The small pool in the Peck Aquatic Center will be closed for the remainder of the day (6/21). The large pool will remain open. Check the My J App for the Pool Schedules.

Member Communications 2 min read

When the World Gave Us Lemons, We Made Lemonade

By JCC Milwaukee June 30, 2021

 …and Tahini Cookies, Wire-beaded Havdalah Sets, and Chicken Shawarma Tacos!

Think back to spring 2020. We were hunkered down doing puzzles, singing “Happy Birthday” twice through while washing our hands, and disinfecting our delivered groceries. We were also taking up new hobbies – needlework, painting, baking – anything to fill the time and enrich our lives during an admittedly scary and gloomy time. So when the JCC Tapestry staff met via Zoom in those early days of the pandemic to discuss how they could best deliver programs virtually yet maintain a sense of togetherness, they looked to trending interests and created two programs: Judaic Art & Mastery @ Home and Tastes & Traditions.

Judaic Art & Mastery @ Home presented wonderful classes like “Passover Ceramics” and “Challah on the Table” (cutting boards and challah covers). For the Tastes & Traditions classes, we kicked off with “Challah Braiding 101”—and what followed was a series of classes highlighting such delicious treats as bagels, babka, and Passover-ready flourless chocolate cake. The goal of these classes was fourfold: continue to engage our membership; inspire our members’ creative journeys; offer safe in-person interactions by providing curbside pickup for key components for each class; and promote local businesses and restaurants during a very difficult time.

Each class has seen an average of 25-30 participants, many of whom have become “regulars” like Nelda Mngoja. Nelda, who is retired and an avid cook and baker, embraced the Tastes & Traditions virtual format and said that it was wonderful to have something to look forward to.

She also expressed that, as a non-Jewish African American woman, it was great to “step out of the box and experience a different culture.” She was excited that her family could also sample new types of foods. Nelda found the classes to be well-organized and informative and loved that they were recorded so that she could refer back at any time.

Nelda looks forward coming back to the JCC and hopes the Tastes & Traditions classes will continue so that she can continue to broaden her world view!

Read more Stories from the JCC 2020-21 Annual Report