Rabbi Israel Salanter stated: “Any rabbi whose congregation never considered firing him [her] is no rabbi. Any rabbi whose congregation does fire him [her] is no mensch.”
This statement captures the essence of the debate – should rabbis become involved in politics? On one hand, if rabbis do not take a stand to lend a voice to contemporary issues, then are they really engaging in leadership? On the other hand, the rabbi’s role is to welcome members of the entire Jewish community, and how can one do that in a mench-like way if he or she isn’t able to address the needs of all of their constituents?
Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Season of Theatre Presents Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
Who is Hershel? With the first nips of crisp Fall weather in the air, and piles of pumpkins lining the entrances to our grocery stores, we can be sure of one thing – the Holiday Season is just around the corner! And just in time to get folks in the mood for Hanukkah, this year the J is offering an exciting treat in the form of the new play, Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins.
This year’s Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair offers a broad range of programs, topics, and events. There is something for everyone, or so I’ve been told!
It is rare that I single out a book by an author who will appear, but I believe Dov Waxman’s book, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Conflict Over Israel, is the most important Jewish book published this year. As someone who has devoted 40 years in service to our Jewish community, I have witnessed, and addressed, the many challenges we have faced. But today, I am both saddened and frightened by the disunity over Israel that we are experiencing to the likes I’ve never seen.
Families can’t have reasonable conversations about Israel—I personally experienced this last year. At shul...
One of the headliners of the 1986 Jewish Book & Arts Fair was Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and influential leader of the Women’s Rights movement. JCC Patron Barbara Paull was her host that year. One afternoon, Betty complimented Barbara on her outfit which led to an afternoon of shopping. What happened next is the image that keeps this story alive thirty years later. When they walked into the J that evening, Betty was unrecognizable wearing a fabulous black dress, a silver necklace and lipstick, which she never wore.
Olympic Inspired Fitness
It’s hard to watch the Olympics and not want to amp up your own fitness routine. Whether you’re inspired by the fastest man alive or the all-time record holder for most medals, there is plenty of motivation right now to get you back in the gym. In fact, fitness experts say that it's actually after the Olympics when people seek gym memberships and get more active with sports.
“My favorite part of the Olympics is watching in awe at physical abilities and physiques of all of the athletes," said Robin D. Fortenberry, Director of Fitness Services at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC. "They actually push the limits of what is humanly possible. It reinstates my desire to push my limits and increase my own fitness levels.”
The Olympic Games are always an exciting time of year for those of us in the gymnastics business. There is a lot of excitement and you can see it on a regular basis in our kids’ faces this summer as they train in the gym and at camps.
J Meals volunteer, Kate Daniel, was chosen by the Ad Council to help launch a national campaign in Washington D.C. this summer. Right out of the University of Hou
ston, 23 year old Kate came to Evelyn Rubenstein JCC as an intern with J Meals and quickly moved into a part time staff position. Her enthusiasm and passion landed her in this great role to serve her community. Kate shared her experience with us in her words...
Stars of David Comes Full Circle at Houston’s Evelyn Rubenstein JCC
Author Abigail Pogrebin and the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston have a long-standing relationship; one that comes full circle this month as the new musical revue, Stars of David: Story to Song, takes the stage at the J’s Kaplan Theatre. The musical is based on the best-selling book, Stars of David: Prominent Jews Talk about Being Jewish, the publication of which brought Ms. Pogrebin to the J in 2005 for a speaking appearance at the Jewish Book & Arts Fair that year.
Now, over a decade later...
J Ride started in mid-May and has been up and running for over 45 weeks now. Last week marked a milestone as we have now provided over 1,000 rides. These rides are a lifeline for many members of our community. The J Ride service gets them to medical and personal care appointments, as well as to the grocery store. Because of J Ride, seniors and special needs adults in our community can feel a greater sense of independence as they don’t need to rely on a family member or friend to take them everywhere.
Twice a week a J Ride driver picks up Faith and Louis Marshall to take Mr. Marshall to his dialysis appointment. Prior to using J Ride, the Marshall’s did not have a dependable ride. “The J Ride service has made all the difference in our lives. The J Ride drivers are wonderful, kind, and considerate. I can’t say enough about the drivers,” says Faith Marshall.
The Marshall’s story is one of 83 stories...