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

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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...

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You Thought Camp Was Over? Not Quite Yet!

By Rabbi Ariel Platt, Director of J Life

It happened. I blinked, summer is over, and school is starting. Back to the hustle and bustle of the school year. Let’s face it, our lives revolve around school calendars, and extracurriculars, plus work, and so much more. No big deal, right?! Who wants to sigh with me?

What if you could have one more summer experience with your family? One last hurrah together before your family becomes fully consumed by life’s craziness. The summer was spent sending your kids to camp. What if you could participate in a camp together? A great chance to reset together before Rosh HaShanah, the New Year.

I have to admit I’ve never gone to a family camp, and it’s been years since I have gone to an actual summer camp. My memories of summer camp involve laughing with my friends, getting my hands...

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A Letter from Rabbi Ariel: Tu B’Av

By Rabbi Ariel Platt, Director of J Life

Hello JCC Community!

I hope you all had an amazing week! Here is something to make it even better. Did you know that today is Tu B’Av (the 15th of Av), the Jewish holiday of Love? As the Beatles so famously sing, “All you need is love. Love is all you need.” 

During the 2nd Temple period (70 C.E.) Tu B’Av was a day of matchmaking. Now, it is a day to celebrate love and life. Love/ahava is a core Jewish value. In Judaism love is about family, friends, community, other people, God, learning, the earth, and making the world a better place. The truth is Love is for everyone, and Love is a part of everything. It is a value that transcends all labels because everything on earth needs love...

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Meet Rabbi Ariel Platt: Director of J Life

Rabbi Ariel Platt is thrilled to be coming back to her roots at the JCC. A native Baltimorean, Ariel first started at the J as a camper in our Top Notch Teen (TNT) program. As an adult she worked at the Early Learning Center and most recently worked with the former Downtown Baltimore JCC (DBJCC). 

Rabbi Ariel received her Rabbinic Ordination and Masters in Jewish Thought in 2015 from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. She also has a B.A. in Psychology from Dickinson College. Most recently she was the Director of Education and Engagement at Beth Israel Congregation in Owings Mills where she engaged and empowered learners of all ages and backgrounds. She is now excited to educate, engage, and empower the...