Parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35

“Moses stood up in the gate of the camp and said, ”Whoever is for the Lord, come here!…“(Exodus 32:23) Parashat Ki Tisa opens with a census and a tax on the Israelites to finance the construction of the mishkan (Tabernacle). Moses appoints artists to oversee the project and relays God’s instructions for a few more […]

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Parashat T’tzaveh (Exodus 27:30-30:10)

“And they shall know that I the Lord am their God, who brought them out from the land of Egypt that I might abide among them, I the Lord their God. “ (Exodus 29:46) Parashat T’tzaveh concludes the instructions for building the mishkan (Tabernacle), with particular attention to the oil for the menorah, or candelabrum. […]

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Parashat T’rumah (Exodus 25:1-27:19)

“Exactly as I show you—the pattern of the Tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings—so shall you make it.” (Exodus 25:9) Parashat T’rumah introduces the instructions for building the mishkan, or Tabernacle. The mishkan’s importance is manifest by the level of detail included; the Torah devotes three times the space to the creation of […]

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JCC Movement Honors Lay and Professional Leaders at JCCs of North America Biennial

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JCC Association is proud to announce the recipients of several distinguished awards, which will be presented at the JCCs of North America Biennial in San Diego in March. J. Victor Samuels of Houston, former president of the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston and a member of the JCC Association Board of Directors since 1996, will […]

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

“You shall not ill-treat any widow of orphan.” (Exodus 22:21) Parashat Yitro provides drama. Parashat Mishpatim provides details. It begins a section of the Torah known as sefer habrit, the Book of the Covenant and presents laws necessary for a just society. One section of sefer habrit lists punishments for causing bodily harm: “…the penalty […]

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Taglit-Birthright Israel Changes Eligibility and Creates New Options for Travel to Israel


Taglit-Birthright Israel, which has sponsored free 10-day trips to Israel for young people who had never traveled there with a group, has changed its policy. The free trips are now available to young adults who have visited Israel on a peer-group trip before they were 18. This policy change makes it possible for participants in […]

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

“So the people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.” (Exodus 20:15) Parashat Yitro is the moment the Torah was written for. The Israelites are camped around the base of Mt. Sinai. The priests and the elders climb partway up the mountain, but no farther. Moses alone ascends to […]

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Israel and the Refugee Crisis

Today, the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat, the Jewish world celebrates Tu B’Shevat, the holiday that marks a New Year for the Trees. This is the season in which the earliest blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle. This is the […]

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

“The Lord will battle for you; you hold your peace!” (Exodus 14:14) Parashat B’shalach describes Israel’s hasty departure from Egypt, Pharoah’s fevered pursuit, and God’s miraculous splitting of the sea and destruction of the Egyptian army.  In response, Moses leads the people in Shirat Hayam, the Song of the Sea.  (That is why this Shabbat […]

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Jody Hirsh to Receive Morton L. Mandel Jewish Educational Leadership Award

Jody Hirsh

Jody Hirsh, the director of Judaic Education at the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been chosen to receive the Morton L. Mandel Jewish Educational Leadership Award for his lifelong commitment to Jewish education. The Mandel Award is presented by JCC Association, the leadership network of the JCC Movement, […]

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