Please note all JCC building closures for Sukkot: Sunday, 10/13: Closing at 5:00pm; Monday & Tuesday, 10/14 & 10/15: Closed

Indoor Pool at Weinberg Park Heights JCC closed for exciting upgrades, 9/27-10/30. We apologize for inconvenience. Coed swim available at Owings Mills J. See schedule.  Read about upgrades on our blog.

Today's Building Hours
  • Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
  • Weinberg Park Heights JCC
    5:30am - 10:00pm
Shabbat Candle Lighting: 6:15pm

Please note all JCC building closures for Sukkot: Sunday, 10/13: Closing at 5:00pm; Monday & Tuesday, 10/14 & 10/15: Closed

Indoor Pool at Weinberg Park Heights JCC closed for exciting upgrades, 9/27-10/30. We apologize for inconvenience. Coed swim available at Owings Mills J. See schedule.  Read about upgrades on our blog.

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: 6:15pm

JCC Blog

Tag: Holidays

Oct11
by admin
Sukkot

This Sunday evening we usher in the holiday of Sukkot, a week long harvest festival, in which we remember the exodus from Egypt and the 40 years of wondering in desert. Traditionally, each household will build a Sukkah – a ritual booth. This holiday has both historical and agricultural significance. A holiday with many names, it is known as the “Festival of Booths,” the “Festival of the Ingathering,” and the “Season of our Joy.” Sukkot starts this Sunday night October 13 and runs through October 20th. The temporary huts we build during this time remind us both of the abundance of nature, and the precariousness and preciousness of life on earth. We celebrate Jewish peoplehood and shared history and welcome ancestors and friends, dwelling in our Sukkot, eating festive meals, singing and reveling in the autumn sounds and smells. If you don’t have a Sukkah, please join us in ours!! Both the Park Heights and the Owings...

Jun04
by admin
Shalom, Shalom, Shavuot

By Rabbi Jessy Dressin 

In many ways we are coming to the end of the year…the end of a period of time in which we learned together, celebrated together and shared lots of great times and experiences as a community.

There is a famous Israeli song with the words that read: “Shalom Shalom, Shalom Shalom. It means hello and welcome home. And when you want to say goodbye, we use the words Shalom as well.” How great that the same word we use to say goodbye is also the word we use to say hello! It’s like one big circle! Or spiral!

The Jewish calendar also moves according to cycles. We celebrate the same set of holidays year in and year out and yet each year we are in a little bit of a different...

Sep21
Sukkah City – Coming to Baltimore!

Celebrate the harvest festival of sukkot at this musical evening on the fields of the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC. Experience an array of different Sukkot hosted by friends, organizations, synagogues and business partners. Bring your own picnic dinner to eat in our Sukkah City and enjoy sukkah inspired treats from beer to sundaes. It’s friends, family, festival, live music, food and fun.  It’s community. It’s Sukkah City!

A sukkah is a man-made hut used as a makeshift living and dining area during Sukkot.

For Sukkah City, at least a dozen organizations will be building sukkot in the same proximity at the Rosenbloom...

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...

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....
Nov14
Thanksgiving Dinner
by admin
A Healthy Thanksgiving…is it possible?

From Amy Schwartz, Senior Director, Fitness and Wellness 

A cup of common sense, a few calorie-cutting tactics, and a newfound emphasis on family rather than food can add up to a healthy Thanksgiving.

Healthy Thanksgiving Meal Tips

1. Chicken Broth. Use it to moisten stuffing, baste the turkey, and braise pearl onions. Make your own or choose low-sodium canned broth.

2. Trim the fat from recipes and side dishes. Make simple switches…
- Roast the turkey on a rack so that the fat will drain off.
- Buy French baguettes for stuffing. They are made without fat or sugar.
- Roast, don’t boil, sweet potatoes to bring out their natural sweetness.
- Replace mashed potatoes with low-calorie squash.
- Flavor food with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

...
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
Shofar
by admin
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...

May17
Wheat Field
by admin
Stepping into Shavuot

by Rabbi Jessy Gross

Judaism is a song and our holiday cycle provides the rhythm to help us truly internalize the beat of that song.  There are a few times of year that the rhythm becomes undeniable. If we zoom in on what is happening on our Jewish calendar we can hear the music emerge from the time we keep. The High Holidays and the month that leads up to them are one example. The summer days leading up to Tisha b’Av are another example. In my opinion, the time between Pesach leading up to Shavuot are the best example...if you know how to tap in.

Another reason we can sense a rhythm out of our tradition is because of our connection to numbers.  From the second day of Pesach...