With New Director, Evelyn Rubenstein JCC’s West Houston Facility Sees Climbing Enrollment Amid New Programming
With a new director and an exciting offering of innovative programming in the works, the future is bright for the Ellen Boniuk Early Childhood School, the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center’s West Houston facility.
Rene Kariel, formerly Corporate Sponsorship Foundation and Community Relations Director at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC, came on as director in August, and since then, enrollment has climbed. Kariel is looking forward to continued growth and strengthened partnerships with nearby congregations, including Congregation Or Ami, Temple Sinai and Chabad West Houston.
Do you feel overwhelmed by the choices at the grocery store? Do you feel like you need heathy recipes? Are you wondering which vegetables are the best for your diet and where you can get the freshest ones? Our Ethical Eating Co-op is a great option for you.
Through our partnership with Johnson’s Backyard Garden, you can eat organic, Texas-grown food and live out the Jewish values of shmirat ha guf, taking care of the body, and shomrei adamah, being guardians of the earth.
The month of December is always a busy and stressful time for everyone. With the sun setting earlier in the winter months, the days seem very short. "Not enough time" is the number one reason for people to either not start exercising or eliminate their regular workouts.
Keep in mind that research has proven regular exercise not only gives you energy throughout the day, but it also helps to reduce stress. Not to mention the fact that forming habits of regular exercise are difficult to create but easy to break.
As your Evelyn Rubenstein JCC President and your Chief Executive Officer, we would like to take this opportunity to share some important updates and insights about the current state of the J as we look to the future.
Fall 2016: Vision and Planning
In the fall of 2016, our Board of Trustees completed a visioning process which resulted in the creation of a master plan for the J. Elements of the plan included significant renovations and updates to our 50-year-old building and the approval of a capital campaign. From January to August 2017, J leadership embarked on a fundraising initiative which raised 50% of our goal. We were preparing to share these exciting plans with the community in September 2017.
"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!