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Kicking off a celebration of TAG

The Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel Center for Jewish Education (MCJE) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of TAG: Daily Living through a Jewish Lens™ with a #TAGyoureit challenge.

JCCs across the continent are encouraged to do a TAG activity at their JCC, such as in their afterschool program, at teen events, or during a staff meeting. JCCs can take a favorite story, game, or discussion from a TAG unit, choose an individualized TAG-tivity from MCJE’s recommended list or any of the 40 TAG-tivities in circulation. (TAG-tivities and TAG units are all available on in the Jewish Living and Learning Knowledge Base.) JCCs can post their photos and/or videos on social media with a friendly challenge to another JCC to do the same.

“It’s a fun and accessible way to show how each JCC can support its Jewish mission by incorporating TAG learning into their programs and training,” says Matt Abrams Gerber, JCC Association assistant vice president, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Jewish Education. “We hope it will spark additional interest in TAG and promote sharing about how it can be used in a variety of ways.”
From Pirkei Avot, or Ethics of the Sages, we learn that the world rests on three pillars – on Torah, or learning; on avodah, or service; and g’milut chasadim, or acts of loving-kindness. These elements not only comprise the acronym for TAG, but also form the building blocks of the program, which is a resource library widely used in JCC camp, afterschool, and teen programs. It uses interactive experiences to trigger conversations about Jewish meaning in today’s world. Each activity unit includes drama, discussion, games, art, music, storytelling, and Jewish text study components to illustrate the relevancy of Jewish wisdom to our daily lives.

The celebration of TAG will continue through the year. February marks the beginning of the 2015 TAG regional seminars, beginning in San Francisco on Feb. 12, and continuing in New York on Feb.24 and March 2, and in Chicago on Feb.26. These seminars are for both first-time and experienced TAG users, and they will focus on staff training, including approaches and activities to use with staff to help them bring a Jewish lens to their work and to program participants. TAG Team trainers – specially trained JCC camp directors and educators – will be conducting the training alongside MCJE staff. Register and get more information here.

TAG’s celebration will continue in March at the JCCs of North America Professional Conference, with a special showcase at lunch, a Taste of TAG workshop, and a post-conference introductory half-day seminar for first-time TAG users who were unable to attend a regional seminar.

TAG activities are easily accessible for both Jewish and non-Jewish participants, offering fun ways to introduce Jewish thought to such cutting edge issues as diversity, body image, conflict resolution, and the environment. Other topics include sportsmanship, the power of words, welcoming guests, and loving your friend as you love yourself.

While TAG’s original focus was for day and overnight camps, TAG’s use has expanded to include afterschool, early childhood, teen, sports, and staff programming. Since 2009, over 300 JCC professionals from over 110 JCCs and JCC independent camps have participated in TAG regional seminars.

Join the fun and the learning in 2015. TAG – you’re it!

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