The Boston Globe’s front page on New Year’s day highlighted the proliferation of Jewish Torah study in Boston beyond the traditional setting, and featured Chabad of Downtown Boston, Back Bay and Beacon Hill’s Executive Jewish Learning Initiative. The initiative individually tailors the learning experience to accommodate the needs and tastes of Jewish executives in Boston:
“In the age of Uber and Airbnb, synagogues and educational institutions are placing an unprecedented emphasis on flexibility and choice, in some cases allowing people to choose the location, topics of study, meeting times, and even the other students.
Rabbi Yosef Zaklos, who launched Chabad of Downtown Boston three years ago, spends many of his weekdays shuttling among downtown office buildings, offering concierge Torah study to busy executives at their convenience.
“Where a personal trainer helps you with the body, he helps you with the soul,” said Scott Levy, senior managing director at David Landau & Associates, an accounting consultancy, who meets with Zaklos about once a week.
He said Zaklos offered support when his father became ill, and the rabbi challenged him to rethink his approach to a difficult business matter. Over time, Levy said, “it’s a deeper relationship that’s evolved.”
The classes in Jewish texts, history, culture, and spirituality are partly a response to a trend that Jewish leaders consider an urgent concern: A rise in secularism that is threatening Jewish identity in America.”