Blog of the Barshop JCC

Choosing Movies at the J

Wendy Barker, Guest Blogger on Friday, January 23, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in Arts & Culture 
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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.

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The New Diaspora

Victoria Aarons, Guest Blogger on Monday, January 19, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in Arts & Culture 
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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. 

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Why I Learned to Meditate: An Excerpt

Carla Naumburg, Guest Blogger on Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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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.

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Mystery School Bus Teen J-Schmooze

Samantha Mazuz, Coordinator of Teen & Young Adult Services on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 at 1:00:00 pm in Teens 
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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.

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Local Actor Feels at Home on Vex Stage

Scott Leibowitz, Guest Blogger on Friday, January 2, 2015 at 8:00:00 am in Arts & Culture 
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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. 

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Is Richard Strauss Treyf?

Steven G. Kellman, Ph.D. on Monday, December 29, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in Arts & Culture 
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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. 

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Pre-Kindergarten Cultural Friendship Exchange – It’s So Much More than Just a Field Trip

Cynthia Baker, Assistant Director ECD on Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in Early Childhood 
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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.

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Live Up to Your Resolutions in 2015!

Allison Newsom, Marketing & Sales Coordinator on Monday, December 22, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in Sports & Fitness 
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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. 

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JCC Staff Get Culinarily Creative for Chanukah

Aliyah Kuchinsky, Director of Arts & Culture on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 8:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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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.

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Thanksgiving Thoughts from YOUR JCC Fitness Instructors

JCC Group Exercise Instructors on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Sports & Fitness 
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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!

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The Merchants Jazz Up the Main Event

Mark Greenwald, Guest Blogger on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 11:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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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.

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Your Tranquility Begins Here

Roberta Varela-Hein, Fitness Instructor on Monday, November 17, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Sports & Fitness 
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“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.

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CHORUS - The Trojan Women

Rose Cohen-Brown, Guest Blogger from The Vex on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Arts & Culture 
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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.

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My Love for Israel is Complicated

Samantha Mazuz, Coordinator of Teen & Young Adult Services on Friday, November 7, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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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. 

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Body Back® - Meredith's Story

Meredith, Body Back® Participant on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Sports & Fitness 
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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.

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Body Back® - DJ's Story

DJ, Body Back® Participant on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Sports & Fitness 
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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: 

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Laughter is Good for the Heart!

Aliyah Kuchinsky, Director of Arts & Culture on Friday, October 17, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Arts & Culture 
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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!

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Simchat Torah Journeys

Rachel Rustin, Director of Jewish Journeys on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in JCC Stories 
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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.

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Stability As Seen Through Sukkot

Aliyah Kuchinsky, Director of Arts & Culture on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in JCC Stories 
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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.

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The Days of Awe

Rachel Rustin, Director of Jewish Journeys on Monday, September 29, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Holidays 
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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.

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A New Year in a New City

Samantha Mazuz, Coordinator of Teen & Young Adult Services on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in JCC Stories 
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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.

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When the Director Becomes the Actor

Ken Frazier, Vex Artistic Director on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Arts & Culture 
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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. 

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Why Take Parenting Classes?

Allison Newsom, Marketing & Sales Coordinator on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Early Childhood 
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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.

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Children and Technology

Alissa Levey Baugh - Director of Early Childhood on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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Evidence suggests that screen viewing (including TV, smartphones, computers, tablets, etc.) before age 2 has lasting negative effects on children’s language ...

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Author Series presents Dan Zevin

Aliyah Kuchinsky - Director of Arts & Culture on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 9:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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JCC Author Series Presents Dan Zevin Tuesday, March 4, 7pm / Holzman Auditorium Dan Zevin, master of “Seinfeld-ian nothingness” (Time), is trying his best to ...

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Go strong, not long

Jessica Belasco on Friday, July 19, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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It sounds too good to be true: To get fit more quickly, spend less time working out. But high-intensity interval training, which alternates short bouts of intense ...

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Discover the Jewish Calendar with Your Family

Alissa Levey Baugh, Early Childhood Director on Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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This New Month is a resource, developed by the Jewish Community Center Association for family and school celebrations that marks the festival of the New Moon called Rosh ...

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I Play a Plant on Stage at The Vex!

Morgan Clyde, Actress on Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 12:00:00 am in Community is our Middle Name 
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Written Three weeks out from the start of the production... When I first got word that the Vex was doing "Little Shop", I knew I wanted to be involved in any way that I ...

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Reflections on the Beau/Sweetheart Experience

Dylan Ashworth, JCC Teen Director on Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 2:00:00 pm in Community is our Middle Name 
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This past weekend San Antonio BBYO hosted their annual Beau Sweetheart Dance, honoring the year’s outgoing Beau and Sweetheart Ben Deschner and Shiri Kboudi. As the ...

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PLAY... Just Do It

Lisa Guerrero, Director of Youth & Camping Services on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 2:00:00 pm in Community is our Middle Name 
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It is almost that time of year, swimsuits and sunscreen, wet towels, and lots of laughter. Yes, I am talking about SUMMER. I know a thing or two about summer, I have directed ...

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