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 Board elected to move forward with the formation of the Center for Jewish Life as it has long been an aspirational goal to further infuse Jewish content and learning in an intentional manner into the curriculum, programs, and experiences offered by our JCC.”
JCC of Greater Baltimore CEO Barak Hermann appointed Rabbi Jessy Gross as Senior Director of the Center for Jewish Life.
Our goal, with each celebration, is to provide a place to come together
Rabbi Jessy says, “We are creating unique, immersive Jewish experiences where families can come together and experience the power of the holidays in ways they may never have experienced before. Our goal, with each celebration, is to provide a place to come together, an opportunity for meaningful engagement with the holiday themes, rituals and practices and to learn how to then take those with them and bring them back home for future engagement and celebration.”
“One of the best parts about being part of the Jewish community is the opportunity to come together in celebration. Our holidays provide the invitation to do this with joy and activities and friends and family.”
Members and friends, keep your eyes and ears peeled this Fall and throughout 2018, as the J’s Center for Jewish Life connects you to the rhythm of the Jewish calendar.
On Sunday, October 8, 2017, treat yourself and your family to a taste of Sukkot with delicious locally-made ice cream from The Charmery. Enjoy a lemony Etrog ice cream cone and shake a lulav with us in the J’s famous Mobile sukkah.
Then, Friday, October 27, enjoy the J’s incredible Shabbat Shabbang Experience, for all ages. We’re going to take over the J as we celebrate Shabbat as part of the international Shabbat Project. Enjoy a special age-appropriate service, followed by a delicious Oneg Shabbat meal and a concert in the Gordon Center.
According to Barak, “Our role at the J is to be a convener, a connector, a facilitator. We enhance Jewish life in Baltimore and create immersive Jewish moments for participants while deepening our collaborative relationships with synagogues, schools and community organizations.”
“We offer a welcoming, supportive environment for Jews of all denominations and practices, and we are committed to living the value of hachnasat orchim—welcoming ALL, no matter their race or religion, into our thriving Jewish home.”
Join us! We are excited to see you there!