Parashat Bamidbar (Numbers 1:1-4:20)

“Those are the elected of the assembly, the chieftains of their ancestral tribes: they are the heads of the contingents of Israel.” (Numbers 1:16) Parashat Bamidbar opens the fourth book of the Torah (with the same name) and describes the preparations for the Israelites’ 38-year journey through the wilderness to Canaan. The opening verse describes […]

Parashat B’har-B’chukotai (Leviticus 25:1-27:34)

“I will remember in their favor the covenant with the ancients, whom I freed from the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God; I, the Lord.” (Leviticus 26:45) Parashat B’chukotai contains a list of blessings for following the Torah’s commandments and a (much longer) list of curses for failing […]

The Beauty of Jerusalem


The Talmud teaches, “Ten measures of beauty descended on the world, nine were taken by Jerusalem, one by the rest of the world.” Years later, Mark Twain said, “There is no beauty like the beauty of Jerusalem.” Today, the 26th of Iyar marks the 48th anniversary of the Six-Day War when the third day of […]



Of all of the stars of rock and pop, David Bowie is the king of chameleons — voices, faces, names and musical styles morphing station to station. It’s fitting that his signature song is “Changes.” He stutters a refrain like a latter day Moses, another voice of days-to-come, who preached despite what the Bible calls […]

Parashat Emor (Leviticus 21:1-24:23)

“So Moses declared to the Israelites the set times of the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:44) Parashat Emor addresses issues of k’dusha, or sanctity. It focusses first on the priests (sanctified people) and then moves to Shabbat and the holidays (sanctified time). Emor describes Shabbat as a mo-ed, a fixed time, and as a mikra kodesh, a […]

JCC Association pursues change, as new vice president is brought on board


Wendy Seligson, who helped steer the 14th Street Y of the Educational Alliance in New York, during a period of rapid expansion, has been hired as executive vice president for strategy and operations of JCC Association. Seligson, who has served as associate executive director of the 14th Street Y since 2007, worked closely with Dr. […]

Teen engagement initiative receives start-up funding


JCC Association to partner with the Marks JCH of Bensonhurst What happens when you combine Russian-speaking teens, a focus on arts and technology and the exploration of Jewish identity? You come up with ARTEL, a collaboration between JCC Association and the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst. This innovative, year-long program, which […]

Gettin’ your grill on


Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of the outdoor cooking season. Whether you’re tailgating, competing or just eating, people are passionate about their barbecue, and there’s regional styles – and rivalry – galore. But generally you can divide your cooking into slow-cooked barbecue over indirect heat, or grilling and the accompanying char that goes […]

Dairy does it for Shavuot


Coinciding with Memorial Day this year is Shavuot, the holiday that celebrates when the Israelites, having escaped Egypt, received the law from God. One of the traditions associated with holiday is that we eat dairy foods. There is no stipulation in Jewish law that we do so – some think it comes from the notion […]

6 Second Hebrew: Flower, Horse, Guitar


Words to get you excited for summer!

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