Merage JCC Blog - Jewish Life

When Matzah is Good

Posted by: Audra Martin on Monday, April 3, 2017

When Matzah is Good According to Max, 6 years old, matzah tastes like a cracker. Sydney, 10 years old, is a bit more dramatic – and perhaps correct – that matzah tastes like “wet paper put out to dry.” It’s true, most commercial matzah is about as tasty as the cardboard box it comes in. Making matzah with our kids has to improve the “bread that tastes like the baker failed” (Ada, 10 years old), in at least it is a fun activity and we get to talk about ...
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Celebrating Purim

Posted by: Mark Lazar on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The evolution of how, what and when a Jew learns is quite interesting. Shabbat is known as a “challah-day” to our preschoolers. For our youth, Hanukkah is a day of miracles, celebrating the little cruise of oil which lasted eight days, which in some households coincides with the number of gifts.  And Purim is a day when you can dress up in costume, make lots of noise when the bad guy Haman’s name is called out and eat triangular baked cookies, which either represent his hat or his ear…depending on your belief system.

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Famous Biblical Foods

Posted by: Mark Lazar on Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Forbidden Fruit Contrary to Renaissance Art and Freudian thought, the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was not an apple or a banana, but a fig! What other leaf could hide the private parts of Adam and Eve? They were after all, made in the image of God …and presumably quite well endowed. The Bowl of Lentil Stew How much could a bowl of lentil stew cost? Some lentils, broth of your choice, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery, parsley, basil, garlic, and pepper…an ...
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Contemporary Prophets: Dylan, Cohen and Simon

Posted by: Mark Lazar on Tuesday, January 3, 2017

It is said in the Book of Kings that the great prophet Elijah looked for God within the mighty wind, the shattering earthquake, the raging flames only to find…”And after the fire---a still, small voice.” A still, small voice…a small voice that some of us hear sporadically and others like modern day prophets, use their inspiration to write poetry and lyrics. These, our contemporary Jewish songwriters like the prophets of old, attempt to remind us our ethics, values and ...
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Chanukah: A Sign of Our Times

Posted by: Mark Lazar on Thursday, December 1, 2016

One of the mitzvot related to the lighting of the Chanukah candles during this eight day celebration is the placement of the Chanukiah, the special menorah used. The Code of Jewish law declares that in the days of our ancient rabbis, the Chanukah lights were lit in the doorways that led to the public thoroughfare. Nowadays the candles are lit in the house, and if there is a window facing the public place, they should be lit there.” In the rest of world though, the placement is ...
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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: serious holidays with family fun

Posted by: Audra Martin on Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Rosh Hashanah deals with serious topics, like forgiveness and thinking hard about how to be a better person. It is also said to be a celebration of renewal and of the world’s birthday. In addition to the traditional family dinners and going to services, there are many ways our JCC families add fun and meaningful activities into their holiday traditions. Below we share just a few. Of course, apples and honey are the cornerstone of many families’ traditions. Rather than just picking ...
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