by Lisa Berman, Director of EducationLisa Berman photo

Often at Mayyim Hayyim we focus on the transitional moments in people’s lives, the moments where something is changing, happening — a stopping point where we are encouraged to take note of this point in time.

But let’s be honest. While these pivotal moments are the center of attention for much of what goes on at Mayyim Hayyim, life is, in fact, comprised mostly of moments that don’t seem, well, momentous at all.

This is especially true in relationships, marriage in particular. Weddings are BIG, chock full of significant and meaningful elements. And then the wedding is over and the marriage truly begins.

Together with Judy and Josh Elkin*, we created “From Strength to Strength” as a program to support couples in their first five years of marriage, acknowledging that once the honeymoon is over, we can all use a little help making the best of relationships’ everyday moments. Over the course of five evenings, couples learn tools and strategies to build on the strengths of their relationship. Uniquely, the workshop uses Jewish texts and teachings to inform the process and content.

Here’s what past participants have said about it:

“A three-part series for married couples who want to take time to be thoughtful about their relationship, to nurture and empower it.”

“A great refresher course on keeping our relationship on track to being the best it has the potential to be.”

“It’s relationship-building with a Jewish twist.”

“A great way to develop communication skills through a Jewish foundation.”

“Tools to strengthen a marriage that recognize the abilities you already have.”

“A fun way to learn strategies in a loving relationship.”

This year’s program will run for five consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning October 16 at 6:45pm. Registration is required. For more information contact Lisa Berman, Director of Education: or 617-244-1836 x205 or

*Judy Elkin, M.Ed., PCC, ORSCC, is a master educator and certified professional and personal coach with a private practice in Newton focused primarily on career transitions and relationships. Having facilitated the Mayyim Hayyim course, Beyond the Huppah, she is particularly excited to create this opportunity for alumni and other new couples interested in deepening their marriages and bringing out the best in each other. Judy’s genuine warmth and sense of humor animate the many skills and tools she brings to coaching and facilitating.

Josh Elkin, Ed.D, CPCC, is a rabbi and coach specializing in working with professional and volunteer leaders of nonprofit organizations. Prior to his career in coaching, Josh served as the top executive of three Jewish educational organizations, covering a period of over 35 years. Throughout his career, Josh has enjoyed teaching and leading workshops, especially in the areas of prayer, leadership and educational change. 

Josh and Judy have partnered in the past, specifically at Mayyim Hayyim’s Beyond the Huppah course and with educational leaders, and most importantly as husband and wife for 29 years, and are the proud parents of Jonathan (27), Benjamin (25), and Liza (23).

Lisa Berman, Mayyim Hayyim’s Director of Education, has been involved with Mayyim Hayyim since its opening in May 2004. Lisa trained as a Volunteer Mikveh Guide and then served as the liaison to area congregational religious schools and adult study groups. Since 2006, Lisa has directed the Paula Brody & Family Education Center, where she develops curricula for all ages and interest levels; she also organizes and oversees more than 110 programs annually.