Parking, Pool and Gym access at Owings Mills J:  The Indoor Pool will be closed Friday, Feb. 3 due to an unexpected mechanical issue. Parking on the right side of the building (by Gordon Center) will be limited Friday, Feb. 3-Sunday, Feb. 5. ALSO, the Glazer "wood" gym will be closed Sunday, Feb. 5 from 12:00-7:00pm.  Please plan ahead.

Shabbat candle lighting: 5:11pm

JCC Blog

JCC Blog

Category: Jewish Living

Apr02
by admin
Exploring Judaism Together

My Tribe Families Make Connections to Each Other and Their Faith

When Beth and Dave Markowitz’s oldest son finished preschool, they realized that they wanted a new way to explore Jewish culture and traditions as a family. After doing some networking and searching, they landed on My Tribe. My Tribe is a nine month-long experiential, opportunity for families and communities to come together with others who want to explore fun, meaningful ways to tap into the rhythm of the Jewish calendar and experiences.

My Tribe operates on a “Come as you are” approach, welcoming families of all kinds, and all levels of Jewish observance, interest, and understanding. “My Tribe has been a strategic attempt to build something co-collaborative that resonates with the “New Jewish Family” explains My Tribe founder Rabbi Jessy Dressin, Senior Director of Jewish Life at...

Apr02
by admin
Making their Mark on the World

Ten Jewish Baltimoreans to be Honored at 2019 Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame

While many of us aspire to change the world and do so in many ways, there are those who go above and beyond to make a lasting impact on the lives of others.

Every other year, the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame (HOF) honors up to 10 exceptional Jewish Baltimoreans who have made significant contributions to the local and global community through their life’s work in fields such as science, education, business, medicine, law, politics, community service, sports and the arts.

The advent of the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame dates to 2008.  According to JCC Chief Executive Officer Barak Hermann, “We wanted to create an event that celebrates the lives of individuals whose...

Feb13
by admin
Sharing Israel Experiences with J Kids and beyond

Meet Shinshinim, Shani & Bar

The JCC of Greater Baltimore is thrilled to have two Israeli high school graduate-emissaries on its team this year -- Shani Kalmanovich and Bar Ling.  Shani and Bar work at the JCC three days a week as part of an expanded “Shinshinim” program sponsored by the Jewish Agency of Israel, funded in part through The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and locally facilitated by The Louise D. & Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education.  (Shinshinim stands for Shnat Sherut, which translates to a year of service in Hebrew).

Shani and Bar deferred army service for a year to volunteer in the Baltimore...

Sep21
by admin
Supporting the J Community

Helping everyone to participate in our programs

Each year the JCC provides over $543,000 in need‐based scholarships for children, teens and adults to participate in JCC Early Childhood, Inclusion activities, JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest, J Camps, and J Membership. These programs reflect how the “J” connects families, supports individuals and helps build a stronger community. Funding for these scholarships comes from The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore as well as fundraising events like J Live at the Gordon, Chanukah Hot Chocolate 5K, the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame and the Community Block Party.

Jun20
Celebrating Jewish Holidays with Our ECEC Children

How do you begin to teach preschool children about the Jewish holidays?

In the Fall of 2017, members of the JCC’s Early Childhood Education Center team assembled a beautiful document providing answers to that question.  Over the course of six months, they developed a resource guide for fellow JCC teachers entitled: Chageinu: Our Celebrations!: An Early Childhood Education Curricular Resource for Teaching Holidays.

The principal authors behind Chageinu were Judy Bickford, Assistant Director of the Meyerhoff ECEC, Staci Katz, Early Childhood Educator (who conceived the idea), and Rabbi Jessy Dressin.

According to Judy, “In creating this text, we wanted to develop a dynamic, growing document. We published it in the form a notebook, so everything is removable. We can add to it as the need arises, or we can subtract...

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...

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...

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...
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...

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...