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Bring on The Light – Chanukah!

As the days get shorter during the end of 2016, Chanukah could not come any sooner. As I prepare for the Festival of Lights this year, I am particularly aware of the eternally contemporary message of the Macabees.  Way back when, around 2100 years ago, when the Assyrian Greeks radically changed the structure of society by not allowing our ancestors to celebrate Shabbat, study Torah nor perform …

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The Morning After: Be A Role Model

On Sunday, I blogged how I voted.  This morning, as we wake up to a peaceful transfer of power and a celebration of our democracy, I want to share my hope. Every single one of us has to be a role model for the other.  I am still committed to the confluence of Jewish and American values I wrote about on Sunday: We are commanded to strive to …

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I voted as a proud American Jewish citizen. Will you?

I live in Pennsylvania, where things matter this year in presidential politics, and I already voted through absentee ballot because my schedule won’t allow me to vote in person. Sitting on my family room couch as I looked at the ballot, I took into consideration my shared identity as an equally proud American and Jew, as I cast my vote.  I want to share with you ‘how’ …

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Aging Mastery Program – The Jewish Way!

I am writing to you with wishes that you live until age 120! Pupu…. Many of us know that Jewish wisdom teaches us that Moses lived until he was 120 years old. Oy! Could you imagine? But the thing is, that we often forget the description of Moses at age 120. “ Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eyes were undimmed and …

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OY!!??!! What is going on in Politics? A Yom Kippur Exploration

My concern about the US political discourse has been simmering for months.  It all came to a boil this weekend with videos and commentary and photo opportunities and debate and more commentary....  I am simply embarrassed about the level of discourse and wish it would change.  Do you? Without getting political, I did a little soul searching in the the great Jewish wisdom tradition of Mussar, values …

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Recipe Makeover – Rosh Hashanah Edition

With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to let loose and celebrate with loved ones and food. Lots and lots of food! While it's healthy to make exceptions during times of celebration, you can help yourself by sticking with your goals during the holidays. One food ritual for Rosh Hashanah is eating apples dipped in honey. If you searched for recipes that include both honey and apples, …

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The Jewish Holidays are LATE this Year

Yes, the holidays are late this year...but they are coming. It is the middle of September and I have yet to dunk one piece of apple in a bowl of honey.  How about you? The holidays are late because last year, as a part of the regular calculations to ensure that the Hebrew intercalcualted solar/lunar calendar stays on time (Passover always happens in the Spring) we added …

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Rachel Marcus: A Lifetime of Service to the Community

“Take a look at these photos,” says Rachel Marcus, handing over a snapshot of three campers in T-shirts, smiling broadly, and a beautifully composed black and white photo of a young girl sitting on a counselor’s lap, both laughing gleefully. “Happy kids,” Rachel says, characteristically matter-of-fact. “That’s what we’re about.” Marcus, JCC Associate Executive Director,  has been focused on providing programs that enrich the lives of families and children …

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The JCC’s Philosophy of Early Childhood Learning

Reggio and Jewish Values Enrich Our Early Childhood Program We often are asked how the Reggio Emilia Approach (REA) to learning--the philosophy that we embrace at the JCC Early Childhood Development Center preschool--prepares children for Kindergarten and for life. As part of the Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative, which provides educator professional development opportunities and program support, ECDC actively melds Reggio principles with Jewish values. The world-renowned REA, …

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The Untold Story of Gino Bartali – Le Tour de France Legend

For the next three weeks Le Tour de France will dominate all conversation in my household where race coverage will be blasting from every electronic device from sun-up to sun-down. Most discussions center on routes, team tactics, doping scandals and tour favorites. My thoughts every July, though, turn to Italian cycling champion and humanitarian Gino Bartali. Italian cyclists have been crowd favorites since the Tour began …

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