Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 7:03pm
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: 7:03pm

JCC Blog

Tag: Youth

Shlichim Counselors at Camp
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Continuing a J Camps Connection in Israel

This June, Robin and Jason Katcoff jet to Israel with daughters Wriley, 12, and Ariella, 9, for Wriley’s Bat Mitzvah.  They’re so excited, not only because Wriley will have her Bat Mitzvah in Israel as part of a tour with Beth Am Synagogue, but for four days beforehand, the family will embark on a great “Shlichim tour,” visiting several of the shlichim they have hosted for J Camps and Noah’s Ark Camp and the Macks Center for Jewish Education, here in their Owings Mills home over the last five years.

Shlichim is the plural form of the Hebrew word “shaliach,” which means “emissary” or “messenger.” Each summer, J Camps plays host to several shlichim, to increase Jewish awareness and knowledge and to promote an understanding of Israeli ideals among J Camp campers and the camp community.


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Early Education “Rock Star”

Stoler Early Childhood Education Leader Ilene Meister Prepares for Her Next Act  

Ilene MeisterOn the heels of an incredible 30 years as an educator and then Director of the JCC’s Stoler Early Childhood Education Center, Ilene Meister is set to reignite her career as a top educator in the region.  To those who know her well, that is hardly a surprise.

“Ilene Meister is a rock star,” says Dale Busch, the JCC’s former Executive Vice President from 1994-2011.

“Ilene’s mind is so vibrant and creative,” says Dale. “You give her the seed of a concept and she runs with it. She’s so passionate...

Mother's Day
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Like Mother, Like Daughter

Nurturing the Community’s Children at the J

At the JCC’s Meyerhoff and Stoler Early Childhood Education Centers (ECE), we are fortunate to have in our classrooms, five Mother/Daughter teaching pairs. Their love for each other and their love and nurturing kindness toward the children they teach lay at the heart and soul of what our ECE is really all about. Indeed, we are very blessed to have these 10 outstanding women on board as educators. 

Sonia and Arielle Bodner

Sonia and Arielle BodnerFor Sonia Bodner, the best part about teaching at the Meyerhoff ECE is its “homey” atmosphere. The J’s child care center, she says, runs “...

Mr. Sol teaching
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The man, the myth, the legend …

Mr Sol and his classMr. Sol 

Born at Sinai Hospital in 1965, the youngest of six siblings, Sol began working at the J in 1982, 35 years ago.

As a student at Franklin High School, he began volunteering his time doing what he’s always done best: helping out others, distributing lunches to seniors on Tuesdays and Fridays.

In 1986, on a break from the J, Sol began a six-month training program at Sinai Hospital’s pediatric department, working with two year-olds and teenagers. There, he helped two year-olds who could not sit up; he also worked with teenagers who had tried to commit suicide - he shared with them lessons in life.   

A young Sol had already experienced some lessons in his own life.

Sol was...

Kids playing at the DBJCC
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Building a Thriving Jewish Community Downtown

Parents with young children love the Downtown Baltimore JCC (DBJCC) because it’s a wonderful entry point toward building community in Baltimore City.

The DBJCC is more than just a great place for infants and toddlers to explore and develop; it’s also a space for new moms and dads to enhance their parenting skills. But learning isn’t the only thing that takes place at the DBJCC! Parents and caregivers love to socialize and hang out together, and, of course, it’s also a terrific place to throw a birthday party!

According to DBJCC mom Diana Coyle, “The DBJCC is just so easy. It has everything you need if you have young children - stroller parking, changing stations. My kids know it and they’re comfortable there. They love the toys...

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Rocking and Singing with Ms. Vanessa

Ms. Vanessa Culp has been teaching infants and toddlers – and their parents – at the Meyerhoff Early Education Center at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC for over twelve years.

A blessing for so many young parents passing through the Meyerhoff, Ms. Vanessa’s kindness and support, her calm demeanor, and her nurturing soul are gifts that don’t go unnoticed.

There are so many terrific teachers at both of the J’s Early Childhood Education Centers. Vanessa is one of those teachers you want at the head of the classroom, or, in Vanessa’s case, down on the ground with your child, observing, smiling, laughing and playing.



GRAMMY Award-Winner, Mister G, coming to the Gordon!

Funky, original Jewish-themes songs with Latin GRAMMY Award winner Mister G! 

Mister G, a Latin GRAMMY Award winner and a Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winning PJ Library artist, will be bringing his dynamic live show to the Gordon, Sunday, March 5 at 3:00pm.

Mister G has released seven albums of original, multicultural music, spanning genres from funk to folk, reggae to rock, and bluegrass to bossa nova. He regularly headlines major venues and festivals around the country including The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, The Getty Museum in LA, Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia, the National Zoo in Washington, DC, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and ...

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Protecting the JCC Village

Child Abuse Prevention Training at J Camps and the J

By Drew Fidler, LCSW-C
Policy & Program Development Manager
Baltimore Child Abuse Center

For the last four years, the JCC of Greater Baltimore and its J Camps team have been working with Baltimore Child Abuse Center (BCAC) to bring comprehensive, practical training about child abuse, neglect, and responding to children in crisis to JCC staff. The goal of training is three-fold: protect children, protect staff, and protect the JCC. This partnership provides all staff with a comprehensive understanding on what is child abuse and neglect,...

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Three Moms and Your Babies

The J’s Triumvirate Has Raised J-Kids Together for over 26 years 

The J’s Parent Infant Toddler team, comprised of Sharon Seigel, Linda Lapidus, and Cindy Neuman, has been together for 26 years. If any group of the JCC team can boast that they have seen the J “grow” over the years, they most certainly can, from the millennial babies they taught in Baby & Me classes to the millennial mommies and daddies whose children they are now teaching.

Sharon, Linda, and Cindy, also known as “The Triumvirate” by Cindy, started teaching Baby & Me classes on the second floor in what is now the executive team suite of the...


The Power of J Day Camp

Creating Mensches with Shabbabah 

There is a story of a beloved teacher, Rabbi Zusya, who had become old and taken ill.  His students came to visit him and Rabbi Zusya began to weep.  The students ask the great teacher, “Reb Zusya, why do you weep? Surely, if anyone is slotted for a good life in the world to come, it must be you!” 

Reb Zusya responded, “My dear ones, if when I pass into the next world I am asked ‘Why were you not an Abraham?’ I will have no hesitation to answer, ‘Because, I was not born an Abraham.’ So too, if I am to be asked, ‘And, why were you not a Moses?’ I will still confidently respond ‘Nor was I born a Moses.’ My children, I weep because there is only one question I fear to be asked, ‘Why were you not Zusya?’”  

This story is foundation upon which we seek to grow our community at J Camps...