Shabbat candle lighting: 5:45pm

JCC Blog

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4Front's Parenting Unpacked Q&A

Parenting teenagers is hard. Parenting teenagers during a global pandemic? Near impossible. At 4Front, it has always been our mission to support teens and over the past four years, we have committed to doing so through both direct engagement with teens and with the adults who care about them. In these challenging times, 4Front is excited to share the return of our parent programming, now under a new platform called Parenting Unpacked.

What is Parenting Unpacked?

Parenting Unpacked is a resource, toolbox, and support network for parents of teens. The platform aims to offer renewed support and guidance to our parent community. Through virtual and in-person programs and gatherings,...

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Tu B'Shevat: Bloom Where You Are Planted

By Sherri Zaslow, Park Heights Community Wellness Coordinator for LifeBridge Health 

This is a special time of the year! While most people living in the midst of a Baltimore winter see bare trees, barren ground and lifeless fields. We all have the opportunity to see lush foliage, greenery, colorful fruits and vibrant blossoms. 

The trees barely look alive, and there are way too many gray sky days and cold temperatures. Spring seems a long way off. On top of the winter doldrums, we are dealing with isolation and a pandemic that feels interminable. But we have the wondrous ability to see a dynamic alternate reality! 

We just celebrated Rosh Chodesh Shevat, and...

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Meet Sherri Zaslow: LifeBridge Health Living Well at the Weinberg Park Heights J

Meet Sherri Zaslow
Community Wellness Coordinator

LifeBridge Health Living Well
at the Weinberg Park Heights J

We are excited to welcome Sherri Zaslow. As the new Community Wellness Coordinator for LifeBridge Health at the Weinberg Park Heights JCC, Sherri will be coordinating health and wellness programs and services for the Park Heights community. Her office will be adjacent to the new, soon-to-be-open Sinai Wellness and Education Suite, which will be dedicated to wellness educational programming. 

Q. Why...

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Stacy's Little Free Library

Stacy's Little Free Library was donated to the JCC in memory of Stacy D. Haynes by members of her book club of over a decade, unofficially dubbed as"The Sometimes We Read the Book Book Club". Most of the club members met when their children were attending pre-school at the JCC, so it was a logical and meaningful choice to place Stacy's Little Free Library outside of the Early Childhood Education Center.

What is a Little Free Library?

  • Little Free Library book-sharing boxes are the world's largest book sharing program.
  • Little Free Libraries are designed to build community, spark creativity, and inspire readers.
  • We invite the community to take, borrow, or donate a new or gently-used book to Stacy's Little Free Library

How can I contribute to Stacy's Little Free Library?

  • If you...
by admin

Happy Thanksgiving

On behalf of the JCC Board of Directors chaired by Randi Buergenthal, and our incredibly dedicated team of professionals, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Despite the changes to this year’s celebration, we can still share gratitude for what we value personally and as a community. 

In these challenging and even heartbreaking times, we can have an appreciation for life and the silver linings for which we are grateful.   Each of us also has an opportunity to make a difference in our community. 

Along with enjoying the culinary favorites of Thanksgiving, consider setting up a video call with family and friends. Reach out to older relatives and neighbors to ensure they feel loved and supported. Consider helping the neediest and most vulnerable by donating food...

Mentalist Oz Pearlman and honoree Jon Mayers

J Live Returns!

The Fourth Annual J Live features mentalist Oz Pearlman and honors Jon Mayers.

Join us on Thursday evening, March 26 at the Gordon Center for a magical evening of fascinating mind-games with Emmy Award-winning, Israeli-born mentalist, Oz Pearlman followed by a special reception honoring dedicated JCC and Gordon Center volunteer Jon Mayers. Jon will be the first volunteer ever to be honored at the J Live event. This celebratory fundraiser supports the Gordon Center for Performing Arts’ arts education programs for children and adults and provides financial assistance to JCC children, teens and families. 

JCC Executive Director Barak Hermann says the recognition for Jon Mayers is well deserved. “Jon is an incredible visionary. When I came here seven years ago, there was a lot of work being done to re-envision the Gordon Center and arts and culture at the JCC. I can’t even...

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Beyond Baltimore: Learning Across the Globe

Bringing Lessons Home from JCC International Conference

By Barak Hermann, CEO and Randi Buergenthal, Board Chair

What can we learn from a JCC in Istanbul, Turkey? How can we connect to Jewish communities in India, countries in the Former Soviet Union (FSU), and Krakow, Poland? As it turns out, there are countless benefits to connecting to JCCs and Jewish communities from around the globe. 

This December, we traveled to Israel to attend JCC Global: 10th Annual World Conference of JCCs. We were joined by professional and volunteer leaders from 30 JCCs worldwide. Together, we shared stories of our communities, Jewish identity, and new endeavors at our JCCs. In many...

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First Aid for Teen Mental Health Infused with Jewish Values

While you might expect teens to be moody, would you know when mood swings, irritability or fears signal something far more serious? Once dismissed as growing pains, problems such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders affect significantly more teenagers than in previous generations. About 20% of American teens live with a mental health condition, reports the National Institute of Mental Health. Half of all mental illnesses begin by age 14 and 75% begin by the mid-20s. Tragically, the suicide rate for 18- to 19-year-olds climbed 56% from 2008 to 2017. As teen mental health issues become more prevalent, the need for education grows. 

That’s why 4Front, a teen-focused initiative directed by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore and supported...

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In the Zone

Maccabi Basketball Coach Has High Hopes for Baltimore Delegation

If Danny Hoffman has his way, Baltimore’s JCC Maccabi Games basketball team will one day become a national powerhouse, on par with some of the biggest teams in Atlanta, Miami, and Philadelphia. Until then, believes Hoffman, Baltimore is primed to continue growing its reputation and standings in the sport. 

Entering his third year as a Baltimore JCC Maccabi Games coach, Hoffman brings serious basketball pedigree to his ambitious goals. As a teenager, Hoffman, a Pittsburgh native, competed in basketball at the JCC Maccabi Games as a member of team Pittsburgh. “The Pittsburgh Maccabi team had the best Jewish athletes. I was thrilled to get the call that I made it,”...

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Meet Payten Coston

TNT Camper 2018 & 2019

How did you learn about the TNT program at the JCC?
We learned about TNT through friends in the community and then we explored the website. The JCC’s website was user friendly and provided great information about the TNT program. Additionally, the parent information session was very informative and organized.

You did two years with TNT? Why did you decide to return? What did you gain from the program?
We did two years of TNT because it was a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to make new friends of diverse backgrounds and provide service to others. TNT at the JCC is a well-run program with dedicated staff members and caring adults...