Celebrating a month of books — and beyond — with JCC Reads

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By Randy Ellen Lutterman Jewish Book Month arrives on Nov. 16 and runs through Dec. 16 this year, and JCCs are getting ready to celebrate all things literary. During this time, many JCCs host their arts and culture or book festivals, featuring the best from the Jewish literary world. To keep the momentum going throughout […]

6 Second Hebrew: Turkey, Library, Train

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Learn three new words in less than 30 seconds!

March of the Living

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Learning about the darkest hour of Jewish history – the Shoah – and then visiting Israel, to see how we have triumphed over it, is the lesson embedded in the March of the Living. This journey for 11th and 12th graders takes them to Auschwitz and then to the Jewish homeland as they discover their […]

With profound gratitude

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October 2014 Dear Mr. Chase, The Jewish military community of Okinawa welcomed a special guest from California for Rosh Hashanah, a recently completed Torah. This Torah, made possible through your kindness and generosity, made our High Holy Day services more complete, and connected us to the Jewish community of Orange County, Calif. It is not […]

Creating True Jewish Community is Not Elusive

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By Allan Finkelstein Many Jewish agencies, be they federations, JCCs or congregations speak of “building Jewish community.” Yet, in more than 40 years of work in the fields of Jewish endeavor, I believe that finding true Jewish community is elusive, and something that all of us in the Jewish communal world have struggled to do, […]

Parashat Lekh Lekha (Genesis 12:1-17:27)

“I will establish my covenant between me and you and I will make you exceedingly numerous.” (Genesis 17:2) Parashat Lekh Lekha opens a new era in history. God recognizes partnering with all of humanity (through Noah) to steward the world has failed. God tries a new strategy: electing one family (which will grow into a […]

Parashat Noach (Genesis 6:9-11:32)

“But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall enter the ark; you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.” (Gen 6:18) Noah, famous for building an ark to save humanity, is a tzaddik, a righteous person. We know because the Torah says so (Gen. 6:9). In fact, Noah is […]

What autumn winds cannot blow away

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Israel’s fall brings the first rain and wind, and tries to wash away 50 days of fighting and the memories of the long, painful and frustrating summer war we fought against Hamas. But Mother Nature’s attempts to blow away summer nightmares aren’t very successful. A few days ago we took our family to Shlomo Artzi’s […]

Parshat B’reishit (Genesis 1:1-6:8)

“The Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a fitting helper for him.’” (Genesis 2:18) On Simchat Torah we read V’zot Habracha, the closing parasha, or portion, of the Torah and then return to B’reishit, the opening parasha, immediately. B’reishit describes the origins of the world: the […]

Shabbat Chol Hamoed Sukkot (Intermediate Shabbat of Sukkot) (Exodus 33:12-34:26)

“God said, My presence will go and provide you rest.” (Exodus 33:14) The Torah reading for Shabbat Chol Hamoed describes the aftermath of the episode of the golden calf. It’s a curious selection for a holiday known as z’man simchateinu, the time of our rejoicing. After all, the golden calf represents the Israelites’ ultimate betrayal […]

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