J Weekly May 24-30

This week will begin with the Memorial Day holiday, and concludes with Shavuot. 
The absence of the traditional picnics, parades, and holiday sales provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day – to remember our fallen military personnel.
Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai and is traditionally celebrated by study.
Rabbi Rachel Ain of the Sutton Place Synagogue in New York City shared a special connection between the two holidays:
“Memorial Day recalls the commitment of those who had a made the ultimate sacrifice for something larger than themselves – the community and their country. On Shavuot we recall the community of Israelites who, after escaping slavery in Egypt, came together to accept God’s greatest gift, the Torah.
With these two holidays we recognize the moments that unite us while we continue physical distancing. And we look forward to the day when we can come together again as a united community of people of all backgrounds and beliefs. 
This week we remember all those who bravely have made our lives possible through their sacrifice. And remember the story of our people, the giving of the Torah, and our mission to help to repair the world -- tikun olam."
You can read Rabbi Ain’s full article here: https://bit.ly/RabbiAinArticle
Earlier this week, we felt it was important to pause and give thanks to our members, donors, staff and community who continue to support and sustain us during these challenging times. 
We held our first-ever #JCCGivingGratitude Day.
The day was designed to lift us up, express gratitude for our resilience and celebrate the many generous gifts from our community. 
From a heartfelt thank you video from our staff (see below) to our adorable ECC children displaying artwork that illustrates what they are grateful for (see below), to Chef Lindsay’s Sweet Thank You treats, to Meg Buckner’s dance students sharing their #gratitutdeattitude -- the JCC, along with you, brought the feeling of gratitude to life. 
As we announced on Friday, we have been working on the reopening plans for all JCC locations as the State of Connecticut continues to open back up. Please find our reopening update on our website.
Shavuot begins at sundown on Thursday, May 28 and ends with sundown on Saturday, May 30.
This holiday commemorates the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai. It is traditional to eat dairy, especially cheese, on Shavuot to symbolize the Land of Milk and Honey which comes from the Bible referring to the Promised Land, Israel.
As masks become a "new normal" in our society, children may have a difficult time seeing them everywhere.
Aside from seeing others wearing masks, children may have fears and concerns when they start to wear a mask themselves. Part of feeling uncomfortable is that the masks hide people’s facial expressions and children cannot recognize a smile or a frown or detect if a person looks nice or mean. This is just one more way their world has changed.
JCC's from around the globe continuet to create, together, the ULTIMATE community for you!
The Virtual J platform allows JCCs to share youth and family programming, fitness classes, film festivals and more.
All you have to do is register your name and email -- for FREE -- and you will have access to our ever growing community.
Don't have Facebook or Zoom, the Virtual J is the perfect platform to watch live streams and more.
The Great Big Jewish Food Festival | Facebook, Zoom, Instagram
Continues Until May 27
The Great Big Jewish Food Fest seeks to celebrate the diversity of Jewish food, from its rich global history, its diversity of flavors and identities, its religious and cultural foundations, and its intersection with modernity.
Food plays a powerful role in the transmission of familial and collective history, the weaving of our social fabric, and the activation of our personal identities.
Our expert fitness staff will be live-streaming many of your favorite group exercise classes throughout the week in our Mandell JCC Fitness Friends Facebook Group
Our friends at Hartford Athletic, Connecticut's professional soccer team, are hosting live workouts on their Instagram account with some of their players!
Join players every Monday and Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. on Instagram for an 'all levels' total body workout; no equipment needed, all ages and skill levels welcome.
We have two engaging Facebook Groups which will have regular
LIVE content, activities and community!
We invite you to join us!
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