Chai there, 2016! You may safely exit 2015

Chai there, 2016! You may safely exit 2015The year 2015 was less peaceful, as the world may have expected it to be, yet some of these events have brought the nation closer than ever. Entering the era of #hashtags, #prayforparis, #lgbt and #blacklivesmatter helped publicize widespread movements this year. Cecil the Lion, Donald Trump and Bruce Jenner are just a few names that shook the media world. The force was strong in the largest and most anticipated movie sequel release in history, and as predicted in Back to the Future II, we got our first publicly available hoverboard… only with wheels. And it doesn’t hover. South Florida managed to escape another hurricane season unscathed before some record rainboot-worthy rainfall (try saying that five times fast), and Turkey became the world’s biggest refugee hosting country with millions of Syrian refugees. Oh, what a year. So what’s the J ringing in 2016 with?

While not many of us come from a genealogical line of refugees, most come from a background of immigrants. Like our ancestors and possibly close relatives, the Jewish people went through a struggle on their journey to a new land with aspirations to build new lives. On January 10, 2016 and running through May 1st, From Home to Home: Jewish Immigration to America is an interactive exhibit for children and families of all cultures to get some handson education and views of those who migrated to America.

Chai there, 2016! You may safely exit 2015

Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble comes to the Russell Theater.

We’re all here together on this same planet, interacting in countless ways. Especially in a city as culturally diverse as Miami, we are from many different places – however we have much in common. In this participatory children’s exhibit, visitors will experience the shared emotional and physical effort involved in moving to a new country and the hopes and dreams that bring people here.

Designed for children ages 6 to 12, the exhibit’s 29 colorful modules contain very responsive, multi-sensory activities focusing on many topics – leaving behind the familiarity of neighborhoods, schools, friends, food and language, and finding ways to assimilate while keeping individuality. Imagine a time before smart phones and GPS’s. Picture yourself lost on the roads where street signs and directions looked like indistinguishable shapes and lines instead of text, or needing help at the supermarket where everyone spoke a language you couldn’t even say “hello” in. These are just the small struggles of adapting to the new world that was, and still is to some, the U.S.A.

On loan from the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, the exhibit will inspire visitors of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about their own family origins and help to dispel stereotyping and bigotry. For more info on this exhibit, including the progressive dinner event that will accompany it, call Suzy Breitner at 305-271-9000 ext. 265 or email her at

Chai there, 2016! You may safely exit 2015

From Home to Home exhibit tells the immigration story through the experiences of a Jewish family.

The KC Dancers will be cartwheeling and back-flipping their way to the J for an American-Israeli dance ensemble January 24th. Keshet Chaim, Hebrew for “Rainbow of Life,” is an American-Israeli contemporary dance troupe, celebrating the spirit of Judaism and Israeli culture throughout the world. Founded in 1983 by Artistic Director Eytan Avisar, Keshet Chaim creates, develops and presents original choreography fusing contemporary Israeli dance with Jewish folk dance traditions from across the Diasphora. For info on this and other upcoming events taking stage at the J including Rita Rudner and Josh and the Jamtones, call Annette Santana at 305-271- 9000 ext. 268 or email her at

Lastly, what else can kick off the New Year better than a gym membership? If you missed out on our Black Friday deal, no need to fear. Many people with goals to hit that body they used to have or want to have end up starting strong in January. Come March, more than 50 percent of those individuals have lost their momentum and by the summer they’re wishing they stayed on track.

Membership is giving members a huge incentive for their 2016 goals that’ll be sure to keep you consistent.

Call us at 305-271-9000, visit us online at and follow us on social media.

Here’s to one rollercoaster of a year and to a prosperous and successful New Year to you and your loved ones!

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