Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 4:54pm
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: 4:54pm

JCC Blog

Tag: Jewish Life

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...

Mar30
Jewish Hall of Fame Wall

Nine Baltimoreans to be Honored at Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame

Many of us think about changing the world, and then there are those who go above and beyond to make a lasting impact. These individuals spend years in service towards the nourishment and betterment of the community and every other year at the JCC we recognize their achievements.

On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame celebrates the lives of nine outstanding leaders, Jewish Baltimoreans who have contributed to Baltimore and the world at large, and have made the world a better place.

The Hall of Fame (HOF), created by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore in 2008 and celebrated at the Gordon Center for Performing Gordon Arts, honors exceptional Jewish Baltimoreans who have made significant contributions to the community through...

Mar28
J Live Broadway Boys

J LIVE a rip-roaring success, raises over $45,000

Do you know the JCC preschool father who recently lost his job and can no longer afford full tuition, or the single mother raising three children who relies on the J as a safe and nurturing place for her kids to play and learn? 

Have you met the retiree now living on a fixed income who needs a place to stay active, the child with special needs who wants to participate in J Camp with her siblings, or the young athlete hoping to participate in the JCC Maccabi Games so that he can meet other Jewish teens from around the world? 

These are just some of the 700 individuals who were...

Mar28
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...

Mar09
Purim Festivities

The Irony of Purim

A time of celebration and confrontation 
by Rabbi Jessy Gross 

Purim is perhaps the most ironic holiday of all the holidays on the Jewish calendar – and also my favorite! In most places, people are familiar with Purim as a holiday where children get to dress up and a bunch of carnival like celebrations pop up for families to enjoy. Maybe a creative performance telling the great tale of triumph of Esther and Mordechai over Haman (boooo!!!!) leads into the carnival. A total family affair…or is it? Actually, Purim is probably the MOST adult holiday we have in our holiday cycle. The story told in Megillat Esther is a tale of seduction, deception and senseless hatred and a degree of violence. And, one of the ritual commandments actually instructs us to get so...

Feb10

Tu B’shevat: Celebrating the New Year of the Trees

By Rabbi Dena Shaffer
    Executive Director of 4Front - a new teen intiative housed at the JCC

 

After Chanukah it’s easy to feel a little sad, thinking that we have to wait until Purim for another opportunity to celebrate. But then we remember…Tu B’shevat is almost here! 

Tu B’shevat, which literally means the 15th of the month of Shevat follows just a few short weeks after Chanukah (this year on February 10-11). It’s a fascinating Jewish experience that reminds us that even the most mundane activities can be elevated to heights of joy and holiness. 

Tu B’shevat originated as an agricultural practice, a sort of biblical tax day. Back in the day, our...

Jan11
by admin

Dr. King’s Dream and Reaching the Promised Land

On comforting the agitated, and agitating the comfortable. 
By Rabbi Jessy Gross

During rabbinical school I had a chance to take a class on the life and teachings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel.  Rabbi Heschel would forever be on my list of someone who I would have wished to learn from directly, and who I would forever be grateful I had a chance to learn from through his writings and teachings.  He was a committed Jew and activist, someone who never fully found a place for himself while all the while always remaining fervently committed to his faith in Judaism and expression of Jewish values, notably our charge to pursue justice for all people. 

As part of...

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...