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8 Nights of Light: A Chanukah Menorah Infographic

The menorah is perhaps one of the most widely recognized symbols of Jewish culture and is the centerpiece of the Chanukah celebration. But how much do you really know about it? We’re sharing the fast facts you need to know about the Chanukkiah – from its history and meaning to the logistics of lighting yours – because it’s so much more than just a candelabra!

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The JCC’s Second Floor Teen Department Promotes Mental Wellness

Initiatives include The Second Floor Wellness Room and Virtual Teen Resource Room The Second Floor Teen Department at the JCC has made teen mental health and wellness a much larger priority in an effort to curb the teen mental health crisis that has emerged over the last several years.  Through the generosity of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, The Second Floor Teen Department hired a part-time Director …

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Healthy and Sweet – A Recipe for Rosh Hashanah

Apples & Honey Quinoa Salad This salad is an easy, fun, and healthy way to enjoy apples and honey this Rosh Hashanah! Prep time: 15 minutes Serves: 4 Ingredients for Salad: ¼ cup brown rice ¼ cup quinoa (I used a microwavable brown rice & quinoa blend) 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 cups arugula 1 granny smith apple, diced ¼ cup chopped walnuts ¼ cup …

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Stuck at home? Bake the Best Challah!

As we self-quarantine during this pandemic, many of us are re-focusing on domestic arts, especially baking. This shabbat, why not try your hand at baking challah? I contend that this recipe, shared many years ago at an NCJW meeting by Charlotte Sadofsky, is the best challah recipe, ever. It has all the eggs, oil, honey and sugar to make it the richest of all challahs. I …

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A Chanukah Greeting: “Be the Shamash”

As we celebrate the 8 nights of Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Lights, we usually like to consider the meaning of this holiday. There are a lot of different Chanukah stories out there, and many interpretations of why we celebrate for eight days. One thing we believe is that Chanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Syrian Greeks were …

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Young children and the stresses of the long winter ahead

With colder weather upon us and shorter periods of light outside, I’ve found myself thinking about the long winter ahead and what kinds of things I’ll do with my kids in the evening and during the weekends. That line of thinking often gets me lost in the Bermuda triangle of internet surfing and so I’m sharing a few articles that feel relevant. The topics are …

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Disney – The Happiest Place on Earth!

Last week, not only was I able to escape the cold of Pittsburgh, but I also had the opportunity to conclude my 18-month Generation Now Fellowship with a full-day Disney Institute Leadership Excellence workshop in sunny Orlando, FL. An immersive, world-class experience designed for ambitious professionals who are interested in changing the landscape of Jewish teen education and engagement, the Generation Now Fellowship seeks to …

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Smartphones, Social Media & Summer Camp

While society has become more reliant on technology, and benefited from it, children’s use of electronics in daily life has also taken off. On average, American children and adolescents spend more than 7.5 hours each day using an electronic device. Emma Kaufmann Camp (EKC) recently participated in a national survey titled, Smartphones, Social Media and Overnight Summer Camp.  We were one of 48 camps that …

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The Miracle of the Present Moment

As we conclude our second day of school in the Early Childhood Development Center, I want to thank our families for the joyful beginning we’ve had together. We are never without our challenges or opportunities, and I’m struck by how collaboratively our educators and our parents have worked in learning and navigating through the first couple of days together. I am proud to be part …

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We Prepare Kids for Life’s Journeys

I don’t have many memories from being 4 years old.  Most of us don’t.  I remember moments with family, vague recollections about my preschool class, and “doing art” with my sister in our basement.  One vivid memory I do have is riding on a school bus for the first time to my local JCC.  I wasn’t exactly sure what I was doing on that school …

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