Jewish Life

IMG_4762 0

Volunteering to Rebuild in Santa Rosa

The OFJCC Center for Social Impact offers programming to help those in need, including a recent trip to Santa Rosa to help build a home for low-income residents. Participate in programs that help those in need on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Mitzvah Day. It was a little over a...

The JResponse team with JCC of Greater Pittsburgh staff. Photo courtesy Stephanie Levin. 0

A Community Hug: A JResponse Trip to Pittsburgh

This December, Robin Vasilakos, the manager of the Center for Social Impact at the Oshman Family JCC and Stephanie Levin, chief engagement and innovation officer of the Peninsula JCC, traveled to Pittsburgh as part of the JCCA JResponse program. They were there to provide support to the JCC of Greater...

Teacher Debbie at the Frajda preschool, Krakow JCC 0

Why I’m Spending Shabbat in Poland

The OFJCC Leslie Family Preschool’s beloved Teacher Debbie traveled to Poland this week to spend time volunteering and sharing educational insights with the Krakow JCC. I’ve spent the past four days at the Krakow JCC, mainly in their preschool called “Frajda,” which means joy. This school is merely a year...

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.”...

Purim

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...

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...

podcast

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...

Chai Giving Circle Chair Michelle Sandberg (second from L) and 
friends

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,...

nnm_facebook_2200x1500px

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...