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Reserve Our Sukkah

Thursday, October 10, 2019
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, Director, Bobbi & Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living and Learning

Happy SukkotOne of the greatest joys of the High Holiday season is getting to spend time with family and friends. On the holiday of Sukkot, we have the added bonus of spending that time outdoors, in the temporary dwelling of a sukkah.

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Category: CJLL

Celebrate Rosh Hashanah with the Gates of Our Hearts and Our Minds Open

Friday, September 27, 2019
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, Director, Bobbi & Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living and Learning

Open GatesEvery Yom Kippur, as the sun is setting and the holy day is nearing its end, we sing this prayer:

Petach lanu sha’ar, 
Beit neilah sha’ar, 
ki fanah yom.

Open the gates for us, 
At this time when they are closing, 
For the day is coming to an end.

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Category: CJLL

Love and Matzah

Sunday, April 14, 2019
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, Director, Bobbi & Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living and Learning

Love and MatzahHosting guests in our homes can often feel like an overwhelming task. We need to devise a menu, shop for ingredients, cook a meal, and clean up. On the holiday of Passover, hosting can be even more daunting because there is the added element of planning and leading a Seder. And yet, opening our homes is one of the most significant and impactful ways to observe Passover. 

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Category: CJLL

Transforming Darkness into Light

Thursday, November 29, 2018
Posted by: Rabbi Jill Levy, Evelyn Rubenstein JCC Rabbi

Menorah"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.

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Category: CJLL

Jewish Mindfulness & Meditation for the High Holy Days

Friday, September 14, 2018
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, Director, Bobbi and Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living & Learning

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.

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Category: CJLL

(Re)Discover Your Jewish Roots

Friday, August 3, 2018
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, Director, Bobbi and Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living & Learning

Jewish Learning Classes

Got 4 weeks? How about 6, 8, 10 or 12? No matter your schedule or interest, we’ve got a class for you.

If you’ve always wanted to explore your Jewish roots and discover what they can mean to you as an adult, now is the time to do it! Our Bobbi and Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living & Learning (CJLL) is proud to be a hub of pluralistic adult Jewish learning classes, bringing together students and faculty from various synagogues and other institutions in the Houston community.

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Category: CJLL

Jewish CultureFest Receives Festival Grant

Friday, July 20, 2018
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, Director, Bobbi and Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living & Learning

Jewish Culture FestMayor Sylvester Turner recently announced the first awardees of the new grant program Festival Grant via the Houston Arts Alliance (HAA). Sixteen festivals with venues across Houston were selected for funding totaling $145,475. 

We are proud to announce that the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC's Jewish CultureFest is one of the recipients of the 2018 Festival Grant. We thank the City of Houston and HAA for its support of this unique community event. 

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Category: CJLL

Supply Donations for Families at US-Mexico Border on World Refugee Day

Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Posted by: Rabbi Samantha Safran, Director, Bobbi and Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living & Learning

Make a DifferenceJewish tradition is deeply rooted in welcoming the stranger. Our Torah teaches: "You shall not oppress a stranger, since you yourselves know the feelings of a stranger, for you also were strangers in the land of Egypt (Exodus 23:9).”

June 20 is World Refugee Day, and the J is proud to be a part of our #HoustonStrong community, coming together to assist families seeking resources and comfort at detention centers in McAllen, Texas at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

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Category: CJLL

Shabbat Shalom from the J

Friday, September 15, 2017
Posted by: Jill Levy
Shabbat Shalom from the J The world is a very different place than it was a month ago. A month ago, the J did not have each department successfully running programs without a building. We did not have a free two-week day camp created in partnership with Greene Family Camp. Our entire staff and teachers, along with our Board and community members, never gathered for Shabbat in the Tennis Center where we shed tears of joy and sadness while ...
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Category: CJLL

Shabbat Message from the J

Friday, September 8, 2017
Posted by: Samantha Safran
Shabbat Shalom from the J It is difficult to describe to those outside of Houston what life is like here right now. Families displaced from their homes, the contents of a life piled up on countless front lawns, each day hazily blending into the next. These past two weeks have proven themselves beyond our wildest imagining, and we are utterly exhausted. Exhausted from tearing apart houses, from conversations with FEMA, from shuttling kids to ...
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Category: CJLL

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