Jewish Life

Giulio Fregni and his creation for The Annual 2023: "Rabb-AI" interactive robot rabbi. 0

A Robot Rabbi, The Annual and Genuine Human Connection

When you channel the moment through human connection, the world opens up to incredible possibilities. One day last fall, we invited two almost-strangers, our community members Giulio Fregni and David Porush, to the OFJCC for coffee. They had met once previously at the OFJCC’s Annual event back in March 2023. Lo and behold, even before our cups of...

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Life Lessons from Trees

Tu B’Shvat may be an under recognized holiday in some circles, but it’s very significant in preschool. Trees serve a great many vital functions in society, and possibly even more in early childhood. They offer a structure to climb, a challenge to conquer. A habitat for animals, its own little...

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Tu B’Shvat in the Garden

Tu B’Shvat, commonly referred to as The Birthday of the Trees, is celebrated on the 15th day in the Hebrew calendar of Shevat. This is a time for honoring trees, enjoying the fruits of Winter and planting for the upcoming Spring season. Here at the OFJCC Leslie Family Preschool, children...

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Stronger After Z3

For me and my wife, being far from our home in Israel the past two months has been excruciating—many of our closest family and friends serve in the IDF. But we, Jews outside of Israel, have a critical role to play as well, beyond material support. Beyond political support. We are here to...

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Riding from Darkness to Light

I’ll take any opportunity to spend time with my adult kids, travel and be outdoors. Earlier this year, my daughter Hayley had a friend working at the Krakow JCC and, out of the blue, asked me, “Hey Mom, want to do this bike ride with me called Ride for the Living?” My immediate...

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How to Fight the Loneliness Epidemic

This summer, the New York Times ran a full-page, front-section article entitled, “If Loneliness Is an Epidemic, How Do We Treat It?” The authors wrote, “More than one-fifth of Americans over 18 say they often or always feel lonely or socially isolated.” And they went on to quote Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who said, “Addressing the...

Joseph Gelders speaking at Highlander Folk School, circa 1935. Photo courtesy family of Earl Hartman.

A Time for Freedom

As we begin to wind down this Passover 2023, our thoughts turn from the struggle for freedom in the Biblical story of Exodus to more recent struggles for freedom in our own land. Earl Hartman is a community member and former operator of Caffee Mediterranneum at the Food Oasis on campus....

OFJCC Garden Pedagogista Debbie Togliatti at the pumpkin enclosure on the farm.

Tu B’Shvat: How We Celebrate in California

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” -Genesis 1:11 It’s the birthday of the trees! It arrives on the 15th day of Shevat in Israel and February  5– 6 here....

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Holocaust Remembrance Day with the OFJCC

Today, Friday, January 27, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Designated by United Nations, the date of January 27 commemorates the day on which the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated in 1945. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum states, “On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million...

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Introducing…The Annual!

By Seth Leslie, Chief Development Officer  Shalom, chaverim (friends)! Greetings from the OFJCC’s Team Development. We are here today dropping some big news. For those of you in the know, the OFJCC has hosted our Annual Benefit for as long as many of us can remember. We followed the traditional...