Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Confessions of a Jewish Learning Junkie

A graduate of the Heller Hornstein program at Brandeis University, Julie Unger consults to Temple Israel Boston on engaging young families in Jewish life and to URJ's Reform Jewish Outreach Boston on social media and marketing. She and her husband Matt live in Melrose and participated in the Parenting Through A Jewish Lens last fall in Malden.

I'm a Jewish learning junkie. There, I said it. My husband and I have taken almost every course offered by URJ’s Reform Jewish Outreach Boston. We started with Yours, Mine & Ours to communicate our differences and come to a conclusion about what is important for both us regarding our religious practices. Down the line we took the Taste of Judaism class, because my husband had questions about Judaism and I didn't really have the answers. And Taste was just that...it piqued our interest and a year later, when we were engaged, we signed up for a more in-depth class on Judaism called Introduction to Judaism. For 16 weeks we learned about the Jewish community, holidays, traditions and some Hebrew. It was a wonderful class and we met many other couples and individuals who were on similar journeys. We recently went to one of their weddings (what a blast!).

Right after we took Intro we got married and now we have a baby. We had figured out the role Judaism was going to play in our lives as a twosome, but with a kid, we were kind of clueless... especially when it came to parenting. So when we were asked by a friend if we would be interested in taking a Jewish parenting course called Parenting Through A Jewish Lens, we said yes. This 10-week course is offered by Hebrew College and CJP at various locations in the Greater Boston area. My husband and I took it this past year to become better equipped to raise a Jewish family. We felt we needed some guidance and inspiration on what raising a Jewish family actually meant, or at least a glimpse of what it could look like. This course was an addition to an already busy year (the birth of our son), but we made time for it and are so happy we did. They make participation easy: my class was scheduled on a weekend and included FREE, onsite babysitting. The teacher was dynamic, the material was interesting, and we bonded with other families in the class – a huge bonus for us. Though this is not a RJOB program, it's amazing and I highly recommend enrolling now for the fall! If you have any questions about the program, feel free to contact Elisha Gechter at 617-599-8733 or egechter@hebrewcollege.edu or ask me about our experience. I'm happy to discuss!

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