Oshman Family JCC Blog

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Stephanie Naillon is Spartan Strong

On September 8, the OFJCC’s very own Membership Manager Stephanie Naillon completed her third Spartan Beast race in Seattle! She tells us what got her into the race in the first place and what it means to her. Spartan racing is obstacle course racing. The Spartan Beast is 13-15 miles of rugged...

Julie, her daughters and husband Ed on a rooftop in Jerusalem

Love Echoes—Impressions of the JCC Israel Trip

When love echoes or comes back to you from your own expression, whether it be from a person, or a place, or an experience, there is a feeling of belonging and unity that ensues. This feeling became a predominant theme for me while I was on the Silicon Valley Community...

Andrea (second from right) with her niece Teja, sister Kate, niece Hannah and mother Margie in December 2017

Behind Every Great Parent is a Supportive Community

In January of this year, my husband and I welcomed our first child, Noah, to the world. Our joy was unimaginable. Could it be? Our wish for a child had come true? He was more precious to us than diamonds. We wrapped him in a silky blanket and called him our “Torah scroll.”...

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Bounce into Purim

It all began with the bounce house–well, for me it did. We set up a bounce house in town square, there was a parade and people were dressed in costumes. I was excited… and hungry. (The bounce house set up is pretty labor intensive.) A cookie was thrust into my...

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Five Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Fitness Resolution

Getting healthy or losing weight are the two most common New Year’s resolutions that people make each year but research shows that only eight percent of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals. Why do so many people miss the mark? Master Trainer Jorge G. Contreras at the Goldman Sports...

Yana's father pictured, on left, with another military member.

Miracles in the Gulag: My Father’s Years in Labor Camp

In the spirit of Hanukkah, the Jewish celebration of historical miracles, OFJCC staffer Yana Z. describes the miracles of the time her father spent in the gulag. “I am a prisoner of conscience and I don’t conform to the norms of others. I always thought in a different way and did things...

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Podcast Nation: Jewish on the Go

Who said Jewish learning necessarily means sitting next to a table and reading from a big book in Hebrew or Aramaic? It might sound revolutionary, but you can study Torah, or at least engage in inspiring, thought provoking and refreshing Jewish content while working out, driving or working in your...

Diving photo by Marla Goodman

Life is Like Cave Diving

Marla Goodman takes a deep dive beneath surface. Becoming a proficient SCUBA diver is an iterative process. Once you learn the foundational rules of diving, you can then begin learning new skills like proper buoyancy, air control and gaining a general awareness of your surroundings. Diving evolves from being frantic to meditative—you learn...

Chai Giving Circle Chair Michelle Sandberg (second from L) and 
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OFJCC Chai Giving Circle: Friends for Good

Perspectives on how friendships have made a difference from the OFJCC Chai Giving Circle. “Guys, I got accepted! Looks like I’m going back to school!” This message from my friend Ashley is an example of the kind of group text messages I wake up to every morning. Because I live on the West Coast,...

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Surviving and Remaining Human: A “Near Normal Man”

Charlene Stern, the producer and director of the documentary film Near Normal Man, offers lessons learned from her father’s survival of the Holocaust and his message for the next generation. With decades of details from my father’s life, I’ve learned that the limitless evil that exists in humankind is less...