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Hanna Fogel

Clara Keeps Swimming

(Published June 28, 2022) Clara W. has been a swimmer for so long, she can’t remember when she started. “My parents always had me in the water,” she said. “And I grew up swimming here [at the J]. I like the atmosphere, it’s very calming.” So when Clara’s sister started working at the JCC a few years ago, it was …

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Kickin’ It With Kenneth

(Published May 24, 2022) Watch Kenneth H. in either his tae kwon do class or swim lessons, and you’ll be impressed by the way he moves his legs. In warm-up stretches, he’s flexible enough to bring his foot higher than his face. Then once he starts kicking with purpose, his movements are graceful yet powerful and his aim is straight …

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Andrew Bowman is Living History

Andrew Bowman, an elderly black man, wearing a Civil War uniform and carrying the flag bearing the name of the regiment his grandfather, Andrew Jackson Smith, belonged to

(Published Jan 25, 2022) When Andrew Bowman first heard about his grandfather Andrew Jackson Smith’s Civil War heroics, even he didn’t believe it. “My mother’s a good storyteller,” he said, “and we always thought [her tales] were so outlandish. We joked about her being from “Lyin'” County, Kentucky [as opposed to its real name, Lyon County] because her stories were, …

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From Ballet to Boxing with Allison Weinkein

(Published Dec 28, 2021) These days, Allison Weinkein works out in the Mordoh Fitness Center as often as she can, averaging about four or five days a week. But it wasn’t always that way. “[Now] I get that little workout high that a lot of people talk about that I never believed. It ended up I was just doing the …

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The Chandras are a JCC Constant

(Published Nov 23, 2021) If you’re at the Mordoh Fitness Center in the morning, chances are you’ve run into Sekhar or Kris Chandra. “I come here around 8 am and don’t leave until 11:30 or 12,” Kris said. Part of that time is socializing with others: Members since 2005 after moving to Indianapolis from Connersville (about 60 miles east of …

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Chanukah Celebrations with the Rubins

(Published Oct 26, 2021) When Mike and Leslie Rubin moved into the Meridian Hills North apartments just down the street from the JCC, they knew what they were getting themselves into. “It was a Jewish community – everyone in our building was Jewish, we had four Jewish mothers in just the little place where we were. Our apartment was like …

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Mrs. Grimm’s High Holidays Honey Cake

(Published Aug 25, 2021) Beth Grimm (aka “Mrs. Grimm”) is part of the fabric of the JCC – she’s been coming to the facility since she was 10 years old and has worked in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program for over 40 years. “It’s always been a sense of community and family,” she said. “Going through life’s journeys, the …

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High Holidays Traditions with Ally Weiss and Eric Ratner

(Published Aug 25, 2021) It’s the High Holidays, do you know where your Jewish friends are? For JCC board members and 2021 Hand in Hand Campaign co-chairs Ally Weiss and Eric Ratner, while their exact locations are different, the ways in which they observe Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) are quite similar, …

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Todah Rabah (Thank You), Indy!

two young white women wearing white shirts and Israeli flag "Minnie Mouse ears" headbands

(Published July 27, 2021) By: Enav Elhaiany Perez and Maya Hirshberg It’s safe to say that our shnat sherut, or year of service as Shinshinim/young Israeli emissaries between graduating high school and joining the army, did not quite begin as anyone expected it would. Because we arrived in Indianapolis in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first introductions to this …

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Meet Steve Harms, the J’s New Board Chair!

A white-haired man standing in front of three rows of photos underneath a "JCC Past Presidents" sign

(Published June 15, 2021) Steve Harms fell in love with the J immediately when he first toured the facility seven years ago. An avid cyclist since riding in the Little 500 while in college at IU, in 2014 Steve suffered a bad accident and shattered his femur (why he now walks with a limp), for which he needed strong and …

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