Wednesday, October 7, 2020. Issue 37.
Hello, October!

On October 1, indoor Health and Fitness became available to members with access to training and conditioning equipment, the techno-gym, the treadmills, ellipticals, and weights—all routinely cleaned and safely distanced. (Sorry, no indoor pool and sauna yet).
See how we've modified our facilities and procedures to ensure all members have a safe and healthy workout. We produced a four-minute video tour, guided by General Manager Heather Skoda. Take a look.
Early Childhood Education
Our preschools have re-opened and our community is thriving! Our dedicated staff have created engaging outdoor spaces for old and new friends to explore together and interact with one another. Children are model mask-wearers and hand-washing super heroes!

Come and play with us!
Limited spaces available at each site.
Richard Louv is best known for his seventh book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder (2005).

When we look for bright spots in this world that seems to be filled with doom and despair, we find that the mandate for schools to “utilize the outdoors as much as practicable” is actually an invitation to provide the environment that resonates most for many children—one of joy, discovery, and imagination.
This year, our JCC Preschoolers have been thriving in our outdoor spaces as they create new meaning for a typical day in preschool. They are creating volcanoes and ditches in the sand boxes, working together to negotiate each child’s role in the made-up games, studying leaves and other vegetation on the playgrounds and even studying bees and yellow jackets because those persistent and sometimes scary creatures bother us too much when we’re trying to eat our lunches! As a result, the play and the learning that occurs takes on a feeling of authenticity and relevance. When learning and play are meaningful, children gain confidence, competence and a sense of pride for playing a meaningful role in the community.
The importance of open-ended, authentic play in a young child’s development cannot be overstated. Having the opportunity to engage the natural environment provides a great foundation for this and we are so fortunate to live in the Bay Area where we can enjoy the outdoors much of the year. As we plan for the fall season of rain and cold, start collecting the rain boots and winter coats, because we will continue to utilize the outdoors “to the greatest extent practicable!”
Youth & Family
Fall is upon us!
Is it cold there yet? It is here!

Editor's note to Brittany in Michigan: Alas, it's still too hot here. We could use the cooler temps to squelch the fires to the north of us!

As the leaves start to turn color and the trees begin to shed them, now is the perfect time to stock up on some of nature's provided art supplies!

You know what we say at camp: "Every day is Earth Day!"

This week we encourage you to create with leaves! Make your very own animal and superhero masks! See below for more information!
Cultural Arts & Trips
Nicasio Valley (CA) & Amsterdam (The Netherlands) 
Cheese/tickets sales end on Wed, Oct 7 – ORDER NOW! 

Our Terrific Tastings have been such a fun, popular hit that I’m adding more to the schedule.  Don’t miss the next one.  Plus, our Traveling Still series has received raves; it’s so exciting! Register now for the upcoming “trips” to Amsterdam. 

Nicasio Valley Cheeses 
Sun, Oct 18: 4-5:30pm 

Bring your bottle of wine, a few crackers, and hop in our virtual coach and let me “take” you to experience a fun, interesting, delicious & cheesy "happy hour" from the comfort of your living room. Special guest Rick Lafranchi discusses his creamery and leads our guided cheese tasting. 

For details & registration, click below.

Astonishing Amsterdam 
Mon, Nov 2-23: 11am-12:15pm 

Let me Zoom you to Amsterdam to spend time with our terrific, experienced, local guide Tricia, who leads these interesting live “visits." Our visits include: 

  • Canal Ring Highlights (Nov 2) 
  • Museum Highlights: Dutch Masters (Nov 9) 
  • Jewish Amsterdam (Nov 16) 
  • Dam Square & Royal Palace (Nov 23) 

For details & registration, click below.
Adult Learning & Living
Music! Music! Music!  I am happy to provide these wonderful programs as enriching and fun antidotes to the world around us.  I hope you’ll join us. 

The Romantic Piano
Wed, Oct 7: 1-2pm
Take a front row seat at your computer and join me for pianist Ian Scarfe’s live recital with interesting introductions of the Romantic 19th Century, featuring popular works by Chopin, Brahms, Liszt, and more. Q&A follows. Free 

For details & registration, click below.

Aria Ready?
The “Bel Canto” Period 
Thu, Oct 8:  1-2:30pm

Join opera appreciation instructor James Sokol & vocal coach Ron Valentino for a unique journey through the Italian period of “Beautiful Singing,” which demands incredible vocal acrobatics & virtuosity! 
Join us for the fun! 

For details & registration, click below.
Zoom practice makes perfect.

Please take a look at our Learning Zoom webpage and download the easy step-by-step manuals. Then register for one of our live online practice sessions.

Advance registration required. Zoom classes require a minimum of five registrants by 10:00am on the morning of the program.

Thanks to our donors, the manuals and sessions are free!
Jewish Life
Feed the body and the soul!
Join us for the next installment of this soul-nourishing, delicious program from Bay Area husband-and-wife duo Gabi Moskowitz (acclaimed food blogger) and Evan Wolkenstein (author and Jewish educator).

Kitchen Chevruta: Simchat Torah
The Cyclical-Linear Time Paradox of the Torahand
Challah Cardamom-Cinnamon Rolls
Thursday, October 8 7:30pm
Was Christopher Columbus Jewish?!

Jason Harris, TCJP Acting Director and creator of the popular podcast Jew Oughta Know, will raise (and maybe answer!) the question of Christopher Columbus' Jewish origins. On this Columbus/Indigenous Peoples Day, we'll consider why Jews were so interested in the famed explorer's origins.

Monday, October 12 7:00- 8:00pm
Smart Chills and Thrills!
This is the time of year scary movies are celebrated. Whether it’s Halloween or the darkening days of Fall, let’s get our minds out of the real frightening world and into a smart suspense thriller. It seems that latter films in this genre are often gross out horrorfests, so I’m including some of my favorite classics that don’t need gore to entertain.
It doesn’t get better than 1955’s Night of the Hunter.

Robert Mitcham’s brooding and demented Harry Powell learns in prison that a condemned man has hidden $10,000. Obsessed with finding it, Harry tracks down the widow and children who unknowingly have it. Lillian Gish and Shelly Winters lead a strong cast, with some of the best lighting ever in a black and white movie. It is hard to believe this was the only movie Charles Laughton directed. He definitely shows a true talent for it.
Cape Fear (1962) brings us Robert Mitchum again, this time as a man obsessed with hunting down the small town lawyer who put him in prison. Gregory Peck is perfectly cast as the lawyer who has to save his family from the deranged man bent on revenge. This is one of those thrillers with a superb climax, keeping us tense and afraid for the good guys. The 1991 remake was good, but I’ll take the original every time.
It's time for laughs mixed with classic horror with Young Frankenstein (1974). Gene Wilder, who stars and wrote the screenplay, told me it was the favorite of his films. All of us can see why, a truly brilliant spoof and satire of every horror film made by Universal Pictures in the 1930s and on. Wilder portrays a descendant of Dr. Frankenstein, journeying to Transylvania and eventually reanimating a dead body. Director Mel Brooks insisted on making this movie in black and white, much to the studio’s dismay. It was a good call. Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Gene Hackman, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn play it straight, with actual props from the original classic films adding to the reality of the sets.
Alfred Hitchcock is front and center this time of year. Though we have a long list of perfect films from the Sultan of Suspense and the Master of the Macabre (Rear Window, The Birds, Psycho, Vertigo), my own favorite is Strangers on a Train (1951.) Based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, a gentleman villain tries to entice a tennis star to participate in a double murder. The carousel climax combined with a riveting tennis game brings out the worst in Bruno Antony, beautifully played by Robert Walker. Bruno is one of the weirdest characters in a Hitchcock film, and that’s saying something!
1988’s Beetlejuice is imaginative and also strange. A couple tries to chase an obnoxious family of post-modern art lovers who move into their home. They meet the demonic Michael Keaton who promises to rid the house of the intruders. Big mistake. This is a surreal farce, directed by Tim Burton. Not surprisingly, the film won the Oscar for Achievement in Makeup!
No need to be grossed out or gasp with movie thrillers.
Have fun with the smart ones!
Stay well, Friends.
Come work out at the J.