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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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Hello to the Hos!

An Asian family (a man, a woman, two young girls and a young boy) on the deck of the Regenstrief Natatorium

(Published June 1, 2021) Returning to Indy in January 2021 after nearly 12 years abroad, during a pandemic, was almost a blessing in disguise for the Ho family (parents Darren and Steffanie and kids Lauren, Colson and Raegan). “We’re able to take the repatriation at our own pace,” Steffanie said. “Everything’s from home, we’re not thrust back in to mainstream …

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The Erdel Family’s Decade at the J

A mosaic featuring photos of the Erdel family

(Published April 26, 2021) To understand just how at home the Erdel kids feel at the J, one only had to watch them as they arrived at the Sablosky Pavilion, the location for the (masked and socially distanced) interview and photo shoot to prep this piece. Audrey (9) and Evan (7) immediately ran over to picnic tables their Summer Care …

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Filiberto Learns to Swim

Filiberto Cruz Mancera (Hispanic man in his 40s) in the Regenstrief Natatorium

(Published March 25, 2021) Growing up in Mexico, Filiberto Cruz Mancera loved sports. Basketball, volleyball, almost anything athletic – except swimming. When Filiberto was about six years old, his younger brother fell into and was swept away in the strong current of a creek where Filiberto, his brother and an older sister were playing. Filiberto and his sister frantically chased …

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Cathy Kravitz, Renaissance Woman

Cathy Kravitz (Jewish white woman with blonde hair in her 60s wearing an ivory sweater and mask) standing in front of a colorful mural

(Published Feb 22, 2021) Having been a member for over 30 years, Cathy Kravitz is something of a JCC celebrity. As a daily lap swimmer who has also participated in dance aerobics and tennis programs, taught art to the kids in the Early Childhood Education program and even exhibited in the JCC’s art gallery, she has a finger in several …

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Joe Johnson is All Heart

Joe Johnson (a mustached Black man in his 60s wearing a yellow shirt) working out on a machine in the Mordoh Fitness Center

(Published Jan 25, 2021) To look at Joe Johnson, you might not guess that he had a heart transplant just over 11 years ago. The way he tells it, his exercise routine hasn’t even changed that much from before the transplant: “It’s just that I can do more reps now. I got stronger.” Making sure that new heart stays healthy …

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