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Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    7:30pm - 11:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 4:54pm

JCC Blog

Tag: Holidays

Nov18
by admin

Embracing the Vegan Lifestyle

Vegan Inspiration and a Thanksgiving Recipe from JCC Member Beth Brenner Rose

A few months ago, Beth Rose’s teenage son was cooking dinner to sharpen his culinary skills for the Maccabi ArtsFest. He needed a specific spice for his recipe, and Beth brought him to an Asian supermarket to look for it. She passed a container of live crabs, and as she watched a woman choose one and stuff it in a brown paper bag, Beth made the decision to embrace a vegan lifestyle.

Beth did not grow up with pets and does not consider herself to be a big animal activist, but she feels that if she can get everything she needs from plant-based products, there is no reason for her not to be vegan.

Although her husband...

Oct13

Season of joy and community

Welcoming our season of joy and the celebration of community
By Rabbi Jessy Gross

When it comes to MY favorite Jewish holiday it is really a toss-up between Sukkot and Purim.  I love the role that Purim plays on our calendar as the great "getting it out of our system" - as a necessary step towards preparing ourselves for Pesach.  I love how we break out of the traditional boundaries and frameworks in which we operate and are invited to question and reconsider what we know to be true. And, I love the role of female power and influence and minority uprising plays in the story we tell.  Yet, despite all these things, if I have to choose one, I think Sukkot actually triumphs as my all-time favorite - zman simchateinu - our...

Sep28
Rosh Hashanah Apples and Honey

Along the spiritual journey

Making the High Holidays meaningful year after year

In education, there is a concept called 'spiral curriculum.'  The idea is that students return to ideas they have previously encountered, creating opportunities to build on their prior knowledge in order to gain deeper, or more nuanced, knowledge with each revisiting of a concept. 

While some may feel like they are going in circles, they are in fact coming back to familiar ideas, but with a new vantage point based on their own growth as students and the familiarity of previous engagement with a topic.

I've always felt that the Jewish calendar is the perfect example of such a curriculum.  Each year, sometime as summer fades into fall, we are confronted...

Jun08

Receiving the Torah

Celebrating Shavuot through Creative and Pro-Active Night Time Learning 

By Rabbi Jessy Gross

A rabbi is a teacher. I always wanted to be a teacher — my entire life. Some of the most popular tales from my family’s vault are the ones in which I instructed my sister and her best friend to be students — so I could play teacher.  

My senior year of high school, I returned from a weekend with my Jewish youth group where we had spent a weekend in Washington D.C. learning about Jewish values and activism and even the opportunity to lobby on Capitol Hill. I asked my high school cultural studies teacher why we didn’t do similar activities. Surely, growing up outside of D.C. we had had our fair share of visits to downtown Washington...

Apr14
Matzah

How do you like your Matzah?

Contrary to popular belief, Passover does not have to be a food desert. Check out these delectable entrees and sweet treats. Remember to eat lots of fruits and vegetables to balance out all that matzah.

Fruity

Pear, Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Matzah Pizza

Pear, Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese Matzah Pizza

1 pear, sliced very thin 
4 sheets matzah 
Freshly ground black pepper 
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled 
Extra virgin olive oil 
1 package of cherry tomatoes 

Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray and lay out 4 sheets of matzah. Layer slices of pears over matzo, then tomatoes, then goat cheese crumbles. Bake for 4 minutes. Using a pizza...

Apr14
Mount Sinai

The Liberation Equation: Modern Day Meaning in Passover

Rabbi Jessy connects the past of Passover with the present.

Rabbi Jessy Gross

Each year at the seder table, we are supposed to see ourselves, “every person as if he/she came out of Egypt.” I’ve always found this difficult to imagine since I have been largely blessed to grow up in pretty comfortable spaces. I remember the first time I attended a seder led by my peer group, where the few parents who were in attendance were the minority. It was the first time I was in a space in which my peers took over the space to lead and orchestrate the rites and rituals commanded by Jewish tradition in every generation. My friend, Ari, began the seder with the following cavanah (...

Mar18
Hamantaschens

Pouches, pockets, and tri-cornered hats.

Sweet & Savory Treats for a Sweet Future! 

Did you know that in Israel and in many other countries they don’t call hamantaschen “hamantaschen”?

Rather, they refer to the sweets as “Haman’s ears,” or oznei Haman, symbolizing victory against the villain who attempted to kill the Jews of ancient Persia.

There are multiple other interpretations of Hamantaschen  —  Haman’s deep pockets, Haman’s tri-cornered hat.

In German, “Taschen” means “pocket” or “pouch.”

In medieval Europe, eaters enjoyed a poppy filled baked good called Mohntaschen. “Mohn” was German for poppy or poppy seed. Some now think that Purim’s sweet treats were adopted as part of the celebration simply because “mohn” and “Haman” sounded similar — the symbolism, they say, came later.

Regardless of the origin, meaning, or filling of...

Feb25

The Great Holiday Video Exchange

A Kids Center Partnership with Ashkelon Youth 

By Laura Green, Director of Kids Center and Assistant Director to J Camps

From America to Israel and around the world, Jewish Holidays are celebrated differently depending on local rituals and traditions.

Recently, the Kids Center after school program at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC received a grant from the Associated’s Ashkelon Partnership to share how we celebrate our Jewish holidays, and to see how our friends in Ashkelon, Israel celebrate theirs.

Ashkelon is a beautiful city resting on the Mediterranean Sea. Ashkelon’s marina is their busiest tourist spot, where visitors can enjoy local cuisine while they watch the boats go by. Though Ashkelon is a gorgeous place to visit, during times of war, they see very few visitors as they are only 13 miles away from the Gaza Strip.

...