JCP Blog

“Did Christmas Ruin Hanukkah?” and Other Questions Jewish Teenagers Ask

One of our 8th graders, Noah, in Project Gadol (our monthly teen learning program) challenged me this week to teach about Hanukkah and last month’s events in Pittsburgh, at the same time making sure this all related to cookie decorating.…

Read more

Proximity Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

As Parashat Vayeishev opens, we learn that while Joseph is Jacob’s favorite child – he receives perhaps the most famous gift of all time, the coat of many colors, from his father – he is unpopular among his brothers. He…

Read more

Inside the Hebrew School Project: Spotlight on Fourth Grade

The big idea for the year in Fourth Grade is Jewish Heroes, beginning with a study of heroes in the Book of Judges, from the Hebrew Bible, known as the TaNakh. The period of the Judges occurs in Jewish history…

Read more

Wrestling for a Better Nation

Thanksgivings in my Wisconsin childhood were brisk affairs: cool weather, bare trees, an occasional flurry. But inside our house it was warm. We had a fire going in the living room, the bridge table was set up for my parents…

Read more

Parshat V’yetzei – Sibling Rivalry Continues

It is the perfect recipe for a family disaster. Parashat V’yetzei, recounts Jacob’s 20-year stint living with his uncle Laban, acquiring two wives (Leah and Rachel) and two maidservants (Bilha and Zilpah) who collectively bring him 11 of his 12 sons…

Read more

Always Courage, Always Hope

Today marks the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht or “Night of Broken Glass.” On November 9 & 10, 1938, the Nazis in Germany carried out a nationwide pogrom against German Jewry which claimed hundreds of lives, destroyed 267 synagogues, ruined more…

Read more

Blessings to Share | Parashat Toldot

Weekly D’var Torah Commentary  Parashat Toldot “Two nations are within you.” One would be forgiven for believing that these words are a poetic representation of the current divisive moment in our nation. However, these are, in fact, God’s words to…

Read more

How You Get There | Parashat Chayei Sarah

Life can be so entangling sometimes. Complications arise on a daily basis. Demands pile up. We make lists to get through. And the structure, the map to getting things done, is actually a comfort, giving order to the chaos of…

Read more

A Message about Pittsburgh

Dear Friends, The JCP community expresses its profound shock and sadness at this morning’s synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, PA. Early reports indicate that there are multiple casualties and deaths and thankfully law enforcement has the suspect in custody. At JCP,…

Read more

Parashat Vayera: It’s a Family Affair

Weekly D’var Torah Commentary  Parashat Vayera | Genesis 18:1 – 22:24 If we read the Torah as a book of rules, the “do’s and don’ts” of living a Jewish life, it can sometimes feel distant, abstract, and hard to relate to…

Read more