Press Release

Celebrate the New Year the J Way
High Holidays Celebration at the J, August 20
Friday, July 28, 2017
by mgroogan

Celebrate the New Year the J Way

Houston, TX – Evelyn Rubenstein JCC of Houston is the place to embrace the beginning of the Jewish New Year. Join us on Sunday, August 20, 2017 to get inspired and ready for the High Holidays. Events throughout the day will rejuvenate your mind and soul through study, workshops and the arts.

“While the High Holidays fall in the Hebrew month of Tishrei, Jewish tradition teaches that we must begin preparing ourselves well in advance,” said Rabbi Samantha Safran, Assistant Director of the Bobbi & Vic Samuels Center for Jewish Living and Learning at the J. “This often leads us to the preceding month of Elul, which starts this year on the evening of August 22. Elul is a time for turning inward, examining the past and thinking about what we’d like to change in the year to come. The J is excited to offer the community an opportunity for this important reflection.”

           First, choose from two different classes exploring biblical Jewish texts at 1:00 p.m. Presenters are Ms. Mindeleah Pollak, with Sarah’s Laughter and Rabbi David Segal, with The Lord is my "Shepherd?”  Then, take some time to ponder life’s big questions at 2:15 p.m. with one of two sessions: “Spiritual ‘Rehab’: How to Prepare for Yom Kippur When You've Slacked Off This Year,” with Rabbi Danny Horwitz, or “High Holiday Self-Reflection Through Writing” with Ms. Jill Patir. Ms. Pollak and Rabbi Horwitz are longtime, cherished instructors in the J’s Melton & More Continuing Jewish Ed program, while Rabbi Segal and Ms. Patir are both exciting new faculty additions for the upcoming Melton & More year.

At 2:00 p.m., Renewal, opens in the Deutser Art Gallery.  This exhibition features original art and literary compositions by members of Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (WiVLA).  Guests will have an opportunity to meet the artists, enjoy refreshments, and at 3:00 p.m., listen to live readings of the compositions, all of which delve into themes of the High Holidays. 

At 4:00 p.m., a free concert, One Voice, One Vibe, Our Community, features outstanding Houston artists in a program of reflection on the floods that decimated the greater Meyerland area along with a salute to the renewed sense of pride and excitement about our community and its viability.  The J became a hub for relief and rebuilding efforts, and One Voice captures the commitment to connecting, rebuilding and rising, featuring original music by former Houstonian, Dr. Desmond Ikegwuonu based on writings by those impacted by the floods, and curated by Ellen Leventhal.  Marc Garvin is the artistic director. The concert is sponsored by JCC Association’s Making Music Happen Centennial Grant Initiative, and is funded by a grant from Marvin J. Pertzik and the Mary Livingston Griggs and Mary Griggs Burke Foundation.

“Whether you enjoy text study, journaling, visual arts or music, we have something for everyone on August 20.” said Rabbi Safran.

All events take place at the J and ticket prices vary for each event. Call 713.551.7255 or visit for more information. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Photo Caption: Marc Garvin, Artistic Director, One Voice, One Vibe, One Community brings a free concert to the J August 20, 2017.

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