MBR Events

5778 Programing



Entering Elul: A Mindfulness Retreat with Rabbis Dan Liben and Toba Spitzer

Tuesday, August 7


As we begin preparations for our own Elul journeys and the work of the High Holydays season, we invite colleagues to join us for a morning that will include sitting and walking meditation, text study, and a mindful lunch, all in a beautiful setting at Temple Beth Elohim in Wellesley. This is an opportunity for self-care and renewal as well as an opportunity to explore teachings related to the Yamim Noraim.  No meditation experience is required.


Dan and Toba are graduates of the Jewish Mindfulness Teachers Training Program of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality, long-time practitioners of mindfulness meditation, and have taught mindfulness in a variety of settings.



MBR High Holydays Seminar

Co-Sponsored by the New England Board of Cantors

Thursday, June 7

Temple Shalom, Newton


Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld


Through an exploration of a series of classical midrashim and contemporary poems, we’ll explore the theological and psychological landscape of living, leading, and loving with an acute sense of our own limitations. What is the relationship between feeling “partial” and feeling part of something larger than ourselves?


Rabbi Sharon Cohen Anisfeld is President Elect of Hebrew College. She has served for the last 11 years as dean of the Rabbinical school of Hebrew College. Prior to that, she served as Hillel Rabbi at Tufts, Yale, and Harvard for 15 years. She has been on the summer faculty of the Bronfman Youth Fellowships in Israel since 1993. She is the co-editor of The Women’s Passover Companion and The Women’s Seder Sourcebook (Jewish Lights 2003).



Jewish Wisdom for Challenging Times:
The Ten Commandments as a Roadmap to a Sustainable Society
with Dr. Jeremy Benstein
Thursday, May 17th, 2018

From the opposition to false ideals and slavery, via the Sabbath, the sanctity of life, to the prohibition on coveting (and yes, 4 more...) - these familiar concepts have some strikingly unexpected, politically cross-cutting, and timely lessons for the lives we lead and how to create a just and healthy society that will "long endure on this earth." The session will include a detailed text study, with ideas for drashot and teachings to be shared at a tikkun or other Shavuot learning experiences.

Jeremy, a native of Toledo, Ohio, moved to Israel over 30 years ago, with a dream of making Israel an inspiring society. That dream led to his co-founding the Heschel Center for Sustainability in Tel Aviv, strengthening Israel's civil society, and promoting sustainability, and progressive Judaism. He currently serves as Associate Director of the Center. Jeremy holds a BA from Harvard, an MA in Judaic Studies, and a PhD in cultural anthropology from the Hebrew University on social-environmental activism as a focus of shared citizenship between Jews and Arabs in Israel. He is the author of book The Way Into Judaism and the Environment (Jewish Lights, 2006), and is married to Dr. Annabel Herzog, and together with their five children and two cats, lives in Zichron Yaakov.



Binding the Book of Life: The MBR, Tahara, & the Community Hevra Kaddisha

Wednesday, March 7


The pluralist Community Hevra Kadisha (CHK) of greater Boston is now four years old.  Two of the leaders of this sacred initiative, our very own David Lerner and Victor Reinstein, will be leading us in conversation and study about the mitzvah of tahara, and how we as a rabbinic community can engage with and expand the holy work of the CHK in our communities. We will also be joined in the conversation by congregational volunteers who will share reflections on the personal meaning found in caring for the dead.



Rabbinic Workshop on Pastoral Counseling and Mental Health

With Dr. Michelle Friedman, MD

Director of Pastoral Counseling, YCT Rabbinical School

Thursday, January 25


As rabbis serving congregations and in other settings, we are often confronted with complicated mental health issues of those we serve, for which we may or may not have ever received formal training.  Rabbis encounter pastoral challenges every day, yet we often do not have formal support or the opportunity to share challenging experiences and best practices. At this interactive workshop, Dr. Friedman will address key pastoral counseling topics, including identifying mental health issues and how to work with people with diverse mental health concerns in Jewish communal life. Real life vignettes will serve as a springboard for discussion, and an opportunity to review key principles and practices of pastoral counseling such as active, compassionate, non-judgmental listening, the power of transference to clergy, boundaries and borders, and confidentiality. An equally important goal is to build fellowship among participants and allow for sharing of feelings generated in chaplaincy work.  


Dorit Price-Levin -  Resetting the Table

Wednesday, December 20  


As we commemorate a famously divisive period in Jewish history, Resetting the Table's celebrated workshop will give us tools to build a culture of productive dialogue in one of the most contentious areas of American Jewish life today: Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


In the workshop, participants exchange views and experiences, practice communication skills for addressing disagreement, and learn best practices and success stories from other communities. The methodology is practice-based and experiential, walking through road-tested exercises participants can replicate in their own institutions.



CJP Presidential Search Committee,

November 16th


We will meet with the CJP Presidential Search Committee to share our input and concerns with them  and for them to share with us next steps in the search process. This is an important opportunity for rabbinic input into a significant communal decision, and I hope that as many MBR members as possible will be able to attend. We will also have the opportunity to share with each other and build our MBR community in the latter part of the morning.  Please register HERE so we have a sense of who is coming. You can learn more about the CJP President job description here.