Jewish Life

JCC leadership planning the new campus (with dreidels on the table) circa 2007. 0

Our Campus Origin Story

For longer than the biblical Israelites wandered in the desert, the Jewish Community Center of Palo Alto wandered in search of a home. Although the Palo Alto JCC existed in some form since 1961, we didn’t have a permanent location until 2009. It was a miracle that the Taube Koret...

The extended clan gathered in Spain for a family journey. 1

Shabbat out of the Shadows

For our family vacation this summer, we chose to go back to discover our roots. We started in Poland, where the Ashkenazi side of the family could learn more about our past, and ended in Spain to explore our Sephardic heritage. In each country, we captured images of castles and...

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Women, Social Justice and Jewish Peoplehood

“Women see texts differently than men do, ask different questions and bring different answers.” This is a quote that has inspired the Kol Isha learning cohort throughout their study, community-building and social justice work. This week, OFJCC Director of Jewish Content Tova Birnbaum and I along with 13 participants from Palo...

Talia and Zack Bodner at AIPAC

I Brought My 14-Year-Old to AIPAC. Here’s What Happened.

What are you teaching your children?  I mean – what are you really teaching your kids? As I focus on teaching Jewish values to my own kids, it is vital that Israel be one of them. I want my children to know Israel, support Israel, wrestle with Israel and love...

Krakow JCC Teachers Marika and Magda enjoy the OFJCC Leslie Family Preschool garden.

From Poland to Palo Alto

This week, two preschool teachers from the Krakow JCC are spending a week of intensive learning at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, California. The visit is focused on incorporating Jewish values into their teaching practice and also learning more about the constructivist educational philosophy followed by the Oshman...

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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.

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

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.”...