In 2003, Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Hebrew College commissioned the curriculum for Ikkarim, now known as Parenting Through a Jewish Lens. Dr. Jacob Meskin and Rabbi Benjamin Samuels—who have both taught in the program ever since—spent many months creating what would go on to become one of the first adult Jewish learning programs for parents. Since then close to 1,000 parents at more than 20 Boston area sites have completed the program. Communities around the country have inquired as to how they, too, can offer such a substantive, inspiring, course for parents.
Based on what we’ve learned over the years, we are presently making significant adjustments to the curriculum. As we tackle this task, we have three things in mind: 1) to make life easier for busy, overcommitted parents by shortening the number of weekly sessions; 2) to provide more material on practical parenting; and 3) to ensure that our lessons are accessible to and inclusive of parents of every demographic.
Our new condensed and focused version will feature ten weekly class sessions and two extra-curricular events. The session topics include Family Relationships, Raising a Caring Child, Teaching Forgiveness and Helping Our Children Find their Calling. The extra-curricular events may include a Shabbat dinner with families at a synagogue or at the instructor’s or a participant’s home, an informal Hanukkah workshop, or a guided tour of a Jewish Book store.
Our amazingly talented faculty will roll out the new curriculum this fall.