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JCC Global connects with the Jewish community of the United Arab Emirates, #ShofarTogether and more…

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

JCC Global connects with the Jewish community the United Arab Emirates

The Abraham Accord – the recent peace agreement that was signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates- brought to the limelight a unique Jewish community living in the Middle East. Being able to be publicly acknowledged, the Jewish Council of the Emirates is now considering joining JCC Global as a way to expand their offerings and connect with Jewish peers around the world.

The UAE is a federation of seven political territories with the largest population of 3.3. million people living in Dubai. Approximately 300 Jews, all of them ex-pats who arrived for business reasons have formed, over the past few years, a small yet vibrant Jewish community. Formally established in 2019, the Jewish Council of the Emirates is the umbrella body for all of the area’s Jewish communities, as well as the official link to government.

The community evolved one Jew at a time. At first, two families that arrived from UK met together for Shabbat dinner. From there, it grew so that by the time of the High Holidays of 2010, 35 people attended services conducted by a Chabad Rabbi that came from Sri Lanka. These were Jews that arrived from different countries, UK, South Africa, France, Italy, US and even some Israelis who were living abroad. Most of them were practicing Judaism in private and yearning for a sense of community. As some families headed back to their home countries, other followed. It was an exciting feeling of building a Jewish community from scratch.

Over the years the Jewish community has grown. They now meet for Shabbat, holidays and other Jewish events. They are involved in acts of Tzedakah and even have Kosher food. After NYU opened a campus in Dubai, they connected with Rabbi Yehuda Sarna from NY who travels there regularly. Rabbi Sarna has been appointed in 2019 as the UAE’s first chief Rabbi.

The recent peace accords allow the community to be more public. It paves the way to set an example of living together among different cultures and opens a window to Jewish Muslim dialogue. At JCC Global we are glad to offer the movement’s expertise in informal Jewish education and Jewish Peoplehood and welcome the Jewish Council of the Emirate to our midst

JCC Global is calling all JCCs to join the initiative of JCC Global Fellow, Zack Bodner, CEO of the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, CA to sound the shofar all over the world.

Have a shofar at home? Join the #ShofarTogether moment of unity! Every day between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, be part of a worldwide gathering to sound the shofar from your home and from the heart.

Even far apart we can still #ShofarTogether!

Who: You! Every day, people are drawing on newfound wellsprings of creativity and finding ways to create moments of unity together. It's your turn to be part of creating a new way to celebrate!

What: Sound your shofar! Be part of a community-focused twist on the traditional shofar blast sounded at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur every year. Be part of the #ShofarTogether moment of massive unity among the Jewish people!

Where: Your front porch, or anywhere you’d like

When: 7:00 PM, Saturday, 9/19 through Saturday, 9/26 (during the Days of Awe following the first day of Rosh Hashanah and before Yom Kippur)

Don't forget to post your photos and videos of your shofar solidarity with the hashtag #ShofarTogether

“Better Together”– Dr Mark Ramer JCC Global Hub for Russian speakers

In partnership with JDC, the latest Dr. Mark Ramer JCC Global Hub for Russian speakers will open on September 16, 2020. This brings to a total of 244 JCC leaders from 35 countries participating in 4 Hubs in 2020, thus far. Fifty-five Directors of JCCs and Heseds from 6 countries- Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine- already registered to the program. Based on the successful Hub that was conducted in Spanish, the program aims to support and strengthen JCCs and Heseds during times of major change as well as develop a Russian speaking support group.

Utilizing the JCC Global network, 3 JCC Global Fellows were invited as guest speakers:

· Alex Budnitsky, Executive Director, Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NY will lead an interactive session - JCC: defining what it means to be essential or "call for purpose”. Alex will present on how to be ahead of the game to ensure JCC's own survival, relevance and impact in the future. He will share his views on how recent crisis and entrepreneurial spirit reshaped the vision of the JCC and what are 8 leadership lessons he learned from operating during pandemics. The session will give time to participants to reflect upon their local institutions.

· Leonard Petlakh, Executive Director, Kings Bay Y, Brooklyn, NY. Lenny will present a process whereby participate can assess what will no longer be relevant: What to keep and what to change? And how to design a revised workplan for 2021.

· Gelena Blishteyn, Chief Operating Officer of Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, NY will teach a successful matrix to induce innovation and creative thinking in social problem solving. A tool that can help participants redesign and invent the new world of tomorrow.

Re-imagining the Future of JCCs- The Dr Mark Ramer JCC Global Hub in English

Following an August break, The Dr. Mark Ramer JCC Global Hub on Re-imagining the future of JCCs will resume on September 8th with 6 additional sessions.

The Hub is aimed to help Jewish leaders address the new landscape as it unfolds and evolves almost daily. The topics were designed following global consultations and will include: What the future holds? Designing Future Scenarios ; Re articulating the “Why”- A fresh look at vision, mission and strategy; The J in the JCC; Scanning the Jewish community landscape; How can the JCC Global network be a source for growth and collaboration; Building hybrid Jewish communities; How will we ensure the sustainability of JCCs for years to come? And more.

Participating in the program are 47 JCC leaders from 29 JCCs in 11 countries: Argentina, Canada, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Russia, Poland, UK and USA.

Resource Development for JCCs- The Dr Mark Ramer JCC Global Hub

Forty-three JCC senior professionals and lay leaders from 23 JCCs in 14 countries -Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Israel, Latvia, Moldova, the Netherlands, Poland, Ukraine and USA USA- graduated the first Dr Mark Ramer JCC Global Hub on Resource Development for JCCs.

The Hub focused on ways in which JCCs can continue their resource development efforts during these trying times. In addition, it provided building blocks for a resource development strategy equipped to tackle future trends and ensure the sustainability of each and every JCC.

Final survey results showed a great success:

87.5% said they would recommend the program

87.5% said they gained practical tools that will help them in the future

87.5% said they were getting answers to their dilemmas and questions

Here are what two participants had to say about the program:

“I feel much more confident now that I’ve heard distinguished people say things that I’ve been thinking or should have thought about. Now I have a better reference frame to apply my thoughts in action. Thank you JCC Global for leading this important Hub and for allowing us to meet peers from around the world" Richard Frankoff, Council member of Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas, USA

“I’m happy I had the chance to meet many of you. We might think that we are far from one another, but thanks to JCC Global we do not feel alone”, Inessa Nossenko, Director of the Mazal Tov JCC in Zaporozhe, Ukraine

Stay tuned for a second cohort in 2021!

CLAM, MWU and JCC Global will continue offering programming for senior Spanish speaking JCC leaders

A vast majority of 100JCC leaders from 18 countries-Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela- requested to continue the Re-Imagining and Re-creating the Future of JCCs - a joint initiative of CLAM (Confederation of Latin American Maccabi Clubs), Maccabi World Union and JCC Global.

Ninety-four percent of of respondents said that the program was either very well or well organized and was instrumental for their organizations and communities.

Here are some of their quotes:

· Javier Smejoff, Secretary (lay leader), Jewish Community of Fortaclecer, Brazil- “I realized that we are a global community and our main challenge is to be united.”

· Monica Kibrit, Vice President of Executive Committee (lay leader), CDI Mexico- “For many years we did the same things expecting different results. The pandemic forced us to do things differently and this program showed us new ways of thinking. To the smaller communities, we are going to help you- we are going to be for you the tenth person in a minyan.”

· Mariano Milerman, Executive Director (professional), Hebraica, Paraguay- “The program proved that barriers can be broken that we can collaborate and not compete. That we can expand our network and create new models to replicate.”

· Javier Fajn, Executive Director, (professional) Circulo, Buenos Aires, Argentina: “It was so moving and emotional to be with you together. I felt as though we were together in Sinai. We created a home (bait) by our conversations to build a better world. The program opened for us new universes and sources of inspiration. This was an oasis of love, thoughts and sharing!”

An invitation from the JCC of Greater Buffalo

The JCC of Greater Buffalo invites you to a Jewish Repertory Theatre Season like no other before! Join the Jewish Repertory Theatre of Western New York for a season of five staged readings, performed on the JRT stage and seen through the magic of video, where ever you choose:

· Bar Mitzvah Boy, by Mark Leiren-Young

· Holiday Shorts, by Hank Kimmel

· Exquisite Potential, by Stephen Kaplan

· An Unexpected Life, by Alice Eve Cohen

· Beau Jest, by James Sherman

For more information visit:

Spotlight on a JCC: Mazal Tov JCC, Zaporozhe, Ukraine

The Mazal Tov JCC in Zaporozhe, Ukraine, continues to surprise us with the wide variety of programs it offers. From online lessons in Hebrew and English, to lessons in Art and Judaica, Tu be-Av Jewish holiday celebration, volunteers of "Do Good, Ukraine" who continue to helping lonely elderly woman and single moms and much more.



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