Shabbat candle lighting: 4:25pm

JCC Blog

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Ten Year's and Counting

While entering into his 11th year as the CEO of the JCC of Greater Baltimore, Barak Hermann recently reflected on the past decade in that role. He shared his thoughts and reflections of the past 10 years.

Being the CEO of the JCC of Greater Baltimore is such an honor, and this is the fourth JCC in my 28-year career. I came to Baltimore in November 2012 after a rigorous interview process. I remain completely energized by the opportunity to succeed the incredible Buddy Sapolskyzl after his 18 illustrious years. Buddy was invaluable in onboarding and mentoring me right up to his passing in September. I miss him dearly.

 The past ten years have been full of reimagining, restructuring, refocusing, and reframing the role of the JCC...

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Get to Know MSLC: Daniel, Madyson, Blake, and Avital

We asked our Middle School Leadership Council members to share some thoughts about this fantastic program.
Check out what they had to say!

Daniel N: A soccer player who attends Franklin Middle School. He has been involved with the JCC for 3 years.
Madyson E: A Franklin Middle School student who enjoys playing field hockey. Madyson has been involved with the JCC since preschool.
Blake M: A 13 year-old animal lover who attends Gerstell Academy. Blake has been involved with the JCC since he was 2 years old.
Avital S: Soccer player and student of Krieger Scheckter Day School. Avital is currently one of the Executive Directors of MSLC. She has been involved with the JCC since 3rd grade.


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Get to Know MSLC: Rylan, Ella, Josh, Noah, and Jonah

We asked our Middle School Leadership Council members to share some thoughts about this fantastic program.
Check out what they had to say!

Rylan F: A soccer and lacrosse player from Franklin Middle School. Rylan has been involved with the JCC since preschool.
Ella F: A lacrosse player and baker who attends Franklin Middle School who has been involved with the JCC since pre-k.
Josh E: Josh is a sports fan who attends Franklin Middle School. He has been involved with the JCC since he was 2 years old. 
Noah H: An 8th grader from Pikesville Middle School who loves to exercise. Noah has been involved with the JCC for a few years.
Jonah R: A Krieger Schechter student who loves to run and play video games....

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Striving for Tolerance, Respect and Kindness

Barak Hermann, CEO of the JCC of Greater Baltimore, recently returned from travelling in Northern Israel and the West Bank as part of Schusterman Family Philanthropies Senior Leadership Fellows trip that was focusing on diversity and interfaith relations.  Read on to learn more about how he has been processing and reflecting on this incredibly meaningful and eye-opening experience, in a time of society divisiveness.

By Barak Hermann, Chief Executive Officer

Wrapped up an incredible 3 days in the city of Haifa in northern Israel with 110 Senior Leadership Fellows of the Schusterman Foundation. Fellows representing the US, Israel...

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Sukkot: Memories, Traditions and Family

By Ariel Platt, Director of J Life

Sukkot is my favorite Jewish holiday for multiple reasons. Whenever I think of Sukkot I think of my father-in-law (now with the help of my husband) working hard to build a big Sukkah on the back deck year after year. I think of 7 nights of welcoming people into the Sukkah for a festive meal. Sukkot is a beautiful mixture of good food, family, and friends. What could be better!

One of the core pieces that makes Sukkot so special is the Sukkah. The Sukkah is a magical place where memories can be made. It is a place of joy. One of my favorite memories in the sukkah is my daughter’s baby naming. To be fair, her baby naming took place in the sukkah because Sukkot is my favorite holiday, but having it in the sukkah made it extra meaningful for my family.

Decorating the Sukkah is also a...

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J Life brings Joyful Jewish Experiences to the JCC

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore is proud to announce the launch of J Life, a Jewish family engagement platform designed to position the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC as the “go-to” destination for relevant and joyful Jewish experiences.

J Life’s on-campus programming and activities will include a mix of larger community-wide signature events, smaller targeted programs, and events coordinated across different JCC departments.  It will also feature educational classes, community service opportunities, and the ability to connect families with a variety of Jewish community resources.

From the Shapiro Aquatics Park to the Biblical and Universal playground, to The Gordon Center, the facilities at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC offer many unique and exciting opportunities to offer enriching experiences....

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Yom Kippur for Kids

By Rabbi Ariel Platt, Director of J Life

Yom Kippur, “The Day of Atonement” is about apologizing for our actions over the past year, and finding ways to make up for our mistakes. It is a time to reflect, apologize, forgive, and plan for the future. We fast to really focus and get into this mindset. Other traditions include not bathing, wearing white, and not wearing leather (you may notice a lot of people wearing sneakers instead of dress shoes). We may feel/know the gravitas of this day, but what does this all mean to a child? How can we make Yom Kippur meaningful for our kids?

Here are three ways to make Yom Kippur accessible and special for your kid(s):

1) Frame Yom Kippur as “I’m Sorry Day.” - It is a day when we tell people we may have hurt over the past year, “I’m sorry.” This is a good opportunity to practice saying, “I’m sorry” with your kids. Ask...

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Rosh Hashana: The Year of Trying New Things

By Rabbi Ariel Platt, Director of J Life

Are your children picky eaters? Will they only eat mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza, or hotdogs? I hear you. My kids, my daughter especially, are incredibly picky. Which is why I laughed to myself as I read out loud the book, Something New for Rosh HaShanah, by Jane Yolen that my daughter recently received from PJ Library.

The story is about a little girl named Becca who refuses to eat anything new. Sound familiar! Not to give the entire story away, but the book ends with Becca trying a new food. No surprise here, she likes the new food, and is excited to try more new foods each new year. 

I share this story with you because it...

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Gordon Center Goes Dark to Make Way for Brighter Lights

The Gordon Center for Performing Arts, located on the campus of the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC is undergoing a major renovation of its lobby, the first since it opened in 1995.  These state-of-the-art renovations will be showcased during the JCC’s signature event, J Live on Thursday, January 12 at 7:00pm.

When the 550-seat Gordon Center opened 27 years ago with generous funding from the Peggy and Yale Gordon trust, at the time, it was mainly a venue for classical music. Today, the Gordon Center offers a multi-disciplinary performance season of live music, dance, family programs, and film, and is the home of the JCC’s William and Irene Weinberg Family Baltimore Jewish Film Festival.  It is also considered the premier performing arts venue in Baltimore County and the centerpiece of the JCC’s Center for Arts & Culture...

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My Bashert in Becoming a JCC Teacher

By Pam Solomon, Stoler ELC Teacher

Bashert is the Hebrew word meaning “meant to be.” I believe it was Bashert that I became a teacher at the JCC.

About 3 years ago, the company I was working for announced they were going out of business and I knew I would be looking for a new job. I had worked in retail for almost 30 years and I felt I was ready for a change, but I didn’t know what.

My daughter, who was in her fourth year of teaching, told me I should think about becoming a teacher. She thought I would love it, reminding me how much I enjoyed volunteering in her classes when she was in elementary school, and serving as PTA President.

I barely had time to give it any thought, when I was scrolling...