JCC Newsletter – Toldot
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JCC Newsletter – Toldot

Are Jews permitted to celebrate Thanksgiving? While nowadays the question seems anachronistic or even borderline absurd, there was a time in recent memory when the answer was not so simple. For one, Thanksgiving could lead to the dreaded ‘mixed dancing’ threatening millennia of Jewish propriety. But in another, slightly more serious way the concern exists...

JCC Newsletter – Chayei Sarah
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JCC Newsletter – Chayei Sarah

Next week brings no shortage of holidays. Of course, we are blessed to celebrate 勤労感謝の日 on Wednesday followed by American Thanksgiving on Thursday. And just in case you’re in the 3-5% of JCC families with little nexus to Japan or the US, we will also welcome Rosh Chodesh, the new Hebrew month of Kislev when...

JCC Newsletter – Lech Lecha
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JCC Newsletter – Lech Lecha

With tourism to Japan open again, we are happy to announce that the JCC has gotten back to hosting visitors from all over the world for Friday night services and dinner. They love our sanctuary, cuisine, ambience and of course Izaki-san’s famous challah rolls. The one thing missing? Y-O-U! As much as folks from overseas...

JCC Newsletter – Noach
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JCC Newsletter – Noach

As much as the JCC is back to our post-High Holidays ‘normal’, we find ourselves blessed with the unusual, extraordinary, and increasingly rare opportunity to learn with a Holocaust survivor and educator this coming Saturday night on 10/29. You can find a blurb about the speaker, Hedy Bohm, her fascinating presentation, and registration details on...

JCC Newsletter – Parshat Bereshit
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JCC Newsletter – Parshat Bereshit

While normally the busiest time of year in a synagogue revolves around Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur, the JCC was rocking and rolling over Sukkot. We were fortunate to test just how many people could comfortably gather in our Sukkah on more than a few occasions. We hosted Sukkah decorating, multiple meals and a touching visit by...

JCC Newsletter – Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot
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JCC Newsletter – Shabbat Chol HaMoed Sukkot

Although the Torah was not written in chronological order, the newsletter usually is. So before we get to Simchat Torah, please help make the minyan this Shabbat morning at 10am if for no other reason than it is the only time all year that Kiddush will take place in the Sukkah. Simchat Torah, literally translated...

JCC Newsletter – Haazinu and Sukkot
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JCC Newsletter – Haazinu and Sukkot

Two Ambassadors and a Member of the Knesset walk into a Tokyo synagogue for Kol Nidre. No, that’s not the start to a terrible rabbi joke. It really happened! The JCC was honored to host everyone who passed through our doors for the first Yom Kippur with Chazzan Yoni Roth since 2019 capping off an...

JCC Newsletter – Parshat Vayelech and Yom Kippur
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JCC Newsletter – Parshat Vayelech and Yom Kippur

NB: Kol Nidre has been rescheduled to 6:00pm to maximize access for people coming from work and those with small children. Candle lighting and the fast begin at 5:03pm. While the High Holiday season is simultaneously fulfilling and frenetic, what follows just a week afterward is positively delightful. You may recall last year’s ode to...

JCC Newsletter – Nitzavim and Erev Rosh Hashana
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JCC Newsletter – Nitzavim and Erev Rosh Hashana

Our beloved High Holidays Chazzan, holiest of the holy and sweetest of the sweet, Yoni Roth has not only arrived on Japanese soil but is already comfortably ensconced with his son Yoav in the newly remodeled guestroom of your JCC. Combine their dulcet tones with the musical stylings of the JCJ’s own Aaron Kleiman blowing...

JCC Newsletter – Ki Tavo
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JCC Newsletter – Ki Tavo

Four months ago, the photo accompanying the newsletter for Parshat Behar consisted of a dog wearing a bowler cap in a room on fire expressing relief at how despite a tanking market and a weak yen, Shabbat morning Kiddush at the JCC remained free. No reservations necessary. Everyone loves Kiddush especially when the noshing and...