Jewish Life

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Rochester prides itself on our deep commitment to Jewish values, culture, and traditions. We are proud of our diverse programmatic offerings, our strong partnerships with community organizations, agencies, and synagogues, and our pivotal role as a portal of entry into Jewish community life. Please stop by our Jewish Life Table, located to the right of the Main Desk, for information about upcoming holidays, Jewish programs and events, and Interfaith programs happening throughout the community.

The JCC strives to infuse Jewish values, cultures, and traditions into its programming organically. Please look for programs with a Jewish twist throughout the website. In addition, please feel free to contact Joy Getnick to discuss Jewish Life at the JCC, or inquire about upcoming programs and events.

What's New?

It's November! The Lane Dworkin Rochester Jewish Book Festival is in full swing, the bounty of fall is at its peak, and we start to look forward to Thanksgiving. Last year Thanksgiving overlapped with Hanukkah, an extremely rare occurrence that forced Jews to think critically about the similarities and differences between the holidays. Beyond "Menurkeys" lay a real contradiction of messages: Thanksgiving celebrates a time when, allegedly, settlers and natives were able to put aside their differences and join together for a festive harvest meal, while Hanukkah celebrates a time when the Greeks and Jews were unable to set aside their differences and live together in harmony, and thus the Maccabees chose to fight for their right to be Jewish in a non-Jewish world because, to them, there was nothing more important. Hanukkah is about choosing to be Jewish. It's a celebration of plurality and diversity, whereas Thanksgiving says "at our core, we're all the same!"

Thanksgiving also poses other important questions for us as American Jews. Our ancestors most likely came to the United States looking to escape the challenges of being Jewish in Europe, or the Middle East, or elsewhere in the world. They came here seeking freedom and opportunity in a nation that purports to welcome all the "huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Yet that nation of freedom was built on the confiscation of land previously settled by others. Our ability to be openly, freely Jewish here in the salad bowl of the United States came at a great price for others, a price we peripherally acknowledge but essentially gloss over each year at Thanksgiving. As Jews, as we look ahead to Hanukkah and celebrate the beauty of the Hanukkah lights, a symbol of Jewish continuity for thousands of years despite so many odds, may we also remember the lights that came before us here in the United States. While we are thankful for the opportunity to live here freely, and celebrate with family and friends across religious and ethnic denominations, may we never remember at what cost this opportunity came, and strive to truly be welcoming and inclusive of others in our own time.

 

Holidays

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur               

Sukkot

 

Hanukkah

 

Tu B'Shevat

  Purim

Passover

Shavuot

 

Middotopoly Board

Middotopoly Property Pieces

Middotopoly Did You Know Pieces

Middotopoly Did You Know Backs

Middotopoly Jewish Star and Menorah Cards

Middotopoly Directions

Local Community Agencies

Synagogues in the Rochester Area