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At the JCC, the First “C” is for Community

There’s a lot of disturbing talk these days, talk that is designed to play on people’s frustrations and fears. It’s talk that seems to free some people from their common decency, from tolerance and acceptance of others. It’s talk that breeds the hatred that destroys community. It won’t happen here. The JCC is a diverse, welcoming community. Our members come from down the street and all over …

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STAND UP! Be the SHAMASH

Each and every year, as we light the candles for Hanukah, we are very particular to ensure that the shamash serves its purpose. You know what I am talking about: the shamash (helper candle) is supposed to a light the fire for all eight days.  It has a weighty responsibility, that shamash, when it comes to the rituals of Hanukah.  Without a shamash, the other 36 …

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We need more light!

Ain’t it the truth.  We can’t seem to tune on the news, pick up our phone or read the paper without feeling a great sense of darkness nowadays.  Shootings in Colorado Springs, San Bernardino and Pittsburgh, let alone Paris and the challenges of refugees fleeing their homelands for fear of their lives… we need more light! Thank God for Hanukah.  Every year, as we enter the …

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412 Food Rescue Boards the J Line

A special program at the JCC with J Line on Sunday defined for me the positive direction in which we’re moving, and our own potential and enthusiasm to bring Jewish learning to life for teens. Last Sunday morning, in partnership with 412 Food Rescue, nearly 40 J Line teens and staff met at the JCC to pack more than 120 bags of food for local students in …

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#GivingTuesday – A Chance to Think Beyond the Turkey

#GivingTuesday – A Chance to Think Beyond the Turkey You’ve made it through Thanksgiving dinner. You’ve fought your way through the spend-so-you-save shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You’ve had a chance to start working off Thanksgiving bounties at the JCC. You’ve had a weekend to recover and a day back at the office. Now it’s time to think beyond the turkey. Join us, Tuesday, December 1, …

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Thankyou for Our Families and our Nation

An adult study partner of mine recently turned me onto a new author, Anne Lamott. She suggested that I read Anne’s Help, Thanks, Wow (2012), a beautiful exploration of the essence of prayer. I was hooked, and read 2 or 3 more of Anne Lamott’s books making my way through her Christian references to find the essence of humanity within the books and each other. …

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How quickly will our pulse return to normal after Paris, Beirut, Sinai…?

Yet again, we are under attack.  The attack is two-fold. It is life-threatening.  People across our globe are being killed and oppressed because too many of us are not embracing the concept “Love your neighbor as yourself” as a way of life.  The devastation in the Sinai, Beirut and Paris (just to mention a few of our current challenges) are the recent expressions of this hatred. It is also …

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The Dodgers are Still in Brooklyn

My Hat of Choice: Brooklyn Dodgers My Dad, Jerry, still thinks that the Dodgers play in Brooklyn! He won’t give up on that reality even though he and I, along with my son Micah, have actually been to a Dodgers game in Los Angeles. It is my Dad’s honor that I wear a Brooklyn Dodgers hat as my baseball hat of choice (except when I am …

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Girls Just Want to…Run!

As I was reviewing the curriculum for our Girls on the Run team, I realized that we are now more than halfway through the program. We have such an amazing group of third to fifth grade girls from five different schools, and with so many different personalities.  It got me thinking about the vision of the program: “We envision a world where every girl knows and …

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What will they say when?

What if they are writing my eulogy today? Not to be morbid, but it is time for me to start thinking about what they might say at my funeral.  Trust me, I have many years left, (God willing), but it is still time to think. I got to thinking about this when I stood in front of a replica of the very simple mule drawn wagon that …

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Carnegie Museums Turn 120

Last week I saw a tweet that the Carnegie Museums are celebrating their 120th year anniversary: I made a new dinosaur friend @CarnegieMNH #CarnegieClash https://t.co/kTLPMIECek — Sally Wiggin (@SWigginWTAE) October 19, 2015 How cool is it that both the Carnegie Museums and the JCC share the same birthday! To celebrate this historic anniversary, the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Science Center and the Andy …

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If I Still Shout Today…

When is Enough Enough? I had a moment this summer.  I went to one of my favorite big box stores to buy some screws for a project.  The middle-aged salesman helped me politely and then asked what type of drill I had.  I told him that I have a regular drill.  He clarified for me that I would need a hammer drill to install these screws …

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Jane Haskell Exhibit Brings Special Glow to the JCC

As the seasons change from summer to fall, a similar transformation is taking place in the JCC Palm Court, where  the walls of the American Jewish Museum have turned fluorescent and neon. After almost two years of preparation, the American Jewish Museum is opening a special exhibit this week -- Jane Haskell: Drawing In Light.   Curated by Melissa Hiller, Director of the American Jewish Museum, and Dr. …

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“You Didn’t Build That!” – “We Built That!”

Who Started Your Journey? The political theater of the 2016 election has made me nostalgic for an earlier time: the 2012 election. You might remember that President Obama made the comment in Roanoke, VA, "You didn't build that." He intended to point out that every generation builds on the successes of previous generations.  The Republicans countered with the phrase, "We built that!" Not only did the …

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Walking Tall

We all know people, we might have even done it ourselves…. There are times in our lives when we stand tall, above all the rest, because we know that we must.  Maybe it was easier to do way back when on the playground, “That’s not fair!” we might have yelled.  It took a little more courage to do in the high school locker room, on …

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J Film Presents ReelAbilities Film Festival

Next week begins a week-long festival in Pittsburgh "Celebrating the Lives, Stories and Artistic Expressions of people with Disabilities." 80% film, 20% photography, the festival runs Thursday to Thursday, starting on October 22. Two amazing photography projects will be on display: Change How You See, See How You Change Rick Guidotti’s non-profit organization, Positive Exposure, utilizes photography to transform public perceptions of people living with genetic, physical and behavioral differences. The …

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Community Spotlight: Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run: Pittsburgh's Coolest Running Group For our first community spotlight post, we want to highlight an awesome fall activity going on at the JCC in the 'Burgh. Have you heard of Girls on the Run? GOTR is a national organization reaching millions of girls between 3rd and 8th grade. There is an affiliate here in Pittsburgh associated with Magee-Women's Hospital. "Our mission is to inspire girls to be …

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Squirrel Hill Night Market is Big Hit!

Destination Awesome: Squirrel Hill Night Market Where will you be Saturday night? We're heading around the corner from the JCC for a new community event: The Squirrel Hill Night Market. Located on Murray Avenue, between Forbes and Bartlett Streets, the first Squirrel Hill Night Market will be Saturday, August 29, from 6-10 pm. The Squirrel Hill Night Market will feature some of the city’s best shopping, music, food, art …

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Stop Hunger Now

This year, we will challenge ourselves by translating the words from our mouths into the actions of our hands. The World Food Program reports: Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth. The vast majority of the world's hungry people live in developing countries, where 13.5 percent of the …

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Minecraft Camp Helps Round out STEM Learning this Summer

The growing trend in STEM education is something we pay attention to at the JCC. This summer, we made sure to incorporate more STEM programming into our Specialty Camps. Next week -- August 10-14 -- is our last week of Specialty Camps, including two STEMulating programs. It's no surprise about the popularity of Minecraft camp. It sold out for both of the weeks that it was offered! For Minecraft camp, we …

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Shabbat Shalom from J&R Day Camp

Shabbat Shalom J&R Day Camp Families, What an incredible ending to our 1st week of Camp as we welcomed in our 1st Shabbat! It’s incredible to see how much our campers have done in only one week. Some of our weekly accomplishments include: We have planted, maintained, and cooked with all of our veggies and herbs in our very own sustainable garden. We have returned to the nature of …

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JCC to Participate in Summer Food Service Program in Squirrel Hill and Monroeville

Monday, June 15, 2015 The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Kosher and kosher-style meals will be provided to all children, ages 18 and under, without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. Squirrel Hill Come …

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Kirshner Family EKC Weekend

August 21-23, 2015 Experience the excitement of camping with the entire family at Emma Kaufmann Camp in Morgantown, WV. We have private bathrooms in every cabin and a new gluten free kitchen! Weekend Highlights include: Swimming in our Aquatics Center *3 pools, diving boards, waterslides Lake Activities *Tubing, canoeing, kayaking, "The Blob" and "The Rave" Ropes Challenge Course *Cargo net, climbing tower and zipline Arts & Crafts projects Sports *Basketball, tennis, archery, soccer and many more! Horseback …

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Celebrate Chanukah at the JCC

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh is the place to be for Chanukah, with activities for all ages at the JCC in Squirrel Hill and the South Hills. The eight-day holiday, commemorating the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple by Judah the Maccabee around 164 B.C.E., begins at sundown on Sunday, December 6, 2015. Special activities include: JCC Squirrel Hill, 5738 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill Mitzvah Menorah Visit our Mitzvah …

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