People who are interested in Parenting Through a Jewish Lens often ask, “What’s it really about? I’ve read the course description, I’ve read the curriculum outline, but what do we really learn?”
For starters, consider some of the texts that the teachers will introduce. They come from both traditional and contemporary sources, and they all have something in them which can be applied to our parenting choices. In session 2, for example, one source shows us that our forefather Abraham actually had a sense of humor! There is the text in session 3, in which we encounter Rabbi Joshua ben Korhah, down on the floor playing horsey with his children, much to the surprise of his students, who then learn from him the lesson of playfulness. There is the serious, like the Earl Grollman essay on talking to children about death; and the sublime, like the Talmudic text about the uniqueness of every human being.
There are texts on prayer and God, relatable whether you are able to pray or even believe in God. And there are texts on repentance and forgiveness, lessons for us to learn and teach our children.
That’s the part of PTJL which the teachers bring. Where you go from there will be as different as are the parents in the room. Every class will be unique, and every class will create its own meaning and find its own “aha!” moments. Past students have said, “I’ve enjoyed the space and time to think and share with others; the chance to learn about Jewish texts that speak directly to our issues and experiences”; “PTJL has created a place for me to think through critical things that get lost in the day-to-day; the content and discussion are so valuable“; and, “I couldn’t be more inspired and happy with how the material is presented, how the discussions are handled, and my decision to be here.”
What will the next session of PTJL bring? What will you bring to it? Your teachers and future classmates can’t wait to find out!