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A Letter to the Community About the Future of the J

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Posted by: Joel Dinkin, CEO, & Lauren Kaufman Blachman, Board President

As your Evelyn Rubenstein JCC President and Chief Executive Officer, we would like to take this opportunity to share some important updates about the J as we look to the future.

Prior to Hurricane Harvey, we were engaged in a master planning process for the Levit campus which would have included significant renovations and updates to our 50-year-old building. Hurricane Harvey forced us to pause our planning and fundraising to focus on reconnecting the community to the J. We set about reengaging programs and completing post-Harvey renovations. The last of the renovations was completed in December, with the installation of the flood gates and wall in front of the Joe Weingarten Building to protect the J from future flood damage.

Throughout the months-long process, we - like many homeowners - found ourselves contemplating our future. We are pleased to announce that, at our February meeting, the Board of Trustees of the J voted by an overwhelming majority to proceed with plans to reinvest in the Levit campus. We also remain committed to expanding our off-site and outreach programs and opportunities for meaningful Jewish engagement across Houston.

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Category: News

New Volunteers, Clients Needed as Donation Expands Js Senior Companions Program

Friday, February 22, 2019
Posted by: Sandra Smolensky, Senior Companions Director

Senior CompanionsAn Evelyn Rubenstein JCC-sponsored program that provides companionship and support to isolated seniors is growing both its client and volunteer base thanks to a recent, sizable contribution from an anonymous donor through the Houston Jewish Community Foundation.

The donation allows the J’s Senior Companions Program (SCP) to expand, helping even more Houston-area seniors live with dignity and independence while also supporting volunteers’ sense of health and well-being. SCP is a national service program sponsored by the J that matches low-income older adult volunteers with senior clients looking for companionship. It also provides much needed and welcome assistance for family members who are caring for their aging parents.

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Category: Senior Services

Madcap Comedy, Moonlight and Magnolias, at the J

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Posted by: Steve Garfinkel, Theatre Program Coordinator

Moonlight CastImagine a world without Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, or David O. Selznick’s film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s, Gone with the Wind.  While Hamlet and “Grapes” seem secure in the Pantheon of great drama, many are unaware of how close we came to not having the beloved classic film, Gone with the Wind – or at least the version we know today. 

And it is the true story of how GWTW avoided landing on history’s trash heap that forms the basis for Ron Hutchinson’s hilarious madcap comedy, Moonlight and Magnolias, opening for a six-performance run on February 14 in the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center’s Joe Frank Theatre of the Arts.  Opening on Valentine’s Day, this play is a Valentine in its own right – a love letter to Hollywood’s golden age, and the studio system that fueled its rise.   

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Category: Arts and Culture

Improvements Coming to the Indoor Pool

Monday, January 21, 2019
Posted by: Lee Hutchens, Aquatics Director

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in our indoor pool aquatics survey. Through the survey we received plenty of wonderful feedback about what you like about the indoor pool and what you would like to see us improve. We have taken your feedback and have come up with a plan on how we are going to improve the indoor pool to provide you with a better experience.

We are happy to inform you of some of the things we will be changing and improving with the indoor pool over the next several months.

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Rene KarielWith 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.

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Category: Early Childhood

Start the New Year with Healthy, Ethical Eating

Tuesday, January 1, 2019
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, CJLL Director, & Caitlin Cecil, Health & Fitness Coordinator

Crate of VegetablesDo 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.

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Category: Community Programs