Parashat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)

“This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you.” (Exodus 12:2) Parashat Bo brings the final two plagues, darkness and the slaying of the Egyptian first-born, which lead, finally, to the Israelites’ release from slavery.  The parasha (portion) begins with […]

Parashat Va’era (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

“And I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God…”  (Exodus 6:7) Parashat Va’era describes Moses’ attempts to get Pharoah to free the Israelites and opens the dramatic sequence of Pharoah’s intransigence in the face of the plagues.   The opening of the parasha (portion)often is  overlooked, which is a shame, […]

Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

“Jacob lived seventeen years in the land of Egypt, so that the span of Jacob’s life came to one hundred and forty-seven years.”  (Genesis 47:28))   Parashat Vayechi both closes the book of B’reishit (Genesis) and is the last parasha (portion) for 2012.  Three important narrative cycles come together in Vayechi.  The patriarchal cycle and […]

Parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27)

“Thus Israel settled in the country of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; they acquired holdings in it, and were fertile and increased greatly.” (Gen. 47:27) Parashat Vayigash describes Joseph’s emotional reconciliation with his brothers who then return to Canaan to bring Jacob and the rest of the family down to Egypt.  Jacob is overjoyed […]

Parshat Miketz (Genesis 41:1 – 44:17)

“Joseph answered Pharoah, saying, ‘It is not up to me…’” (Genesis 41:16) Over the course of these few weeks, we are watching the evolution of Joseph from self-centered, arrogant brother, to thoughtful, strategic leader. This week’s parsha (Torah portion) begins with Pharoah’s request for Joseph to interpret his dreams. This is the third set of […]

Parashat Chayei Sarah (Genesis 23:1-25:18)

“Thus the field with its cave passed from the Hittites to Abraham, as a burial site.” (Genesis 23:20) Chayei Sarah tells the story of Sarah’s death and Abraham’s purchase of a burial plot for her.  It is the first piece of land acquired by the Jewish people in Canaan.  Most Jewish commentators (classical and contemporary) […]

Parashat Vayechi (Genesis 47:28-50:26)

When Jacob finished his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and, breathing his last, he was gathered to his people.  (Genesis 49:33) Depending on how you mark time, Vayechi is either the last parasha (portion) in the book of B’reishit (Genesis), or the first parasha of 2012.  It closes the story­­-cycle […]

Parashat Vayeitzei (Genesis 28:10-32:3)

“Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ”Surely the Lord is present in this place, and I did not know it!” (Genesis 28:16) Parashat Vayeitzei is a real nail-biter. Jacob flees to Haran and spends 20 years working for Lavan, his uncle.  Tricked into marrying Leah after seven years, he agrees to seven years of additional […]

The Conversation: Speaking of Money

Speaking of Money: The Development Function at the JCCs Q&A with Janel Margaretta Schwartz, Chief Development Officer, Marcus JCC of Atlanta. Background: Janel has been with the JCC for four years. Previously, she worked with UJC and was the Associate Campaign Director and Founding Director of the Mandel Center for Professional Excellence at the Jewish […]

The Ten Basic Responsibilities of JCC Boards

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1. Select And Support The Chief Executive, And Assess His Or Her Performance Boards must reach consensus on the chief executive’s responsibilities and undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position. The board should ensure that the chief executive has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further […]

Listen. Do you hear what I hear? Something is happening at JCCs -- and it goes like this. Sounding Board