Setting the community table


JCC cookbook offers ideas for Passover and beyond What place could better represent the flavors of the Jewish community in all its diversity than a JCC? And if you want to take that at face value, then check out The Community Table, a new cookbook by Katja Goldman, Judy Bernstein Bunzl, and Lisa Rotmil was […]

Going above and beyond


JCCs thrive on the dedication of their volunteers. Without their countless hours, there are programs and projects that simply would never happen. National Volunteer Appreciation Week runs April 12-18, this year, and JCCs can spotlight the people who give their all to the J. Points of Light, which claims to be the world’s largest organization […]

First Day of Pesach (Passover) (Exodus 12:21-51)

“You shall observe this as an institution for all time, for you and for your descendants.” (Exodus 12:24) Because the first day of Pesach falls on Shabbat, the regular cycle of parashot (Torah portions) is interrupted by a special holiday reading. Not surprisingly, it focuses on the night of the Exodus: God’s instructions to the […]

Parashat Tzav (Leviticus 6:1-8:36)

“A continuous fire shall burn upon the altar; it shall not go out.” (Leviticus 6:6) Parashat Tzav is a little bit of déjà vu, all over again. It describes the ritual duties of the kohanim (priests) for performing each of the sacrifices listed in last week’s parasha (portion): the olah (burnt offering), mincha (meal offering), […]

What is JCC Soul?


Listen to that. We’re starting to hear some music out there. Before I try my hand at performing a little interpretive magic on the songs you have chosen to describe what the JCC Movement needs and wants to be, let’s ask a question: Why build a playlist to get to know what’s driving communities across North America? Why […]

Parashat Vayikra (Leviticus 1:1-5:26)

“The priest shall turn these into smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire, of pleasing odor.” (Leviticus 3:10) Vayikra, (and “____” called out) is the very first word of Parashat Vayikra and the entire book of Leviticus. It offers two mysteries. The first is grammatical: vayikra is a verb without a subject. […]

Israel’s Elections for the 20th Knesset

Yesterday, almost 72 percent of nearly six million eligible Israeli voters demonstrated their most basic democratic privilege to influence Israel’s future by voting for the twentieth Knesset (Israeli parliament). A very short and emotional pre-election period of only 90 days ended last night with surprising results that contradicted all pre-election polls. The Likud, Prime Minister […]

Let the Listening Tour Begin


You Get What You Give. Get Up Offa That Thing. You Cannot Win If You Do Not Play. Melodies tripped and jangled through the New York City office of JCC Association during my first two weeks on the job as CEO and President. You Better, You Better, You Bet. After meeting individually with more than […]

Parashat Vayakhel-P’kudei (Exodus 35:1-40:38)

“In the first month of the second year, on the first of the month, the Tabernacle was set up.” (Exodus 40:17) We read two parashot (portions) this week because of the way the Jewish calendar is calculated. Months are determined by the moon’s cycle, but the year is determined by the sun’s. Therefore, a Jewish […]

Munich 11 to be remembered in Rio


The 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Olympic games in Munich will be remembered officially at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to create space within the Olympic village dedicated to the memory of the 11 Israelis, who were kidnapped by Black September terrorists and murdered during a […]

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