drew them all in a heap, laughing, on top of us, which is pretty much how our family arranges itself most of the time, and then sat back and waited for wisdom to flow from our rabbi and cantor and transform our happy but messy, chaotic and very tiring family life into one of order, certainty, and structure.

This did not actually happen, of course. We are now done with the class, and our kids, wondrous though they are, continue to confound and challenge us every day. I am also not sure that we are very much wiser than we were before we started the class. Nonetheless, I would recommend Parenting Through a Jewish Lens to any parents who share our wish to help our little people thrive and contribute to the good of the world.

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