"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King
The Torah teaches that all that existed prior to creation was ‘darkness on the face of the waters.’ (Genesis 1:2) God then says, “let there be light” and there was light. In this moment, we learn that it is words that drive out darkness and bring light into the world.
The holiday of Hanukkah is all about transforming the darkness into light. We do this in several ways. First, we are commanded to light candles at the darkest time of the year. In addition, we increase the amount of light each night of the holiday. Finally, we light in the most public of places possible, at the time darkness sets in, so that everyone can witness the light in the dark. But these traditions are not the end goal; they are meant to spark a commitment within us to bring more light into existence.
Our Fitness Center has it all coming up! Work it Out Wednesday with CW39 on Dec 5, an exclusive shopping night for J members at Lululemon in Highland Village on Dec 11, plus save the date for our Fitness Open House Sunday, January 13.
As we approach Thanksgiving, we want to give special thanks to the dedicated volunteers that made this year’s Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival a success. Our Festival volunteer core, 160 people strong, put in more than 550 plus hours to make meaningful programs and an outstanding book store happen. If you happened to be at the J during the Festival, you saw packed audiences listening to authors, enjoying films, music and theater, shopping in the book store and connecting with friends.
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday is a global giving movement. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.
This year it falls on Tuesday, Nov 27.
We’d like to share with you two ways you can show support for the Pittsburgh Jewish community. First is a way to share what a “Window of Hope” means for you through social media. Second is a virtual 5K that the Pittsburgh JCC is conducting that you can participate in right here from Houston.
In the spirit of solidarity and claiming public spaces for positive expressions of unity, we invite you to participate in the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC’s Windows of Hope project.
From Nov 4-11, we encourage you to #standwithpittsburgh and use your windows to create messages of hope for all groups being targeted by hate including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, xenophobia, homophobia, racism….
You asked and we answered!
Welcome Bree Turner to the J family!
Research shows that preschoolers ages 2-6 benefit greatly from physical activity, and those habits of exercise have lifelong impacts. Athletic programs for this age group not only impact their physical well-being, but also spur their cognitive learning development.
This same research also shows that sports activities that allow children to play with balls, dribble with both hands and feet, run, skip, hop, jump and learn to work with others as a “team” are also important to their development during these years.
As we continue our recovery from Hurricane Harvey, I wanted to provide you with a number of important facility updates regarding ongoing renovations and repairs that are not related to flood damage.
I know that everyone is well aware that the lower level flooded, and it required that we replace our entire central plant. We have been concerned about our ability to mitigate against further flood damage....
At times, I found myself pausing and turning the calendar back a year and trying to remember what happened in the days immediately following Hurricane Harvey. I think about what I was doing, progress on the remediation at the J and renovation plans going forward.
The period of time from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur is called Aseret Yemei Teshuvah, or, the Ten Days of Repentance. This is an especially contemplative time, when we reflect on the past year and consider how we can be our best selves in the year to come.
To help in this process, we invite you to enjoy a video from Rabbi Ariel Sholklapper, in which he teaches a simple yet meaningful practice that can help us start the new year with a heightened awareness and appreciation of what surrounds us each day.