Parashat Sh’mini (Leviticus 9:1-11:47)

“And you must teach the Israelites all the laws which the Lord has imparted to them through Moses.” (Leviticus 10:11) Parashat Sh’mini is a bit of a shocker. After seven days of intense spiritual preparation, the kohanim (priests) begin to offer sacrifices on the newly consecrated altar in the mishkan (Tabernacle). When Nadav and Avihu, […]

The ways we remember


“We are still here. And no matter what, we shall continue to be here to tell people so they can learn from our history.” Elie Wiesel At exactly 10 a.m. today the Jewish state paused for two minutes as a siren wailed across the country to mark Yom Hashoah-Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day. 2015 marks […]

Out of Narrow Straits, But Now What?

Leonard Cohen at the Arena in Geneva, 27 October 2008

Each year the traditions of Passover ask us to talk ourselves out of a terrible bind. Mitzraim — Hebrew for Egypt — literally means “narrow straits.” The only way to get through this tight squeeze is telling the story of how we escaped long ago. And the more we embellish this story, the Haggadah says, […]

Last Day of Pesach (Passover) (Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17)

“After eating unleavened bread six days, you shall hold a solemn gathering for the Lord your God on the seventh day; you shall do no work.” (Deuteronomy 16:8) The last day of Pesach falls on Shabbat so the regular parasha, or portion, is pre-empted by a special holiday reading. The selection describes a variety of […]

6 Second Hebrew: Bread, Rain, Garden


Words for spring.

An awesome time in Orlando


Where were you March 15-18? We hope it was at JCCs of North America Professional Conference, with 500 of your colleagues. We learned and laughed together, gleaning insight from the best in the field and in the Jewish communal world. If you missed it, or you just want to relive it, here’s some video highlights. […]

Operation Passover makes a final push

victory base baghdad seder

On Friday night, Jews all over the world will sit down to their seders, and thanks to JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, Jewish men and women who serve in the military will be able to join the communal celebration. As we commemorate the holiday that celebrates our release from Egyptian bondage and subsequent lives as a […]

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 […]

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