Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 7:31pm
Join the J Locations Schedules
Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 7:31pm

JCC Blog

Category: Jewish Living

Apr03
Love and Religion class
by admin

When Love and Religion Mingle

Are you in a Jewish interfaith relationship? Do you need help navigating the challenges and opportunities of love and religion?

The JCC and Jewish Community Services (JCS) are thrilled to be offering an exciting new workshop entitled Love & Religion, which seeks to create a safe, welcoming environment encouraging Jewish interfaith couples to examine their hopes and fears about the role that a Jewish identity will play in their life.

In this four-session workshop, couples that are seriously dating, engaged, or newly married will meet and share perspectives with each other to address similar questions.

The program was created by Marion Usher, an interfaith couples expert. It will be led by Beth Land Hecht, LCSW-C, Senior Manager, Community Engagement, for...

Mar26

We’re Having a Party!

5th Annual Community Block Party 
#RocktheBlock2018

It’s time for the whole family to let loose and live it up, to revel in the heart and energy of this great community in a lively, festive environment.

Kick off your summer and join the J at its 5th Annual Community Block Party, a festival celebrating the people, organizations, and businesses that make this neighborhood so charming.

Save the date - Sunday, June 3, 2018

According to Block Party Director Melissa Seltzer, “This is the 5th anniversary year of the Community Block Party. We’re taking everything that’s great about the day and adding on...

Mar23
by admin

We Take Harassment Seriously

At the JCC we pride ourselves on creating a respectful culture for all, both as a workplace for our staff, and as an organization serving a community of members. As such, the J values diversity and inclusion in both its programs and policies, among staff, and towards its members.

“In this age of heightened awareness about workplace discrimination we wanted to make clear to our members that the JCC does not tolerate harassment or unwelcome behavior of any kind, whether verbal, physical, or visual,” explains JCC Chief Executive Officer Barak Hermann. “Harassment that interferes with a member or guest’s enjoyment of JCC facilities is also not tolerated, period.”

The J’s Human Resources team recently facilitated management trainings for all JCC staff on identifying and preventing discriminatory and harassing behaviors. The training was conducted, in part, to establish that the JCC...

Feb23
Purim Festivities

Purim Holiday Greetings from Rabbi Jessy Gross

As many of you know, we will soon celebrate Purim - it is a holiday of excess, of silliness, of pride and revolution and brings with it a theme of flipping things as we know it on their head. Many understand Purim as a time for outlandish consideration and musings as a necessary step to preparations for the more narrow and strict observances that come with Passover/Pesach.

This week, we celebrated the beginning of the month of Adar...we understand that Adar is our happiest month on the Jewish calendar and when it is a leap year, we add an EXTRA month of Adar because we like to extend our happiness whenever possible. Jewish tradition teaches that just entering into the month of Adar, joy increases in...

Feb15
Hamentashens
by admin

Get into the Purim Spirit

Can you tell the Purim Story? 

Purim is the story of a young Jewish woman, Esther, who rises to be Queen of Persia with the help of her guardian Mordecai. Haman, the grand adviser of the king, plots the Jews’ destruction. Although Esther has hidden her Jewish identity, Mordecai tells her to risk her life by revealing her heritage to the king and denouncing Haman’s plot.

Therefore, the Jews are able turn the tables on their enemies. The Hebrew date of Purim is the 14th of Adar.

How will you, your family & friends celebrate Purim?

Jewish tradition teaches there are 4 mitzvot (commandments) that must be fulfilled on Purim:

  1. Hear the Megillat Esther, the story of Purim.
  2. Give matanot levyonim, gifts to the poor.
  3. Give mishloach manot, gifts to friends and family.
  4. Eat a festive...
Oct04
Sukkot
by admin

On Sukkot, Celebrating Unity in a Diverse Community

by Rabbi Dena Shaffer

It has been referred to as a “marathon,” this High Holy Day season.  And indeed the flood of holidays that accompanies the transition from summer to fall can often leave us with the same exhilarated feeling that I would imagine 26.2 miles of pounding the pavement might illicit; that unique combination of sheer exhaustion and total fulfillment.  After two days of Rosh HaShanah and a day of fasting and pouring out our souls before the Holy One on Yom Kippur, we might feel spiritually depleted, wanting nothing more than to take a long nap and recharge our religious batteries. 

And yet, at precisely that time, the Jewish calendar provides us with a spectacular array of festivals –...

Sep18
Rosh Hashanah Apples and Honey
by admin

Welcoming a Year of Growth and Learning

by Jessy Gross

The great shofar is sounded…a still, small voice is heard! And so we come to yet another new year. It is a season to reflect on the ways in which we have come up short in the last year, in an active effort to start anew in the fresh year that is about to begin. We do this, not just as individuals, but within the communities in which we are part of. In what ways have we come up short? In what areas do we want to strive to do better in the year ahead?

To different degrees, every one of us lives in a world that moves increasingly faster and within frameworks that are constantly updating. The High Holy Day season reminds us of the wholeness and goodness stemming from that which is timeless...

Sep18
Shofar

Tapping into the Rhythm

Immersive Jewish Experiences at the J 

“One of the best ways to get into a groove of Jewish rhythm,” says Rabbi Jessy Gross, “is to tap into the rhythm of the Jewish calendar and, therefore, holiday cycles.”

“For those who observe the holidays and already have a strong foundation of their meanings, it is an opportunity to experience holidays in just one more location. For those who are less familiar or observant, our new large-scale Jewish holiday celebrations can be a great place to come together with other members of the community looking to do the same."

According to JCC of Greater Baltimore Board Chair Maury Garten, in 2015, the JCC Board of Directors determined the J had a unique opportunity to enhance the quality of immersive Jewish experiences it was providing to JCC members and the larger Jewish community.

Maury recalls, “The Board elected to move...

Aug18
by admin

Working towards Wholeness to Fix What’s Been Broken

A Call for Engagement in the Aftermath of Charlottesville 
by Rabbi Jessy Gross 

There’s a notion that on Shabbat we get a taste of the world as it should be - a world free from pain and brokenness; a world that is whole and complete. It is a day of “rejuvenating rest” that we need to move into a new week and summon the koach (strength) to repair the world.

This past Shabbat, that notion was robbed from us. In the state I grew up in, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the most explicit and public act of anti-semitism I can remember in my 37 years as an American Jew occurred.

I was shocked and disoriented, and I thought to myself, “Am I...

Jun29
by admin

Meet Maury

Morris “Maury” Garten installed as Chairman of the JCC Board

Maury GartenOne Friday back in September of 2002, JCC preschool father Maury Garten reached into his daughter’s backpack and found, much to his amazement, a challah, candlesticks, a bottle of grape juice, and his daughter Leanne’s hand-colored challah cover, along with the Shabbat prayers.  These items were donated by the JCC’s Stoler Early Childhood Education program in Owings Mills.  It was that Friday night, Maury proudly recalls, that the Shabbat rituals warmly returned to his home, after a period over which the tradition had faded. That...