Jewish Life

Cynthia Erivo and Stephen Schwartz perform "When You Believe" from the Prince of Egypt (Saturday Night Seder screenshot) 0

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

The extended clan gathered in Spain for a family journey.

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...