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

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 very fun family tradition. Even if you don’t have a Sukkah you could designate a special area in your house to decorate and invite people to. Another fun activity you can do with kids is to build a fort or some temporary structure as an opportunity to learn about why we build the Sukkah, which is a temporary structure.

Sukkot is a wonderful opportunity to create meaningful connections and traditions with both friends and family. May this Sukkot be as magical for your family as it is for mine!

In celebration of Sukkot, families will gather for a community-wide holiday celebration featuring live music, entertainment, and activities for all ages. Harvest Music Festival is being presented by J Life and will occur on October 13, 5:00-7:00pm at Gordon Outdoors at the Rosenbloom Owings Mills JCC. For more information, please visit jcc.org/sukkot