Oshman Family JCC Blog

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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...

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New Year, New Chicken Dish

Blogger and community member Nicole Gesher presents a delectable chicken dish just in time for Rosh Hashanah. With a slew of Jewish holidays just around the corner, I find myself yearning not just for a sweet new year for my family and friends, but also for new recipes that will spice things...

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Making Space to be Better: The Jewish Practice of Mussar

Professional coach and Mussar educator Barbara Gottesman shares what Jewish tradition knew before modern science. It happens every year at the end of summer. I plan that, this year, I’m going to be ready for the High Holidays. I’m going to be present, assess my life, set goals on how I...

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Elul: The Call of Forgiveness

As a child growing up in a traditional community in Israel, I looked forward this time of the year. Every year when the month of Elul arrived, I would wake up early in the morning to the sound of the shofar (ram’s horn). In traditional Jewish communities, the custom of...

Ed and his wife Meghan in the Maldives.

Why I Unplug

OFJCC Event Services Director Ed Bancroft muses on the benefits of unplugging weekly. Shortly after starting work at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, I was thrilled to learn many core Jewish values align closely with my personal values. Here in the heart of Silicon Valley, life is fast-paced and...

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Come Sing with Me

OFJCC Staff member Amy Shulman describes the best part about joining a community theatre group. The first time my synagogue put on a Purim play, the theme was rock ‘n’ roll. King Achashverosh was dressed like Elvis Presley. All I could think was, “Why am I not on that stage?” I’m not...

Red White and Blue Brownie Pizza from Jo Cooks, jocooks.com

Recipes for Your Fourth

Happy Fourth of July! This national holiday means different things to different people. One of my favorite July 4th memories is watching my then two-year-old niece see fireworks for the first time. The look of wonder on her face was unforgettable. If you are gearing up for a BBQ or picnic,...

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101 Ways to Make Your Kids Smarter [Infographic]

If you love books, the hard thing about parenting is that there’s no definitive instruction manual. While a single source text may not exist, there is lots of research. Why hasn’t someone put all of it together for easy reference? The good news is that the Best for the Kids...