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The Power of Summer Camp

One of the steepest learning curves in my 16 months as the JCC’s Chief Program Officer has been in the area of summer camp. I grew up with only limited exposure to a day camp that was run out of my local high school in Rockland County, New York, and while I am a parent of two campers, I did not fully appreciate the impact …

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EKC’s Tush Push: For even more magical Shabbats

Of all the things I love about camp, Shabbat is one of the things I love the most.  There is nothing more picturesque than the amphitheater on a Friday night.  The green of the forest, everyone dressed in white, the natural feel of the bima -- it all goes so well together. There is something so special and pure about it, because it brings a …

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Success is Not An Accident

March Madness has come and gone, and as the city of Philadelphia prepares for a championship parade to celebrate the 2018 NCAA Champion Villanova Wildcats, much of the sports world will turn their attention to Major League Baseball or The Masters or whatever sports season is up next. For the coaches, staff and players at the JCC, however, the end of the competitive season simply …

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International Day of Youth Service: J-Serve

The International Day of Youth Service, J-Serve, is meant for Jewish (and non Jewish) teens from across each participating community to join together with other teens to volunteer at places within the community. The teens learn not only about ways to get involved, but also why it is a crucial aspect of life in their hometowns. J-Serve Pittsburgh this year occurred on Sunday, March 11, and had …

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Heart Health Starts Young!

February is American Heart Month. What better time to teach our youngest here at the JCC about the heart: Its function, its importance, its location in the body, and how to keep it healthy! Some of our oldest students in our Early Childhood Development Center began learning about their hearts last week during Special Gym, thanks to a special lesson planned by one of our student interns from the …

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Minestrone Soup for the Soul

Flu season is in full swing. It seems like you can’t go anywhere without hearing about someone who has the flu or at least someone sniffling or coughing. Other than standard precautions of hand hygiene and getting the flu vaccine what can you do to keep yourself from getting sick? Food of course! I’m sure the first thing that came to mind when I said food …

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JCC Camps: Preparing for Life’s Journeys

C O N N E C T I O N S • V A L U E S • G R O W T H • F U N This is our responsibility: To prepare the next generation for the journeys that lie ahead. We hope that every journey will be fair and just. We hope that every journey will be filled with joy and happiness. We hope that …

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Celebrating the Lunar New Year

You might be wondering why the JCC opens its doors to the Lunar New Year celebration. Let me begin by sharing a metaphor I just learned on a podcast by my teacher Rabbi Larry Hoffman of the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion.  While discussing the tension between being particular (having concern for and being interested in the Jewish community) and universal (having concern …

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NEW: Spartan Comes to the South Hills

Live Awesome! Swinging, Climbing, Jumping, Running….  Individually, these are all fun pursuits. Put them all together in one sport and you’ll have real excitement! Obstacle course racing has taken the sports world by storm, and the industry leader is Spartan Race.  With 100+ Kid Races, and Teen and Adult events of various distance levels ranging from 3 to 26+ miles offered nationwide, there is a goal for everyone …

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Sugar’s Surprising Hideouts

January 15 to 19  is Sugar Awareness Week. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the daily amount of added sugar to about 6 teaspoons (24 grams) for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men. Most of us consume much more: about 22 to 30 teaspoons per day… more than 90 pounds  of sugar per year! Why limit intake of added sugars? Reducing the amount of added sugars cuts calories and …

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