REMINDER YOM KIPPUR CLOSINGS: Both JCCs will be closed from Tues, 10/4 at 3:30pm thru Wed, 10/5. Blue Gym in OM closes Mon. 10/3 at 7:00pm, and reopens Thurs. 10/6 at 9:00am. Find future closings: jcc.org/hours

Shabbat candle lighting: 6:21pm

JCC Blog

JCC Blog

Tag: Jewish Life

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
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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
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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...

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...

Apr26
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A New, Unusual, and Miraculous Israel Experience

By Carly Schwartz, Senior Director of Early Childhood Education Center 

Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu melekh ha’olam she’he’eyanu v’qi’y’manu v’higiyanu lazman ha’zeh.  Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, who has granted us life, sustained us and enabled us to reach this occasion. 

The Schecheyanu blessing is recited to celebrate special occasions, it is said to be thankful for new and unusual experiences.  This seems like the perfect way to start the story of my trip to Israel – a new and unusual experience!

My trip to Israel, while not a first-time experience -- this was my fifth trip to Israel...

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...

Sep18
Rosh Hashanah Apples and Honey
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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...

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...

Aug18
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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...

Mar30
Jewish Hall of Fame Wall
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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...