J Staff Intranet Blog
Yom Kippur starts at sundown on Sunday and lasts through sundown on Monday. It's traditional to fast on this very solemn holiday and MyJewishLearning explains why:
Why do people fast on Yom Kippur?
Yom Kippur is the day on which we are instructed to divorce ourselves as completely as humanly possible from the mundane world in order to devote ourselves with all our hearts and minds to our relationship with the divine. Fasting is the most widespread manifestation of this devotion. Other examples include: refraining from washing, sexual relations, and the wearing of leather (a sign of luxury in earlier times).
Do children have to fast? Is anyone exempt from fasting? Can I at least drink water?
Traditionally, Jews are not required to fast until they reach bar/bat mitzvah age (12 or 13), and children under the age of 9 are not allowed to fast. People for whom fasting is a health risk, along with pregnant and nursing women, are also exempt. The fast includes abstaining from water, but, again, only if doing so does not pose a health risk. Find tips on fasting without jeopardizing your health here.
Yom Kippur begins this Sunday at sundown and lasts until sundown on Monday, September 28. This is the most solemn day in the Jewish Calendar and many Jews will observe it by fasting for 25 hours, reflecting and praying.
Yom Kippur is also known as The Day of Atonement. According to tradition, at the end of the day, God seals the Books of Life and Death for the coming year. The day is spent repenting for sins committed over the previous twelve months.
Because Yom Kippur is a solemn holiday, it’s appropriate to say “have an easy fast,” but not “happy Yom Kippur.”
As our part of our Wellness Program, we are hosting a Walgreen’s flu vaccine clinic:
- Wednesday, September 23, 2020
- 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
- Board Room
- FREE on most major medical insurance plans including Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United HealthCare, Aetna, Medicare, etc.
To sign up for this socially-distanced event, please use this link: https://wagsoutreach.com/ss/JEW390864
When you make your appointment, you’ll see a VAR Form that should be completed and brought to your appointment along with your insurance card. (I’ll send a reminder closer to the date.)
The Centers for Disease Control believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this fall and winter. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever. CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.
Everyone who gets a flu vaccine will be entered into raffles for a $50 Visa Gift Card and a Self-Care Gift Basket (herbal tea + honey, throw blanket, aromatherapy candles, gratitude journal, lavender heating wrap and aromatherapy shower steamers).
Rosh Hashanah starts tonight at sundown. The holiday celebrates the Jewish new year, and like the secular new year, the most common greeting for the holiday is “Happy New Year.”
Jews will often greet one another on the holiday with the rough Hebrew equivalent, shana tova (pronounced shah-NAH toe-VAH), which literally means “good year.”
Today through Sunday, please wish our Jewish members a “Happy New Year” or “Shana Tova.” It’s a nice way to demonstrate our J Value of Passing on Jewish Culture + History.
Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year - is sundown September 18 through sundown September 20 this year. One of the most popular Rosh Hashanah customs involves eating apple slices dipped in honey, sometimes after saying a special prayer. Ancient Jews believed apples had healing properties, and the honey signifies the hope that the new year will be sweet.
What's your favorite way to enjoy apples - pie, tart, dumpling, jelly, crisp, cake, dipped in peanut butter...or perhaps just plain? Share your answer in the comments section by noon on Friday, September 18. One participant will win a $25 Hen House gift card (which would buy a nice Tippin's pie and ice cream)!
We are happy to welcome Jose' Ruiz as our new Manager, Personal Training.
Jose’ comes to The J with over 12 years of experience in the fitness industry. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Sports Science with an emphasis in Athletic Training from Avila University where he also played baseball. He also earned his Master of Science in Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Science and Nutrition (Fitness/Wellness) from the University of Central Missouri. Since 2008, Jose’ has been a nationally certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE). He enjoys all aspects of health, wellness and fitness and has taken numerous continuing education courses with topics in wellness coaching, boot camp instruction, weight management, TRX and sports conditioning to name a few.
Before The J, he spent time as a Senior Fitness Specialist at Cerner and an Assistant Manager at Legacy Park Community Center. Additionally, Jose’ served as a Healthy Living Director with the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, ACE trainer prep course instructor, general manager-transformation coach of a private small group training studio, and an adjunct Kinesiology instructor with Avila University.
Jose’ believes that proper nutrition and proper exercise will get results. However, overall continuous/sustained healthy habits will maintain a healthy lifestyle for the individual and their family. One mantra you will hear from Jose’ is that: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” This is what he uses as a fitness and life motto because if things are easy there is no progress, so challenges must occur to elicit change in spirit, mind and body.
Jose’ is excited to be a part of The J. He wants to help everyone help themselves in reaching and maintaining health, wellness and fitness goals.
Welcome to The J Team, Jose'!
Rosh Hashanah – the Jewish New Year – starts at sundown this Friday. Holiday services include the blowing of the shofar - a ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet during Rosh Hashanah services. It's also blown every day except Shabbat during the preceding month of Elul and at the end of Yom Kippur. The four sounds of the shofar — tekiah, shevarim, teruah, and tekiah gedolah — remind many people of a crying voice.
Hearing the shofar’s call is a reminder for us to look inward and repent for the sins of the past year.
To learn more, visit myjewishlearning.com
The annual All Employee Meeting is our once-a-year chance to gather to learn, connect and celebrate.
This year's version will be virtual and streamlined. We will hear from Jim, acknowledge service anniversaries and celebrate our Employee of the Year.
All active employees are required to attend, so save the date and watch your email for more information.
November 15, 2020
5:30 to 6:30 pm
The J solicits feedback from members on a regular basis using a program called Listen360. Check out this awesome praise for our Child Development Center:
"Everything about the JCC is great! The teachers and administrators are all kind and wonderful to work with! As I enrolled my son in kindergarten and met with his new teacher yesterday, she asked where did he go to preschool? We told her the JCC CDC and she was like-Well, you're all good! I won't even have to worry about you then! She knew, as well as I know, the kind of care and great learning environment and excellent teachers that the JCC CDC offers! The extra classes they offer are a great gift to families to be able to spent more time together in the evenings, while the kids can still get their specialty extracurricular classes done and enjoy them during the day!"
The Jewish Community Campus, which includes The J, will be closed September 19-20 for Rosh Hashanah.
Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year and the holiday is filled with traditional prayers, treats and ceremonies.
- It’s a time for rejoicing and celebrating the completion of another year.
- It’s also a time for introspection and taking stock of one’s life.
- It’s traditional to eat challah (bread) that’s baked in a round shape to symbolize the eternal cycle of life. Many enjoy challah and/or apples dipped in honey, symbolizing the hopes for a sweet New Year.
- Three unique sets of prayers are added to the morning service during Rosh Hashanah. After each prayer, the shofar (ram’s horn) is sounded.
- On the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, a ceremony called the Tashlich occurs and people throw crumbs or pieces of bread, symbolizing their sins, into flowing water.
To learn more, visit myjewishlearning.
Watch JNet next week for more holiday information, including how to greet our members who celebrate.
Board Games (along with homemade sourdough bread) trended during the stay home order. A little fun, strategy or competition helped to pass the time.
With winter coming, we might want to keep those games handy - and maybe find some new ones to try.
Share your favorite board game(s) in the comments section and be entered into a drawing to win a mini Jenga-like stacking game. We'll draw the winner at noon on Friday, September 11, 2020.
At our annual All Employee meeting, we announce and celebrate our Employee of the Year.
This year, the event will be virtual (date and time announced soon), but we will continue our tradition of recognizing an employee who demonstrates J Values and inspires us to Live Up to our highest potential.
Click the link below to reach our short online nomination form. Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28, 2020.
The Employee of the Year receives a $500 cash prize and recognition at the All Employee Meeting. Thanks for helping us celebrate this yearly tradition!
Save The Date
As part of our Wellness Program, we are hosting an onsite flu shot clinic:
- Wednesday, September 23
- 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
- Board Room
FREE on most major health plans such as Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Aetna and Medicare.
Save the date now. We will share more info soon and a link to schedule your appointment.
Has anyone ever said you remind them of a historic figure, politician, celebrity? I've heard Bette Midler. Is it the red hair...or the nose?!
In the comments section, tell us your doppelganger by Monday August 31 at 5:00 pm. Everyone who shares will be entered to win a $25 gift card of their choice.
We'll also make a photo album of the comparisons and share it on JNet.
The Hebrew word mitzvah literally means commandment, but it has also come to mean a good deed. Hiddur means to make beautiful. Hiddur mitzvah, then, is a commandments to make things beautiful while doing good.
The American Guild of Judaic Art's mission is about Hiddur Mitzvah and the organization has just launched a new website: www.jewishart.org
The Guild is a not-for-profit membership organization comprised of contemporary Jewish artists, artisans and others interested in promoting Jewish art, Jewish culture, and community. General membership is open to all artist professionals working in the field. Chaverim/Circle of Friends membership is open to all and includes galleries, museum curators, collectors of Jewish art and Judaica, writers, and educators in the field of Jewish studies and art history, as well as Jewish art enthusiasts.
The website currently features an online exhibition of art that addresses the theme ORIGIN STORY. You can see it here.
Congratulations to Andy Tann for winning our most recent JNet drawing. Andy shared why he loves Kansas City:
"The best thing about KC is that we have over 150 miles of off road trail (built by volunteers) for hiking and mountain biking. You can reach a forest and trail in any part of greater KC from downtown to the suburbs in about 15 minutes or less by car. Most cities do not have that easy of access to get away from it all."
Thanks to everyone who participated!
The Shofar Project
August 20 - September 18, 2020
Each week of The Shofar Project will focus on a different aspect of awakening and renewal. Once you sign-up, you will receive emails with the links to video teachings and a variety of live online events that explore the week’s theme, as described below. Participate in as many program elements as you’d like as often as you can. No Jewish knowledge or level of observance is required. Open to all.
A live 30-minute daily (Monday-Friday) Jewish mindfulness meditation sit: includes a teaching and guided meditation led by IJS staff and outstanding guest instructors from various Jewish denominations.
A live 30-minute “Torah Study to Sustain The Soul” each Tuesday: focused on a classic Jewish text with Rabbi Jonathan Slater.
Live 45-minute Jewish yoga sessions each Monday + Thursday: connect the mind, body, soul.
Click here for your free registration.
Once in awhile, we interview out-of-town candidates for jobs at The J. Sometimes they've visited Kansas City and know what we're all about; other times they've only flown over the heartland and ask, "So what's Kansas City like?" (I've had a few people ask about the cows they assume are always nearby.)
What's your favorite thing about living in the Kansas City metro area? BBQ? Chiefs? Museums? Friendly people?
Share your answer in the comments section by 5:00 pm Friday, August 21 and be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card.
We gather feedback from our members using a program called Listen360. One of the comments we received today is:
"There’s a great sense of community, even during these difficult times."
Building Community is one of our J Values. Being a community center is what makes The J more than "just" a fitness center, a preschool, a senior center, etc.
"Community" implies deeper connections and longer, stronger relationships.
Creating a sense of community is easy during easy times. It's more challenging during times like these - when we're worried about health, education, politics, the future, etc.
Thank you for doing the things that create community - smiling, saying hello, learning names, asking questions - even when you've got other important things on your mind. Your commitment to building community is felt by members and by your J Team.
The newest J Journal is out and contains all you need to know about what's happening at The J.
Make sure to read about the give-back night at Goodcents on Aug 25th - 15% of proceeds will benefit The J!
The pandemic has affected where we go, what we wear, who we visit and more. It’s also changed our TV viewing habits. A Comcast study shows that starting in March of 2020:
- The average household is watching TV at least 8 hours more per week.
- There’s a 40% increase in viewing during late night hours.
- There’s been a 64% increase in watching news programs.
- DVR use has decreased and video on demand use has increased, suggesting people have watched their “usual” shows and are looking for something new.
As we head into cooler weather and shorter days, we may want to cuddle up with a new show. What’s the best thing you’ve watched over the last few months? Share your binge-worthy suggestions in the comments section.
Congratulations to Tilley Marlo for winning this week's "Back to School" contest/drawing.
Thanks to everyone who shared back to school memories.
Congratulations to Sandra Greason for winning a Live Up award, which comes with recognition, a certificate and a $50 gift card.
Sandra demonstrated J Values by stepping up to serve as interim "Covid Coordinator" and had to quickly learn the ins and outs of exposures, quarantines, isolation periods, return-to-work criteria and more.
Mazel Tov, Sandra. Thank you for your help.
To nominate a J Team member for a Live Up award, just use the "Live Up Nomination" at the top of this page.
Thanks to everyone who attended our Wellness Wednesday lunch yesterday. It was nice to "gather" and enjoy a healthy lunch and time together.
Three J Team members got 9/10 answers correct on our Wellness Quiz: Machaela Whelan, Kim Hattrup and Jacqueline Passonno. The three were entered into a random drawing and Jacqueline was the final winner!
You can see the quiz questions and answers here.
Stay tuned for more Wellness programs and activities.
Mazel Tov to David Green for winning a Live Up Award, our recognition for employees who demonstrate J Values.
David was on a family vacation when our network went down. After trying to fix things remotely, he ended his vacation early so he could return to work and complete the repairs. While we are very sorry David had to miss family time, we are thankful for his commitment to The J and to his important role as Director of IT.
Thank you David!
To nominate a J Team member for a Live Up Award, use the "Live Up Nomination" button at the top of JNet. Winners receive $50 gift cards and certificates.
As part of The J's focus on wellness, we're serving a free healthy (socially distanced) lunch today for all J employees!
Wednesday, August 12th
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Grab + Go or Eat in the Lobby
- Tuna Salad Wraps
- Turkey Sandwich
- Hummus Salad
- Fruit cup
- Corn & blueberry summer salad with fresh basil
- Pasta salad with cucumber, peas, grape tomatoes, bell pepper & red onion with an Italian dressing
- Maple balsamic quinoa salad with craisins and green onion
- Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
- Raspberry Oatmeal Bars
Special thanks to Alley DeWitt, Janice Malin and Sandi Sandborn for organizing this event!
In next week’s Torah portion, Moses instructs the Israelites about many important things, including clean and unclean foods. Here's one part of his instructions:
“You shall not eat anything abhorrent. You may eat any animal that has true hoofs that are cleft in two and brings up the cud, like sheep, goats and oxen. Those with a cleft hoof, you may not eat, like camel and rabbits. Also the pig, for though it has true hoofs it does not bring up its cud, so it is unclean.”
Following Jewish dietary laws is called “keeper kosher.” The J’s Heritage Center, CDC and J Café serve kosher food and are supervised by The Vaad Hakashruth of Kansas City. The Vaad provides kosher certification, supervision, education and inspection.
To learn more about kosher, check out this post on www.myjewishlearning.com
While going "back to school" this year may look a little (or a lot) different for students, it's still part of the rhythm of the year. And it brings back lots of memories!
Remember the anticipation of finding out who was in your class? The heat off the parking lot during marching band practice? The start of fall sports? The big shopping trip for supplies? The smell of paste?
What's your favorite back to school memory? Share it in the comments section by noon on Friday, August 14th. One lucky participant will win a $25 gift card of his/her choice.
August is the peak month for these yummy and healthy fruits + veggies:
- Pluots (plum + apricot)
- Summer Squash
If you have a favorite on the list and/or a great way to prepare one of these, share in the comments section.