The Family Wellness Expo
Returning January 2014
An interactive event for the whole family! Click here for event details.
Annual Shaw JCC Fundraising Events
The Shaw JCC of Akron is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing quality programs and services to the entire community. Each year over $100,000 in membership and free or low cost programs is provided for those in need. The money needed to support this important programming and to maintain the Shaw JCC facility is partially raised through fundraising.
•Families Supporting Families Campaign
Donations can be made at any time. The official 2013-14 Campaign will kick-off in August 2013.
•Annual Sports Dinner
2014 Date & Speaker to be Determined
•Annual Golf Outing
June 10, 2013 at Rosemont Country Club
•The Shaw JCC and The Lippman School Annual Benefit
November 16, 2013
For more information regarding these events or other opportunities to support the Shaw JCC, please contact us at 330-835-0020.
At the Shaw JCC, we observe both American civic holidays and Jewish religious holidays. In doing so, we honor both the Jewish tradition from which we derive our strength and the broad diversity of our membership and community.
Regardless of your religious tradition, we welcome you to learn more about Jewish holidays and traditions at the Shaw JCC. We are proud to be open to everyone in our community.
A Guide to Jewish Holidays
If you've glanced at the Shaw JCC calendar, you'll notice lots of Jewish holidays in the fall and again in the spring. Whether these holidays are part of your family's tradition or you're encountering them for the first time, we invite you to learn more about the Jewish holidays we celebrate each year.
Happy New Year! For the Jewish people, Rosh Hashanah (or the Jewish New Year) commemmorates the day the world was created. It's one of the holiest days of the year. On Rosh Hashanah, it's a mitzvah--or commandment--to hear the sounding of the shofar, or ram's horn. We also celebrate with a festive meal, during which we dip an apple into honey, symbolizing our prayer for a sweet new year. Wish your Jewish friends a good new year with "L'shana Tovah!"
In the Jewish faith, Yom Kippur is the most sacred day holy day. It is also known as the Day of Atonement, because the day is devoted to prayer and repentance. We spend the day at services at our respective synagogues. During this holiday, we typically observe the prohibition against eating and drinking with a fast. At the conclusion of services, the shofar is blown again, which signifies we can break the fast.
Have you ever noticed a cozy wooden shelter temporarily located outside the Shaw JCC each fall? It's called a sukkah, and we build it for the holiday Sukkot. This festive holiday marks the closing of the harvest season for the Jews of ancient Israel. We eat our meals in the sukkah to recall the shelters of the Jews when they wandered in the wilderness.
Hoshanna Rabbah is the seventh and final day of Sukkot, and the day has its own rituals, which include prayers for repentance.
On Simchat Torah, we dance, sing and rejoice with the Torah. We read the last Torah portion of the year during this holiday, concluding the Book of Deuteronomy, and then proceed immediately to the first chapter of Genesis, reminding us that the Torah is a never-ending circle.
We honor the special relationship between the Jewish people and God on Shemini Atzeret. The holiday marks the beginning of the rainy season following the harvest in Israel, so we recite the prayer for rain--tefilat geshem--among other prayers.
Chanukah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight-day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. According to tradition as recorded by the Talmud, at the time of the rededication there was very little oil left that had not been defiled by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah in the temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously it burned for eight days, the time needed to prepare a fresh supply of oil. An eight day festival was declared to commemorate this miracle.
On Tu B'Shuvat, we celebrate the New Year for the Trees, rejoicing in the fruit of the tree and the fruit of the vine, celebrating the gifts of the natural world, which give our senses delight and our bodies life. To mark this moment in Israel, children plant trees.
In the story of Purim, King Achashverosh throws a huge six-month party and Queen Vashti refuses to follow orders. After a global search, Esther becomes the new queen – but does not reveal her Jewishness. Mordechai, the leader of the Jews, uncovers a plot to assassinate the king – putting him also in a favorable position with the king. All this comes in handy when Haman, the king’s top advisor, obtains a decree to have all the Jews destroyed. (Purim is the Persian word for "lottery," used by Haman to determine a date for his planned destruction of the Jews.)
Purim customs include food baskets, hamantashen pastries, a festive meal, charity, parades, plays and carnivals.
Have you ever heard about Moses standing up to Pharaoh and then leading his people out of slavery in Egypt? Remember the plague of locusts and the parting of the Red Sea? That's what Passover is all about celebrating the journey from slavery to freedom.
During Passover, Jewish people have a special meal, called a seder, with family and friends. We eat matzah bread without yeast to recall our ancestors fleeing Egypt with no time for the bread to rise. Jewish tradition dictates that we don't work for several days at the beginning and end of Passover and we don't eat food with any kind of leavening in it for the eight days of the holiday. That's why the Shaw JCC is closed for a few days during Passover, and why you'll find the vending machines turned off during this time.
On Yom HaShoah, we remember the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. We invite the entire community to participate in the Yom HaShoah programs listed above. As Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel has said, "For the dead and the living, we must bear witness."
On Yom Hazikaron, we remember the soldiers who gave their lives so the State of Israel can exist.
The instant that Yom Hazikaron is over, Yom Ha'Atzmaut "Israeli Independence Day" begins. The transition from sorrow to celebration is quite dramatic, and in Israel, the celebration is much like our July 4th fireworks, picnics, and lots of food!
The 33rd day of the Omer Count is a festive day on the Jewish calendar, celebrated with outings, bonfires and other joyous events. The Talmud relates that in the weeks between Passover and Shavuot, a plague raged amongst the disciples of the great sage Rabbi Akiva, these weeks are therefore observed as a mourning period. On Lag B'Omer, the dying ceased and thus it carries the theme of Ahavat Yisrael, the imperative to love and respect one's fellow.
Perhaps you know the story of Moses going up on Mount Sinai? When he came down, he had two tablets containing the Ten Commandments. Shavuot commemorates that occasion, and also celebrates the harvest in Israel. We celebrate Shavuot by lighting candles, eating dairy foods, and reading the Book of Ruth (which takes place during the harvest).