Simon Family JCC Blog

Israel’s Solution to a Water-Starved World

By Seth M. Siegel About three years ago, I learned that the world was on the cusp of a global water crisis. As a frequent visitor to Israel, I began wondering what impact this would have on a country that is 60 percent desert and a dry place everywhere else. You can only imagine my…

Progress, not Perfection: Lessons from Simchat Torah

by Tracie Guy-Decker My sister’s voice on the other end of the phone line sounded anxious. “What should I do?” she said, “I really don’t want to screw this up.” She was worrying about a session she was organizing for a professional conference, but she could just as easily have been seeking advice about being…

What the Hut? Meditations on Sukkot

One Sukkot while I was in graduate school, the young men and women of the local Chabad chapter built what they called a “sukkah-mobile” (come to think of it, it’s likely they built one every year, though I only encountered it once). It was a simple but solid hut built on a flat-bed trailer. They…

Yom Kippur: What Lyme Disease Taught Me About Fasting

by Tracie Guy-Decker Regular readers of my guest blogs on the Simon Family JCC site will know that I often write about the Jewish holidays as I experience them (again) through my 3-year-old daughter’s eyes. Indeed, my thoughts about Rosh Hashanah last week followed that theme. For Yom Kippur, I am feeling slightly more self-reflective….

Rosh Hashanah, No Ordinary Time

At the once-monthly Shabbat service for little ones I attend with my daughter, we always sing a song with the lyrics “I’ve got that Shabbat feeling up in my rosh (Hebrew for head).” The kids pat their heads as they sing “up in my rosh to stay-ay-ay.” It shouldn’t have been a surprise when my…