Parashat V’Zot Habracha (Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12)

“…I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you shall not cross there.” (Deuteronomy 34:4) The present moment is where past and future meet and always is a negotiation between the two. Parashat V’zot Habracha telegraphs that message loud and clear. V’zot Habracha is the last parasha, or portion in Deuteronomy and […]

Home Sweet Home


Everyone wants to go home. Everyone wants to be somewhere she or he belongs. But getting home is not always easy. Geography, money, people, and time can all make the journey home difficult. Then there is the challenge of maintaining a home once it has been found. Sukkot, celebrated this week in the homestretch of […]

Parashat Ha-azinu (Deuteronomy 23:1-32:52)

“For the Lord’s portion is his people, Jacob his own allotment (Deut. 32:9) Parashat Ha-azinu is the next-to-last parasha, or portion, in the Torah. It is read either right before or right after Yom Kippur, a period of introspection and reflection. Ha-azinu describes God’s greatness and Israel’s stubborness. It is both hard and easy to relate […]

Parashat Vayelech (Deuteronomy 31:1-31:30)

“Take this book of Teaching and place it beside the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, and let it remain there as a witness against you.” (Deuteronomy 31:26) Parashat Vayelech is the beginning of the end. Moses announces to the Israelites he will not accompany them into Canaan; Joshua will lead them […]

If It Be Your Will


Holidays require a lot of letting go and a lot of holding tight. We let go of the daily routine to make room for the day, and then hold tight to traditions that make the holiday real— prayer, or special foods, or certain people that give color and meaning to the holiday every time it […]

Parashat Nitzavim (Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20)

“Surely, this commandment which I command you today is not too baffling for you, nor it is beyond reach.” (Deut. 30:11) Parashat Nitzavim is the most inclusive parasha, or portion, in the Torah. The entire people stands together to renew the covenant: the highest officials and the lowliest laborers; men, women, and children (Deut. 29:9-11). […]

Shana Tova from Jerusalem


The days are getting shorter. Leaves are blowing in the wind and wandering birds fly high above, looking for serenity. The Days of Awe surround us; fill our hearts and souls with prayers, exaltation and hope. In just two days, we will sit at beautifully set holiday tables. Jews around the globe will dip apple […]

JCC Maccabi: Teens at the Center, Jewish Community at the Core

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by Jonathan Fass When Team Israel entered the arena at opening ceremonies for JCC Maccabi this summer, thousands rose to their feet in celebration. It was a powerful message of what JCC Maccabi, the world’s largest summer program for Jewish teens can accomplish. An intense, weeklong celebration of amiut Yehudit (Jewish Peoplehood), JCC Maccabi gathered […]

Parashat Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)

“Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.” (Deuteronomy 28:5) Parashat Ki Tavo opens with the offering of bikkurim, the first fruits of the land and mandates the recitation of specific verses (the only time the Torah does so). It begins with a declaration: “I acknowledge this day before the Lord your God that […]

Israel the JCC way


Staff Birthright trip to run in November With a goal of enriching JCC staff knowledge of the Jewish homeland, JCC Association will be running a Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel for young professionals from Sunday, Nov. 8 through Wednesday, Nov. 18. The trip will be open to any young professionals working at JCCs or in other […]

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