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Posts by JCC Association

Parashat Bereshit: Planned Obsolescence?

By Joanne Harmon This week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bereshit (Genesis 1:1 – 6:8), tells the Creation story. In it, God creates the world, the natural elements, animals, and humans—as conscience beings. And from humankind’s first moments, we fail. “Perfect is the enemy of good,” an aphorism often attributed to Voltaire, seems to apply at this … Continued

To Begin Anew: A Timely and Timeless Gift

By Jane E. Herman “God gave Adam a secret—and that secret was not how to begin, but how to begin again.” —Elie Wiesel We are in the midst of a Jewish season replete with beginnings. On Rosh Hashanah, we marked the start of 5781. With the arrival of Sh’mini Atzeret this weekend, we will begin … Continued

Why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Is the Epitome of Sukkot to Me

By Andi Meiseles I’ve always been fascinated by transformations of space. In New York, where space comes at a premium, apartment dwellers are famous for making creative use of every square inch. We watch as new buildings rise, tens of stories into thin air. Sadly, the converse is true as well. Almost 20 years later, … Continued

We Israelis Are Tired, but Hope Remains

By Leah Garber The Jewish lifecycle offers us tremendous highs and deep lows, with lots of mundane ones in between. The same is true for the Jewish calendar, with Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year at its peak—a day of global Jewish repentance, collective and personal self-reflection, and, most of all, a day … Continued

Sukkot: Keeping Joy Within Our Grasp

By Morgan Weiss וּלְקַחְתֶּ֨ם לָכֶ֜ם בַּיּ֣וֹם הָרִאשׁ֗וֹן פְּרִ֨י עֵ֤ץ הָדָר֙ כַּפֹּ֣ת תְּמָרִ֔ים וַעֲנַ֥ף עֵץ־עָבֹ֖ת וְעַרְבֵי־נָ֑חַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּ֗ם לִפְנֵ֛י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֖ם שִׁבְעַ֥ת יָמִֽים׃ “On the first day you shall take the product of hadar trees, branches of palm trees, boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days.” (Leviticus 23:40)  “The joy which a person derives from doing good deeds … Continued

How Scenario Planning Helps JCCs Lead the Way in Hard Times

By Sue Gelsey As I look proudly across the JCC field, I see JCCs (Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps) that remained open during the early months of the pandemic, consistently serving those most in need and the families of essential workers. I see JCCs that reopened as soon as they were permitted to, … Continued

JCC Maccabi® Update

  After much thoughtful deliberation, JCC Association of North America has announced it will suspend the traditional JCC Maccabi Games® and ArtsFest® in 2021. The lay and professional leadership of JCC Association and the JCC Maccabi Games® carefully considered many factors before reaching this difficult conclusion. In addition to the public health concerns associated with … Continued

שַׁבָּת שָׁלוֹם ~ Shabbat Shalom, 7 Tishrei 5781

Ha’Azinu | הַאֲזִינוּ: Deuteronomy 32: 1-52 I have always had a fascination with books. My home, my desk, my office—all piled high with those I’ve read and those I look forward to reading. Not long ago I finished a biography of Theodor Herzl by historian Amos Elon and immediately pulled a second Herzl biography from … Continued

Parashat Haazinu: The Song

By Franklin James “Listen, Heavens, I have something to tell you; Attention, Earth, I have got a mouth full of words.” (Deuteronomy 32:1) Writing about this week’s Torah portion, Haazinu (Deuteronomy 32:1-52), I am reminded that even in a COVID-19 pandemic, with fires and storms raging, life still goes on. We can still sing a … Continued