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Wishing You A Happy Passover!
Tuesday, April 7, 2020. Issue #7.
Cultural Arts & Trips

James Sokol Director of Adult Learning and Living
Sinaia, Romania

On a day trip from Bucharest on our Eastern European Treasures trip last spring, I took the group to, what for me is, one of the most stunning castles in Europe. Today, let me take you there, too! Nestled in the southern Carpathian Mountains in the quaint town of Sinaia, Peles Castle is a masterpiece of German Neo-Renaissance architecture. Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, this summer residence of the royal family until 1947 has 160 rooms adorned with the finest examples of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows and Cordoba leather-covered walls. This was the first European castle to have electricity; it has its own power plant, hot/cold running water, central heat & central vacuum system. Click the button below, to journey on a 6-minute tour of this off-the-beaten-path fairytale gem.
For more information about Peles Castle, click below.
Jewish Peoplehood

Heidi Sanders Director of the Taube Center for Jewish Peoplehood
At our JCC, we have hosted three of Jewish Women's Theatre 's (JWT) dramatic shows in recent years, and can attest to the connective power of their unique brand of storytelling.

To bring us all a little much-needed joy and inspiration this week, JWT will release one original story online for each night of Passover. The stories, written by an array of talented authors, will be performed by JWT actors, and explore the gamut of emotions that the holiday inevitably sparks in Jews of all backgrounds.

The stories will be sent to JWT's mailing list and you can sign up to receive them here.
And, to kick off our Passover week, here's YidLife Crisis ' take on the Four Questions.

Next year, may our only problem be price-gouging in the Passover foods' aisle at the grocery store!
By the way, if you haven't subscribed to the twice-a-week email newsletter Moments of Joy, Learning & Laughter, you're missing out on some wonderful, feel-good content. It's highly recommended for its fun theatrical and musical clips with colorful commentary from Adult Learning & Living's James Sokol. Just send an email to him: and put 'Subscribe me!" in the subject line.
Performing Arts

Linda Bolt
Director, Kanbar Center for Performing Arts
Working with Michael Krasny is an honor. He is an author and a professor, but you may better know him as the host of Forum , a news and public affairs program on KQED-FM, San Francisco's public radio station. He is a master interviewer, with a breadth of knowledge that always impresses as he covers current events, politics, and culture.

My morning drives to the JCC often end up with me sitting in my car listening to the end of one of his programs.

This season, the JCC has been hosting a series we call Live on Stage with Michael Krasny. We've already had three fabulous programs and we plan to continue next season.

Michael is a Marin resident, a good friend to the Center, and here is a message he sent to share with you all and put a smile on your face!

A Message from Michael Krasny
This is Michael Krasny wishing you health and safety in this difficult time of corona. I was doing a series of on-stage conversations with the JCC and was fortunate enough to do three of the planned ten before the virus caused us all to shelter in place. Working with Linda Bolt has always been a matter of good fortune, and I hope we can plan for more interviews once the pandemic passes and we literally breathe easier once more.

I published a book on Jewish humor a couple of years ago called Let There Be Laughter . One of the most ancient themes in Jewish humor—which given Jewish history is easy to understand—has to do with surviving the most adverse circumstances. So, since we all need humor at a time such as the present, here is a classic Jewish joke relevant to the present. It involves a customary triad of holy men : a rabbi, a minister, and, since we are in Marin, a Buddhist priest each advising their flock.

God almighty appears from the celestial heavens and announces that in three days a flood far worse than what Noah had to endure will fall upon the Earth and drown every living creature. The minister shouts “Repent!” The Buddhist priest lifts his voice and says, “Meditate!” The rabbi? The rabbi says “In three days we will have to learn how to live underwater.”
Health & Fitness

Heather Skoda
 JCC General Manager
Lisa Vincent's
Meditation Workshop:
Finding Your Center in Challenging Times

Mark your calendar for
Sunday, April 12,
10-11:30 AM.

This class is for all of us, but you do need to pre-register.

Lisa Vincent will gently guide us in meditation to support us in feeling grounded and centered.   We'll practice calming yogic breathing techniques, and we'll relax into a visualization designed to help us let go of the thoughts and feelings that don’t serve us well in these challenging times.
And, remember, we have a webpage full of upcoming and pre-recorded workouts for you, too.
Adult Learning & Living

Danielle Vierra
Adult Learning & Living
For Dance Lovers and the Dance Curious:

If you have ever gone to a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or a Jewish wedding or a Jewish camp, you have probably done the classic Israeli folk dance  Zemer Atik . Also known as  Nigun Atik , the title means “ancient song.” It’s easy, fun, and has great music.
Zemer Atik  was choreographed in 1955 by Israeli folk dance icon Rivka Sturman. Sturman was an early pioneer of Israeli folk dancing, an invented tradition originating in the 1940s as part of a deliberate and focused campaign to create a cultural tradition for the newly created state. These dances were intended to unify Israel and facilitate a sense of national identity.
For years, Carol Friedman has brought the joy of Israeli dance to our JCC, and I think you'll enjoy these video links for her ever-popular Zemer Atik and Mayim .

Watch and hopefully dance along!
Camp & Youth

Brittany Mahalik
 Director of Camp & Youth Programs
From everyone here in Camp & Youth, we wish you a very Happy Passover.

We're sharing a couple of ideas that we hope will be helpful in your family's celebration of Passover, whether it's your first time diving into the story of Passover, or you are working on learning the four questions, check out the items below. Courtesy of
Review the Exodus story through drama. There's a part for everyone! Feel free to double up if needed.
Learn the 4 Questions
with Makena!
Early Childhood Education

Tamar Lai
Director of Early Childhood Education

A Passover
Puppet Show

presented by Jennifer Altman, East Bay Manager for the Jewish Baby Network.
Jewish Engagement

Joanne Greene
Director of Jewish Engagement
What to Expect from a Zoom Seder

This past Sunday morning our family held a Passover prep session on Zoom, going over the Seder plate (so that everyone can put one together), making matzah balls (because there are nuances the next generation might not know) and creating charoset (none of the kids knew what mortar was).

I learned that the host should mute everyone and that, like in school, people should raise their hands when they want to speak. No question, our Zoom Seders are going to be some combination of awkward and unruly.

Hopefully, it's just a one-year thing.

Humor helps though, don't you think? Here are a couple video clips that you can share with your Seder guests:
A Gorgeous Musical Greeting from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Chag Pesach Sameach!

Stay well, Friends.
We miss you.

Expect Issue #8 on Friday, April 10th.