Once again, we're upstairs at the "J," in the JCC's Conference Room. There's just enough light coming from the hallway and the flat screen before us that I can make out the faces in profile of the other members of the Film Festival Committee. It's not just seeing two movies a week from the end of June till mid-October that makes me smile—it's the chance to spend time with a group of congenial grown-ups kibbutzing a few minutes before we start the movie of the day, and then, best of all, to join in the lively discussions that follow.
The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction represents the best in American Jewish writing over the past fifty years. From the post-World War II writers to the present, this anthology of diverse and lively fiction reveals the changing landscape of American Jewish thought and suggests the evolving responses to Jewish identity in America.
In my mind, meditation was for hippies who didn’t have their sh*t together and mindfulness was just a fancy word for reformed hippies who barely had their sh*t together. I was happy to spend an hour each week in the confines of a therapy office, but meditation was an entirely different proposition. In my mind, it was just one step away from shaving my head and handing out flowers at the airport.
With compliments to the annual J-Serve event for teens, this new collaborative event, J-Schmooze, will be another outlet for teens to gather from all around San Antonio to experience something fun and Jewish. This event will allow teens from different backgrounds, Jewish experiences, schools and social circles to come together to connect through a fun filled evening with Jewish tradition in celebrating Havdallah, socially interacting, and connecting to one another on a deeper level.
I’ve been acting, on and off, for a bit over 40 years now, in school and at several San Antonio theaters. The stage has always been a second home, a place I’m compelled to return to now and again to keep me grounded. I first auditioned for a show at The Vex back in 2002.
Was Richard Strauss an anti-Semite? Is Strauss’s music anti-Semitic? Should the personal flaws of an artist affect our experience of the art? These are some of the questions that Maxine Cohen, David Gross, and I will confront in a public discussion at the JCC on January 4 as part of the San Antonio Symphony 2015 Strauss Festival.
Our Cultural Friendship Exchange Program, funded by the United Way of San Antonio, has been moving full steam ahead since its inception in the late 1990s, when another child care center director asked our Block and Dreeben School for Young Children director, Alissa Levey Baugh, to share some of the traditions of Hanukkah with their class.
Every year, we resolve to be better the next year. Better at singing, better at writing, better at communicating, better at eating healthy, better at working out. We promise to start taking new classes - art, music, fitness. We vow to read more books - perhaps by joining a book club.
Walking into my office to find a few boxes of latke mix, I knew the challenge was on. Rachel Rustin, Director of Jewish Journeys, and I had been tossing around interesting latke ideas for a few days. Would we celebrate with a fry off in the JCC Boardroom? Cook at home and deliver a feast for co-workers? We had plenty of ideas to recognize the most delicious of holidays but hadn’t solidified plans yet.
Thanksgiving only comes once a year, so there's no reason to let it sabotage everything you have worked hard to achieve. Most people gain at least one pound over Thanksgiving, some more, and then the cycle continues - it's New Year's Eve and you're vowing to amp up your fitness center attendance and to not let it happen again next year. Instead of getting in this never-ending rut once again, here are a few tips from YOUR JCC's Group Exercise instructors to take with you over the holidays!
It is hard to express how happy and proud I am to sing with the Merchants of Jazz for the JCC Main Event. We have been working hard to put together a super program of classic jazz standards that will have everyone tapping their toes and dancing. Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin are the kings of vocal Jazz standards, and we plan to bring their cool adult vibe to liven up the party. Our playbook is heavy with songs and music everybody knows and loves.
“Physical activity is like a tranquilizer…” thoughts passed to me by Dr. Habib Nathan. We were discussing recent information on exercise from the AMA. OH YES! We can all use a little tranquility since stress will occur. Being physically active is great for mental, physical, and emotional health. There are so many opportunities at the J. Just get up, get out, and get going.
I have participated in numerous theatre productions over the decades, both on stage and behind the scenes. Each is unique and from each there is always something to learn. The Sheldon Vexler Theatre has some of the best community theatre productions I have seen – and I have seen theatre in many parts of the U.S. and performed in Minnesota and New York, as well as San Antonio and its surroundings. For The Trojan Women, I would like to talk about the Chorus.
I like to look back on my upbringing, and when I do, what stands out the most are the Jewish events and celebrations that my family took part in. I completed Hebrew School and Sunday School, I had a Bat Mitzvah that was like a wedding, and I was confirmed during my high school years. My family’s involvement in our Jewish Community was what I would call completely immersed.
I completed two sessions of Body Back® and believe it is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I was an athletic youth and in-shape twenty-something, but pregnancy and babies put me in a place where I did not make time to take care of myself. With my first pregnancy, I gained 70 pounds and with the busy schedule and uncertainty of a first-time mom, I was overwhelmed and depressed.
Why did I choose The Mama Wants Her “Body Back” program? As a former collegiate athlete and mom of two young children, I knew there were four essential things that I needed in order to be successful with my weight loss efforts/lifestyle changes that the program offered:
You know your JCC promotes ‘wellness.’ Your membership provides you access to a fitness center full of new equipment, over 40 group exercise classes, a 25-meter 8-lane heated outdoor pool, 7 lighted hard-court tennis courts, 2 full-court gymnasiums, and more!
When people hear my new title, their reaction tends to follow a pattern. First, a remark about how cool it sounds, quickly followed by a question as to what it means. Director of Jewish Journeys is perhaps an unusual title. I prefer to think of it as engaging and inviting.
The JCC has always been a shelter for me, both figuratively and literally. Before I moved to San Antonio, I was active at the Dallas JCC, active being an understatement. Actually, I was a staff kid who, after what could be considered a lifetime of camp, sports, theater, and one obligatory preteen summer of roaming the halls, became a staff person myself.
The days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are important. According to tradition, Jews are supposed to spend these ten “Days of Awe” reflecting over the past year and looking to the new one. We apologize to old friends, make amends and do what we can do make sure we are inscribed into the Book of Life for a healthy new year.
As Rosh Hashanah approaches, I am taking a moment to think about all that I have done and accomplished in the previous year. This allows me to begin thinking about the year ahead; I can set my goals, create a bucket list, and think about how I can better myself.
Over the years many people have asked me “When are you going to get on stage?”. These questions have come both from our theatre community of actors and technicians, and from Vex audience members. One of the reasons I wanted to follow through with taking on a role was to remind myself what actors experience when getting a production ready.
Another Precious Minds, New Connections parenting class is upon us, with the first class of the new school year beginning Tuesday, September 9 at 9:15 AM or 6:30 PM. The JCC offers classes regularly with no financial charge to parents.