Jewish Life

study 0

Double D’var: Parsha Perspectives from American and Israeli Friends

Parshah Pinchas  An Israeli and American duo met to learn the weekly Torah portion together. In the process, they discovered they had two totally different but equally meaningful interpretations of the same text. Eyal’s perspective incorporates the words of Israel’s beloved national poet, Chaim Bialik, while Brad’s perspective grounds us in the...

Ancient Goat Skin Torah Scroll 0

The White House and Pirkei Avot

On June 2, the White House’s first-ever Cabinet-level science advisor Eric Lander was sworn in using a volume of Pirkei Avot. Pirkei Avot, sometimes translated as “Ethics of the Fathers,” is a unique section of the Mishna. Unlike the rest of the Mishnah’s legal precepts, Pirkei Avot is a collection...

Shabbat-Shalon-V3@0.5x-100

Leadership Matters

As we celebrate President’s Day Weekend, I cannot overstate the importance of strong, reliable, trustworthy leadership. As we have battled COVID for the past year, we have oscillated between trusting our leaders and doubting them. From the highest levels of government in our country to our local medical officers charged...

Cynthia Erivo and Stephen Schwartz perform "When You Believe" from the Prince of Egypt (Saturday Night Seder screenshot)

Saturday Night Seder: My Favorite Moments

As I spoke with my mother over the phone, she shared her plans to watch Saturday Night Seder live on YouTube this past Saturday. Curious, I asked her about it. The event was made up of an all-star cast of Hollywood celebrities, talented writers, editors and sound mixers who decided...

STEAM Carnival

Breaking Free: COVID-19, Bob Marley and Passover

There is no better holiday to celebrate during the times of COVID-19, than Passover. I mean, really, the symbolism is almost too much to bear. We have plagues (pick your favorite), fanatical cleaning and social distancing ordinances that resemble the biblical guideline to celebrate the Passover just with one’s closest...

iStock_000012001789_Large

Yom Ki(Purim): Purim’s Secret Twin Holiday

This article was originally published on the website of BINA: The Jewish Movement for Social Change and can be found here. It is easy to understand why Purim might be someone’s favorite Jewish holiday. There are costumes, noisemakers, jam-filled triangle cookies, and even a theological justification for drinking without inhibition!...

The Samuel Benjamin Kurland Campership Fund at the OFJCC honors its namesake by sending preschoolers to summer camp.

Remembering Sam: The OFJCC Campership Fund

“She is such a force of nature,” says Susan Wolfe, good friend of Deb Kurland and a longtime leader at the OFJCC, having served as Director of Communications, Vice President of the Board and Chief Development Officer. But Susan is not the only OFJCC leader that has clear memories of those...

IMG_2608

52 Truths Parents Should Teach Their Kids

As we begin a new year, it is a tradition to take stock of the last year, reflect on what we did well and what we would like to improve, and set some goals for ourselves for the coming year.  In that spirit, I humbly offer a week-by-week guide for...

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

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...