Parshat Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1-24:18)

“Do not oppress a stranger, as you know the soul of a stranger, because you were strangers in the Land of Egypt. “ (Exodus 23:9) Parashat Mishpatim follows the “Big Ten” (commandments, not football colleges) with a list of 52 additional mitzvot, or commandments. Most commentators view this list as a continuation of the revelation […]

Parashat Yitro (Exodus 18:1-2:23)

“Moses came and summoned the elders of the people, and put before them all these words that God had commanded him.” (Exodus 19:7) Parashat Yitro is the peak moment in the Torah: God reveals the Torah to the Israelites, who are camped around the base of Mt. Sinai. This revelation is not only the reason […]

Through the storm

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It snowed here this week. You may have heard about it. It snowed so much that many members of our board were unable to come to New York for our annual board meeting—for which we had been preparing for months. But that didn’t stop us, because thanks to clever use of technology, the skill and […]

Parashat B’shalach (Exodus 13:17-17:16)

“Adonai will reign for all eternity!” (Exodus 15:18) Parashat B’shalach is all about God’s might and miracles: it describes the parting of the Reed Sea and the destruction of Pharaoh’s army. In awed gratitude, Moses leads the Israelites in Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea. But B’shalach is also about personal faith and celebration. […]

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

“Take even your sheep and even your cattle, as you have spoken, and go—and bless me, as well!” (Exodus 12:32) Parashat Bo is about awesome and majestic power: God sends the last three plagues (locusts, darkness, and the death of the first-born), which finally break Pharaoh’s spirit so he frees the Israelites to worship God. […]

“We all want to hear children’s laughter and see hope in their eyes”

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On days where conflict, terror, fear and hatred blacken our sky and cloud our lives, we must appreciate every beam of light that illuminates caring, empathy, humanity and hope. Almost 68 years have passed since the founding of Israel, nearly seven decades of endless, almost near-hopeless attempts to live in peace with four million Palestinians, […]

Protecting young souls & setting them free

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We lost two warriors of teenage angst and wonder in recent days. And as we return to our New York City offices from a day in Columbus, one of our 2016 JCC Maccabi host communities, thinking about teenage angst and wonder seems just right. While he may have been a genius alien superstar chameleon freak […]

6 Second Hebrew: Black, Good Night, Sixteen

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Cycle for Good 2015

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Last month, we asked JCCs to share their “sweaty snapshots” from December’s Cycle for Good event. In case you don’t know, Cycle for Good is a movement-wide stationary bike event that raises money for charity. This year, it took place on the first Sunday of Hanukkah, Dec. 13. Participating JCCs run the program for three […]

Worth a thousand words

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One for each night Leaders of the David Posnack JCC in Broward County, Florida, lit candles and rubbed elbows with the First Family as they celebrated the Festival of Lights at the White House’s annual Hanukkah candle lighting. They came as guests of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, honorary co-chair of the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games […]

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