Community Blog Campus Partners Join Together for Tu b’Shvat Dedication
With the doors officially open at Hebrew College’s groundbreaking shared campus in Newton, Massachusetts, the College joined together with our new campus partners to dedicate its new home at a Hannukat Habayit (building dedication) on Tu b’Shvat, Monday, February 6.
“We’ve talked a lot over the last three years about this shared campus, opening different doorways to Jewish life, said Hebrew College President Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld at the Hannukat Habayit. “And today we affix a new mezuzah to the doorway of our shared campus—A beautiful pomegranate-themed mezuzah, evoking the generative imagery of our capital campaign and an image of fruitfulness and abundance—perfect for this afternoon of Tu b’Shvat.”
With the move to the newly built and renovated campus, the College has joined with a local synagogue, Temple Reyim, to create a hub for Jewish learning, community, and creativity, at 1860 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02466. Through the creation of a unique Jewish space promoting partnership and collaboration, Hebrew College is pursuing its mission of reimagining Jewish learning and leadership for an interconnected world.
Joining Hebrew College and Temple Reyim on the collaborative campus are these dynamic local and national organizational partners: Jewish Arts Collaborative, Jewish Women’s Archive, Kesher Newton Jewish Afterschool Program, Keshet, the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis, Mayyim Hayyim Living Waters Community Mikveh and Education Center, RUACH Community Health, and Zamir Chorale of Boston.
“As is well known, Hachnasat orchim—hospitality—is an important Jewish value. We both want to welcome those who, on their own volition, would like to come in, and also seek to reach out to others to invite them to join us,” said Hebrew College Vice President Susie Tanchel. Also offering remarks at the event were Hebrew College faculty member Rabbi Nehemia Polen (above) and Temple Reyim’s Rabbi Dan Berman (right).
The afternoon signaled the great potential of our campus partnerships. “We are so happy to share this space with you. In the spirit of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya, who opened up the ancient beit midrash, it feels like we have added hundreds of metaphorical benches to our home,” said Temple Reyim’s Rabbi Dan Berman at the dedication. “Our ancient sages celebrated that day of opening, declaring it the beginning of the project to record Oral Torah. What I imagine our sages were saying in their celebration is what we want to say to you now: ‘you are welcome here. You are part of this communal endeavor. Let us now learn together.’”
“An essential part of our vision for bringing different organizations together in our new home, and into our community, is a form of Avraham’s tent of old—we aim to be open on all sides with the goal of making it easy for each person to find their door, their way to join us, in the way that feels most appropriate or possible for them—whether they are looking for learning of many different kinds, an expansive and inclusive community, a place to immerse, to contribute or to create, or a place to explore ways to deepen their Jewish experiences,” added Tanchel. “May our many doors be wide open for all who wish to enter. May the wonder and joys of discovery never cease within our walls. May our community be strengthened by the uniqueness of each voice. And may the shekhinah, God’s presence, continue to dwell in our midst.”