Parashat Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16)

“Take even your sheep and even your cattle, as you have spoken, and go—and bless me, as well!” (Exodus 12:32) Parashat Bo is about awesome and majestic power: God sends the last three plagues (locusts, darkness, and the death of the first-born), which finally break Pharaoh’s spirit so he frees the Israelites to worship God. […]

“We all want to hear children’s laughter and see hope in their eyes”


On days where conflict, terror, fear and hatred blacken our sky and cloud our lives, we must appreciate every beam of light that illuminates caring, empathy, humanity and hope. Almost 68 years have passed since the founding of Israel, nearly seven decades of endless, almost near-hopeless attempts to live in peace with four million Palestinians, […]

Protecting young souls & setting them free


We lost two warriors of teenage angst and wonder in recent days. And as we return to our New York City offices from a day in Columbus, one of our 2016 JCC Maccabi host communities, thinking about teenage angst and wonder seems just right. While he may have been a genius alien superstar chameleon freak […]

6 Second Hebrew: Black, Good Night, Sixteen


Cycle for Good 2015


Last month, we asked JCCs to share their “sweaty snapshots” from December’s Cycle for Good event. In case you don’t know, Cycle for Good is a movement-wide stationary bike event that raises money for charity. This year, it took place on the first Sunday of Hanukkah, Dec. 13. Participating JCCs run the program for three […]

Worth a thousand words


One for each night Leaders of the David Posnack JCC in Broward County, Florida, lit candles and rubbed elbows with the First Family as they celebrated the Festival of Lights at the White House’s annual Hanukkah candle lighting. They came as guests of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, honorary co-chair of the 2015 JCC Maccabi Games […]

Creative Ways to Celebrate Tu B’Shvat


Tu B’Shvat is one of the four new years that are mentioned in the Mishna. Sometimes referred to as Rosh Hashanah ha’ilanot, or the “new year” of the trees, its more common name comes from the day of the Hebrew month, the 15th day of Shvat. There are a lot of different ways to celebrate, […]

Happy birthday to the trees


Ronnel Conn Tu B’Shevat, often called the “birthday of the trees,” is a special time at Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. More than 600 community members join together each year to celebrate our commitment to nature at our annual Tu B’Shevat Festival. Planned and organized in partnership with our Preschool Parent Network, the […]

Beyond sababa*: Playmakers Youth Theatre Israel Trip 2015


The Mandel JCC Playmakers Youth Theatre trip to Israel was four years in the making. The idea was to give young performers the unique opportunity to see theater, music and dance through an Israeli lens in order to inspire a brand new connection to Israel and to Judaism for our Jewish teens who share a love for the performing arts.

What I learned in New Orleans didn’t stay there


It’s time to sign up for JCCs of North America Biennial, taking place in Baltimore from May 15-18. Leaders from across the JCC Movement will be on hand to learn with its best and brightest. And how did they come to their positions and learn to lead? Some have been nurtured through the movement, taking […]

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