JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Nitzavim and Rosh haShana
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Nitzavim and Rosh haShana

The ‘twice-a-year’ Jew. A contemporary product of declining affiliation rates and rising secularism across an enlightened post-modern western civilization? Hardly. Over 80 years before a woman would be formally ordained as a rabbi in 1972, the “Girl Rabbi of the Golden West” Ray Frank preached the following Kol Nidre message in a Spokane, Washington synagogue...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Ki Tavo
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Ki Tavo

Please make your reservations for in-person services and meals ASAP by submitting via e-mail (or fax!) the Excel form found on the right side of our High Holy Days website: https://www.jccjapan.org/high-holy-days-2021.html While we greatly appreciate the generosity of those who purchase seats, this year due to the ongoing pandemic it is also imperative you let...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Shoftim
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Shoftim

The Rabbi Car. Much ink has been spilled on what type of vehicle a pulpit rabbi ought to drive, including this 2009 gem from Vanity Fair: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2009/09/what-should-a-rabbi-drive Even though my family owned multiple rust bucket jalopies, we slept more soundly knowing that at least our spiritual leader’s dreaded beige 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis did not...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Ki Teitzei
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Ki Teitzei

More than in most years, the High Holidays have completely snuck up on us. Rosh haShana begins on the evening of Labor Day (US), Monday September 6th. As impossible as this sounds, it also means that for the second time in the last decade Hannukah will coincide with Thanksgiving weekend. I apologize for the America-centric...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Re’eh
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Re’eh

Last year while up way too late at my shviger*’s home in Denver, I ended my Rosh haShana Dvar Torah with “May we merit to appreciate what we have taken for granted, that next year we will shed tears of teruah, when we stand in our sanctuary and hear the shofar blasts together.” Well, it...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Eikev
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Eikev

This past Friday as we were celebrating 体育の日 Health and Sports Day, your JCC was inundated with calls and e-mails from Jews landing in Tokyo without access to kosher food, prayer books and other religious items that the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee had assured would be taken care of upon arrival. Since that was clearly...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Shabbat Chazon/Parshat Dvarim
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Shabbat Chazon/Parshat Dvarim

There are few peoples in the world who understand the concept of destruction and rebuilding as much as Yudaya-jin and Nihon-jin. On our honeymoon three years ago, nearly every Castle or Temple we visited was a replica of a replica of the original. One cannot help but simultaneously both appreciate the majesty of what is...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Rosh Chodesh Av/Parshat Mattot-Masei
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Rosh Chodesh Av/Parshat Mattot-Masei

JFK. For some, the acronym represents the name of a president whose assassination shattered a nation’s innocence. To others, those three letters printed on thick paper stock signify an arrival home at a dilapidated airport adjacent to the pothole-filled, under construction since its opening in 1971 Van Wyck Expressway. When it comes to Saturday mornings...

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Pinchas
Post

JCC Shabbat Newsletter – Parshat Pinchas

Our board is comprised of dynamic individuals who are committed to serving the community and ensuring the sustainability of the JCJ. Board members are smart, hardworking people who are dedicated to this community. We would like to give board members an opportunity to write something to the community so that we can all learn more...