Monday, July 2, 2012

I Found a Jewish Community with PTJL

Rene and family live in Lexington, MA, where she participated in Parenting Through a Jewish Lens. To see where the course will be offered this year visit - registration is now open for the fall

I enrolled in Parenting Through a Jewish Lens not knowing all that I wanted to know about Judaism. From the ages of nine to fourteen I lived with my family in the Netherlands, in a town that was an hour and a half by car from the nearest synagogue. My dad tried to instill in my brother and me some of the Jewish values he grew up with, and we celebrated holidays and Shabbat. But without the support of a community we did not receive the Jewish education that he preferred for us to have. I wanted to take this class to learn and then to bring Judaism to my daughter, who is now seven and attending religious school.

The class was wonderful. I gained knowledge of daily Jewish practices such as singing the Mo-deh A-ni (when we wake up) and the Shema (when we go to sleep). We discussed ways to parent "through a Jewish lens"; how to raise responsible, happy and kind kids; and how to talk with kids about tough subjects like God and end of life issues. We talked about ways to slow down the busy treadmills of our lives, to enjoy meaningful time with loved ones and friends.
At the beginning of the program each student received a binder filled with Jewish wisdom from many sources on various topics. I plan to read and reread all of the texts, so that I can further explore how they relate to many areas of my life, to the lives of my family and friends, and to others. Additionally, many great books were recommended that are now on my to-read list for the summer.

Finally, one of the best aspects of this program was the other participants. I found a Jewish community, something that I never had before. We were all consumed with raising young children; our exchanges around the text felt very relevant. Our phenomenal teacher had taught the class many times, but approached each conversation in new ways—I think she learned much from us, as we learned from her.

I highly recommend Parenting Through a Jewish Lens! It was informative, eye opening, helpful for me as a parent and therefore also for my child. This class was about all that is most important and sacred in life. It brought me closer to the Jewish community and people in my local area, and through its universal principles, to the larger world.

1 comment:

  1. Raising children is hard but a whole lot worth it. Seeing them grow up before your eyes is an experience that money cannot take away.