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 […]

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

“The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing.” (Exodus 32:16) Parashat Ki Tisa is either the beginning of the end, or merely the continuation of an ongoing process. The Israelites are edgy because Moses is late returning from the top of Mt. Sinai and they implore Aaron to fashion something for them […]

Operation Seder to bring Passover to our troops


Online campaign to run from Purim through Pesach Jews around the world celebrate Purim today. And one of the ways they mark the holiday is by giving tzedakah, or charity, to those in need. JWB Jewish Chaplain’s Council has always met the needs of Jewish men and women in the military by providing seders and […]

6 Second Hebrew: Spring, Wine, Cat


New words for a new season.

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