What We Do
Children and Families Division


Hadar’s Children and Families Division is building a network of families and young adults aspiring to a shared religious vision. Through ongoing classes and meaningful resources, we are investing in the next generation and building a world animated by our core values of Torah, Avodah, and Hesed.

We are excited to devote energy and resources to this critical part of our communal future. And we are excited to join with you—parents and kids alike—as we allow our Jewish commitments to have lifelong, multi-generational impact.

Sign up for the Children and Families Division email list to receive updates about classes, holiday content, and other meaningful resources for children and their families.




Hadar’s Children and Families Division brings together the excellence of Hadar faculty with the educational expertise of Hadar’s Pedagogy of Partnership.

Key Faculty:

Mara Braunfeld is a Jewish Educator with over 15 years of experience creating community, building relationships, and bringing innovative leadership to progressive and pluralistic Jewish settings. She earned a B.A. from Brandeis University and a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Previously, she worked at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, NY, at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, and at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, NY. Mara, her husband Daniel, and their three amazing children live in Manhattan.

Rabbi Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan also directs Hadar’s Center for Jewish Law and Values. He was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship and serves as a trustee of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Rabbi Aviva Richman is Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and has been on the faculty since 2010. A graduate of Oberlin College, she studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars' Circle and was ordained by Rabbi Danny Landes. She also holds a doctorate in Talmud at NYU. Interests include Talmud, Halakhah, Midrash and gender, and also a healthy dose of niggunim.

Chana Kupetz is the Children’s and Families Program Manager at Hadar. Prior to her work at Hadar, Chana taught Hebrew and Judaic Studies at Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School in Washington, DC and at Heilicher Jewish Day School in Minneapolis. Originally from Israel, Chana was a fellow in Hadar’s first full-year Beit Midrash where she met her wife. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northeastern University in Boston. Chana lives in Washington, DC with her wife Avi Strausberg and their two young children.

PoP Team:

Allison Cook is a teacher, educator, and educational designer specializing in the creation of vibrant Jewish learning programs for students of all ages as well as substantive professional communities of practice in Jewish education. Allison has published both scholarly and popular articles on this work, has created practical tools and frameworks to improve teaching and learning, and conducts trainings, consultations and coaching with educators. An alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Allison earned her Ed.M. in Teaching and Learning from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and M.A. in Jewish Studies from Hebrew College.

Dr. Orit Kent is a longtime Jewish educator, teacher-educator, researcher and writer, with experience teaching both children and adults. She has been involved in the design and implementation of numerous professional and leadership development programs and was a lecturer in the education program at Brandeis University for many years. An alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Orit holds a doctorate in Education and Jewish Studies from Brandeis University, an Ed.M. in Teaching and Learning from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in history from Yale University.

Content Team:

Shoshie Lockshin is Devash Editor, on the Content Team at Hadar. She studied at the University of Toronto and completed Master's Degrees in Education at Columbia University Teachers College, as a Wexner Fellow/Davidson Scholar. Shoshie has worked in Jewish writing and editing, and she homeschooled her children for many years. She lives in Newton, MA.

Rabbi Effy Unterman is the Director of Content at Hadar. Effy studied at Yeshiva University for his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, his Masters in Jewish Education, and his rabbinical ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary. He received a Wexner Fellowship and Davidson Scholarship, and lives in New Jersey with his wife and three children.

Goals and Vision


We aim to create a series of programs and resources that have the following characteristics:

  • Consistent and Long-Term Commitment. Our goal is for people to integrate the learning and practice we are supporting as basic and stable commitments in their lives.
  • Joy and Enthusiasm; Rigor and Honesty. We engage with Torah and mitzvot through these lenses, excited to connect with others. We never shy away from difficult questions, we learn texts in their entirety, and we do it with a deep sense of taking ownership.
  • Direct Engagement with the Sources and Practices of Judaism. We want to support people to learn Torah, Mishnah, Midrash, Talmud, Siddur and Jewish Thought as a canon that can and should belong to them. Our highest goal is independence in learning and fluency of practice.
  • Building a Network of Families and Young Adults Aspiring to a Shared Religious Vision. Our programming is infused with a sense of building a world together, one animated by our core values of Torah, Avodah, and Hesed, as laid out in Hadar’s strategic plan. By joining these activities, you will feel you are stepping into something larger.

Downloadable Holiday Content


Explore our growing list of downloadable content created just for children and families. With engaging and kid-oriented designs, these resources are meant to help you carve out a space for learning and discussion on holidays and throughout the year.

Resources to download:

The Wonder of Miracles: A Hanukkah Family Learning Activity

What is a miracle? How do we experience miracles in our lives? These resources look at three different ways of experiencing miracles. We hope this handful of texts—like the small jug of oil—will fuel your wonder as you learn through them over Hanukkah, and give you a chance to experience a bit of the miraculous in your learning and in the world around you.



Welcoming the Ushpizin (Sukkot)

One of the most important and special experience of Sukkot is sharing our meals in the sukkah with friends and guests. In addition to our real-life guests, the Zohar records an ancient custom--still practiced in many families today--of welcoming seven heavenly guests, called ushpizin in Aramaic, into the sukkah, one for each night of the holiday. As you invite the ushpizin into your sukkah, spend some time learning together with your family and friends, getting to know the ushpizin better through the stories and insights shraed in the following midrashim about these spiritual giants.


Make a Time Capsule (High Holidays 5782)

One of the traditional names of Rosh Hashanah is Yom HaZikaron, the Day of Remembrance. As we begin a new year, we invite you to use these questions to think back on the year that is ending, and look ahead to the year that is beginning. You can do this on your own or as a family, and you can save your time capsule to open together next year for Rosh Hashanah 5783.


We All Turn Toward the Temple: Text Activity for Tisha B'Av

When the Temple was destroyed, the Jewish people no longer had a central place to gather and to worship God through giving sacrifices or gifts. Instead, they built synagogues in their own communities and had to find new ways to worship God. The rabbis invented a new way to be close to God, replacing the sacrifices or gift-giving of the Temple, with some of the same prayers we pray today.


One Minute Debates for Pesah

The Seder is all about asking questions because posing questions and challenging Torah is how we learn from each other and our tradition. We invite kids (and adults!) of all ages to partake in this debate culture with a fun card game intended to spark short, energizing debates around the Seder table.


“Growing” the Seder Story Through Noticing & Wondering - Pedagogy of Partnership

This turn-and-talk guide will help everyone at your Seder table open up new possibilities from the Seder's different kinds of "texts," whether they are the Haggadah, a family custom, or a symbolic item.


A Tale of Two Freedoms - Pedagogy of Partnership

Craft your own version of the Exodus story using this storytelling resource.


Three Purim Games for Your Seudah

It is a mitzvah on Purim to have a seudah, a festive meal. What can you do to make that meal as joyful as possible? Play some games! These games for your seudah can be played with friends and family over Zoom or with your family at home.


The Perfect Gift: Tu Bishvat Family Study Guide

A midrash in Kohelet Rabbah describes God giving Adam a tour of the Garden of Eden, showing him the beautiful trees that he is now responsible for. What is a gift that you received and how did you take care of it? What responsibilities do humans have for trees and what happens if we damage them?


Hanukkah Companion 5782

Celebrate Hanukkah at home with Hadar’s Children and Families Hanukkah Companion. Use this resource every night of Hanukkah, along with activities designed by Pedagogy of Partnership, to guide your learning as a family.



Shavuot Havruta Study Guide - Pedagogy of Partnership

Hadar's Pedagogy of Partnership (PoP) believes “how we learn is what we learn” and Shavuot, with its celebration of the giving of the Torah, just might be the holiday that reflects this idea most vibrantly.Jewish tradition tells us many riveting recountings that report not just that the Torah was given to Moshe but how the process unfolded. This study guide sets the stage for a learning experience imbued with the same exhilaration found in the story itself.


Devash: A Weekly Parashah Magazine for Children and Families


Devash is a weekly parashah magazine that makes learning Torah sweet. By engaging directly with texts and taking kids seriously as Jews, Devash helps children and grownups discover new ideas, values, and sweet morsels in the weekly Torah portion.


New issues of Devash will be uploaded to Hadar's Torah Library as they become available. Visit the library to browse all currently available issues.



Torah Time: A Parashah Podcast for Children and Families


Torah Time is a new podcast that helps busy families make quality time for learning the parashah together. Every week, R. Miriam-Simma Walfish and her daughter, Adira, set aside some “Torah Time” for reading and talking about the weekly Torah portion. Now, you’re invited to learn along with them! Torah Time is designed for kids ages 6+ to listen to independently or together with families and teachers.

Season two, covering the Book of Bemidbar, is now available to download and stream wherever you get your podcasts.

New episodes of Torah Time will also be uploaded to Hadar's Torah Library as they become available.


Devash: Hadar’s Parashah Magazine
Devash is a weekly parashah magazine that makes learning Torah sweet. By engaging directly with texts and taking kids seriously as Jews, Devash helps children and grownups discover new ideas, values, and sweet morsels in the weekly Torah portion.