On a recent Monday morning, a diverse group of Carmel Academy parents gathered at the school to delve deeply into Parshat Hashavua, the weekly Torah reading. The group was studying verses about redemption from Egypt, sparking a robust conversation about how the establishment of a modern State of Israel may affect ancient Jewish ritual and practice.
The discussion, the varying points of view and the deep thought were exactly what Carmel Academy’s Rabbi-in-Residence Jordan Soffer had hoped for, he said, when he launched a Torah study group for parents earlier this year.
Rabbi Soffer coined the series “Parsha for Parents”, which is open to Carmel parents and adults from the wider community. The hour-long class has become so popular that Rabbi Soffer took his teaching on the road, hosting a “Parsha For Parents” lunch in New York City as a way to enable Manhattan-working parents to be part of the conversation.
“The series explores deep and resonate questions, without demanding any prior knowledge of the text,” said Rabbi Soffer. “My goal is two-fold. On one hand I hope to encourage parents to be role models as lifelong learners for their children, and, secondly, to give a platform for parents to explore Jewish issues in a sophisticated, but unassuming space.”