Community Blog A Vote for Jewish Parenting from a Humanist Dad

By Steve Johnson

Parenting is such a rich, beautiful, and convoluted experience. There’s nothing linear about it. Meeting with other Humanistic Jews, through this format, made me feel more connected to the congregation at Kahal B’raira—and to myself as a father and a husband.

Parenting Through a Jewish Lens is a structured way to “practice” parenting through Jewish rituals. For my wife and me, it extended the fulfilling community experience we’re already enjoying at Kahal B’raira. Rachel Schoenfeld adeptly wore two hats as a humanist education director and a learned rabbi. Her curiosity, flexibility, and growing knowledge about each parent-participant was evident every session. She welcomed and celebrated all of our varied perspectives—atheists, agnostics, Christians, and secular Jews. She invited us to look more deeply at ourselves and to mine the beauty and the parental mishegas that we lugged to the class each time we met.

All in all, the class was a satisfying experience that brought us closer together while providing us the opportunity to thoughtfully examine our brand of parenting from a Jewish-Humanist perspective.

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