Poetry in Times of Peril: Four Women’s Voices

From the ancient Book of Psalms to contemporary hip-hop, poetry has served as a vital channel through which to express our deepest yearnings, frustrations, and hopes.
How might words of poetry help us respond to the current crisis of COVID-19 and the national reckoning with racial injustice?
Join us as we engage four outstanding woman poets from different walks of life for a cross-cultural and intergenerational reading and discussion.
Featured Poets
Four poets: Alondra Bobadilla, Marilyn Nelson, Alicia Ostriker, Alicia Jo Rabins
  • Alondra Bobadilla
  • Marilyn Nelson
  • Alicia Ostriker
  • Alicia Jo Rabins
Moderator – Dr. Judith Rosenbaum, Jewish Women’s Archive
Greetings – Rabbi Or Rose, Miller Center of Hebrew College & Rev. Paul Raushenbush, Interfaith Youth Core


  • Jewish Women’s Archive
  • Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College
  • Interfaith Youth Core
  • Lilith Magazine

To learn more about PsalmSeason visit: http://www.ifyc.org/article/intro-project-time-upheaval 

A Time to Mourn: Grieving Together in the Time of COVID

A Time to Mourn image

On July 9, we joined together with the Greater Boston Jewish Community to pause and reflect as we mourn all those lost during the COVID pandemic thus far. Our 15 minutes together included personal reflections, ritual and the dedication of a new community memorial.

We chose the 17 of Tammuz, Shivah Asar B’Tammuz, because this date is already a day of mourning in our tradition. 17 of Tammuz is a minor fast day that marks the beginning of the three week mourning period leading up to 9 of Av, Tisha B’Av. We recognize this time in the Jewish calendar as we mourn and remember the many calamities upon calamities that have befallen the Jewish people.

During the event, we displaying the names of loved ones we have lost during the COVID epidemic. We apologize but cannot accept any more submissions at this time.

How to Join the Event

Watch on YouTube or Facebook on on-demand.

Our Program

Welcome and Kavannah
Rabbi Suzanne Offit `09
Palliative Care Chaplain

Chanting of Psalm 23
Rabbi Rebecca Weintraub `20
B’nai Jeshurun, New York 

Personal Reflections
Rabbi Karen Landy
Chaplain, Hebrew SeniorLife

Ritual and Dedication of Community Memorial
Jamie Cotel
Executive Director, Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts

Chanting of El Maleh Rachamim
Rabbi Ebn Leader
Faculty, Hebrew College

Closing Words
Rabbi Neal Gold
President, Massachusetts Board of Rabbis

Closing Niggun
Rabbi Rebecca Weintraub

Sponsors and Partners*


* List of partner organizations in formation

We also encourage you to visit the JTA’s “Bonds of Life” website, which mourns members of the Jewish community from throughout the country, including Greater Boston, who have passed away during the coronavirus pandemic.

A Virtual “Taste” of Me’ah for MA South Area Learners

Discover the amazing Hebrew College program that provides adults of all backgrounds with a foundation in Jewish culture and civilization. During this free “Taste of Me’ah” you will meet with one of our stellar instructors, enjoy a sample lesson, and learn how you can join the Hebrew College Me’ah journey in fall 2020.

Co-hosted by Temple Israel of Sharon & B’nai Tikvah, Canton
Facilitated by Me’ah Instructor Rabbi Leonard Gordon

Me’ah, supported by CJP, is the oldest Adult Learning program at Hebrew College. Me’ah — Hebrew for 100 — is led by outstanding faculty from Greater Boston academic institutions who are attuned to the needs of adult learners.  Readings, text study, lectures and discussions focus on core texts from biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern times. Students receive a certificate during a graduation ceremony at the end of their second year.

Me’ah Classic welcomes students of all backgrounds. No prior formal Jewish education or knowledge of Hebrew is required. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

woman in class



Hebrew College Me’ah Graduation

Join us as we honor the 2020/5780 graduates of our esteemed Me’ah Classic two-year program. Check here for the link to the ceremony.


Welcome: Sara Brown, Department of Adult and Community Learning

Remarks: Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld, President of Hebrew College 

Teaching: Rabbi Leonard Gordon, Div., beloved Me’ah instructor and  community leader (Read a piece by Rabbi Gordon)

Student & Teacher Honors: Marilyn Stern, Program Coordinator

Remarks: Rabbi Elyse Winick, CJP Senior Director our Learning and Education

Closing: Marilyn Stern

PsalmSeason Concert: A Playlist for a Time of Upheaval

PsalmSeason Concert Cover

In response to the unfolding global pandemic and upheaval over racial injustice, on June 8, 2020 The Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership at Hebrew College and the Interfaith Youth Core will launch a major new digital initiative on the Book of Psalms entitled PsalmSeason: An Online Encounter with the Wisdom of the Psalms.

Miller Center Director Rabbi Or Rose envisioned the project and enlisted long-time interfaith colleague Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Senior Advisor at IFYC, to bring the project to life.

The project will begin with an online PsalmSeason Concert on June 8 at 7:30 pm EDT US, followed by the launch of the PsalmSeason digital platform—an 18-week exploration of the Psalms focusing one psalm each week. The selected psalms and contemporary reflections address the feelings of sadness, shock, dislocation, and fear brought on by the pandemic and social upheaval. They also provide solace, strength, and hope for a better future.

Read the Press Release

Read more about the Miller Center’s recent work.

PsalmSeason Concert

The project kicks-off on Monday, June 8, 7:30 pm EDT US with a live concert “PsalmSeason: A Playlist for our Time” featuring 18 musical and poetic expressions from a diverse group of performers from Ireland, Uganda, Israel, and the US. Performers will share pieces directly from the Psalms or inspired by its themes of lament and longing, comfort and strength, and gratitude and hope.

How to Watch

The concert will be streamed here and on the Hebrew College YouTube channel and Facebook pages.

Performers and contributors include:

  • Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • David Broza
  • Neshama Carlebach
  • Peter Himmelman
  • Rabbi Roly Matalon and the B’nai Jeshurun Musicians
  • Marty Lamar
  • The Yuval Ron Ensemble
  • Deborah Sacks Mintz
  • Poor Bishop Hooper
  • Joey Weisenberg
  • Reverend Vince Anderson
  • Danny Maseng
  • Owen & Michael Padraig o Suilleabhain & Nóirín Ní Riain,
  • Abayudaya: The Jews of Uganda, introduced by Rabbi Jeffrey Summit
  • Ariel Horowitz
  • Paiter Van Yperen
  • Drew Drake
  • Alondra Bobadilla

psalmseason website

PsalmSeason Summer 18-week Project

The multifaceted project, which will be hosted on IFYC’s Interfaith America website, will last 18 weeks — the number for “life” in Hebrew. The initiative offers individuals with a rich context in which to explore their swirling thoughts and feelings through the prism of this ancient and beloved collection of prayer-poems.

Featured Contributors

Contributors represent a range of religious, spiritual, and secular traditions, and include musicians, artists, poets, storytellers, scholars, and activists.*

  • Krista Tippett (NPR)
  • Father James Martin (America Magazine)
  • Sharon Salzberg (Insight Meditation)
  • Marilyn Nelson (Poet Laureate, Connecticut)
  • Imam Taymullah Abdur-Rahman (Massachusetts Department of Correction)
  • Dr. Ellen Davis (Duke University)
  • Rev. William Lamar IV (Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in
  • Washington, DC)
  • Sarah Hurwitz (senior White House speechwriter for President Obama)
  • Dr. Obery Hendricks (Columbia University)
  • Dr. Aviva Zornberg (author/teacher)
  • Brother Paul Quenon (poet and photographer)
  • Dr. Jerome Groopman (Harvard Medical School)
  • Makoto Fujimura (visual artist)
  • Rabbi Sharon Brous (Ikar, LA)
  • Bishop Gene Robinson (Chautauqua Institute)
  • Ruth Messinger (American Jewish World Service)
  • Rev. Brian McLaren (author)

*partial list