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JCA Virtual Experience



Recommended by JCA Staff and Members

Online Classes & Programs

Harvesting Our Wisdom: A Legacy Letter Writing Workshop with Joanne Turnbull

Three online sessions: Wednesdays, May 20, May 27, June 3 - 1:30 - 3:00PM  

Course is free and requires computer access to join online Zoom sessions.

Advanced registration required by Friday, May 15th at: 


Class session links will be emailed to registered students.

The legacy letter is a way to let future generations know who we really are and what really matters to us. Participants in this three-session course will learn about the Jewish context of the legacy letter, how to transmit values and important lessons, how to connect the generations, and how to convey love and blessing to those who come after us. No previous writing experience is necessary.

Joanne Turnbull is a licensed clinical social worker, certified Legacy Facilitator, a certified Sage-ing Leader, and published, award-winning writer. She was honored with the JCA’s 2013 Linda and Joel Abromson Award, and taught this course a few years ago for the JCA; we are thrilled to have her return virtually to teach this course once again. 

The Great Big Jewish Food Fest - Online and in your kitchen

May 19 - 28, 2020

A completely FREE virtual festival! Over 10 days we will have a variety of events, all of which will take place over Zoom, Instagram and Facebook. Most events take place in real time, with a few evergreen events available to dip into any time. Events range from workshops and conversations to happy hour gatherings and Shabbat dinners.

For the event schedule, details and to register, visit

https://www.jewishfoodfest.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/greatbigjewishfoodfest

Presenters include Michael Solomonov, Adeena Sussman, Ruth Reichl, Michael Twitty, Joan Nathan, Julia Turshen, and Lior Lev Sercaz.

This event is being organized by a collaboration of chefs, authors, bloggers, producers and nonprofit pros, staff from One Table, and made possible with funding from Darim Online, the Maimonides Fund and the Singer Foundation.

Browse the schedule and sign up for any and all events you’d like to explore. We’ll send you the link and instructions on how to participate, then get comfy and come join us! Some events have limited space, so sign up to claim your spot! Drop your email and we’ll notify you when the full schedule is posted.

Attire: Slippers and sweatpants are completely acceptable. BYOB.

The Festival is free! Several events invite a donation to a specific cause chosen by the featured presenter to help food businesses impacted by COVID-19 and those who are experiencing food insecurity. We are also encouraging donations to the Festival “tip jar” which will be passed on to presenters whose livelihoods have been impacted by the current economic crisis.

The Center for Small Town Jewish Life presents
The Maine Conference for Jewish Life

June 12 & 14 -  Via Zoom

In recognition of the constraints of our extraordinary times, the 2020 Maine Conference for Jewish Life will go online. In accordance with the strictures of Shabbat, the conference will now consist of statewide services on Friday night, and a day of learning on Sunday, capped off with an intimate concert with Nefesh Mountain. While we are of course heavy-hearted by the thought that we won’t see one another in person just yet, we are excited and eager to bring an inspiring, exciting, and uplifting program of learning. A new registration page is live. The schedule is posted on the Schedule page. We hope to see you there, and that you’ll invite friends and family from near and far to join in, as well. If you have questions about this year’s conference or the MCJL in general, please contact our Director of Summer Programs, Mel Weiss, at maweiss(at)colby.edu.

The Maine Conference for Jewish Life is a pluralistic opportunity for superior Jewish learning and joyous celebration in central Maine. Living far from America’s major urban centers (and from one another), Jews in northern New England rarely gain access to the Jewish world’s finest scholars and cultural innovators, or the experience of being surrounded by a critical mass of other Jews. This conference brings Jews from across the region together in order to gain familiarity with the jewels of Jewish civilization, convene with other Jews from around the state, exchange best practices for crafting successful rural Jewish lives, experience the benefits and challenges of celebrating in a pluralistic environment, and revel in Torah learning.

Online JCA Book Group - Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Facilitated by Fionna Nilsson

Thursday, June 18th at 7:30 PM

Book group participation is free. Advanced registration required at www.mainejewish.org ***use this link  https://mainejewish.z2systems.com/eventReg.jsp?event=69764 to receive the Zoom session link.
The book is available at local and online booksellers and in hardcopy and electronic download formats.

Join us for a virtual discussion of Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro.

From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist, novelist—“a writer of rare talent” (Cheryl Strayed)— and  host of the hit podcast Family Secrets, comes a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love.

A New York Times, LA Times, Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal bestseller. “Beautifully written and deeply moving—it brought me to tears more than once.”— Ruth Franklin, The New York Times Book Review

Fionna Nilsson has been facilitating Book Groups through the Portland Public Library since August 2019. She and her family have been members of the JCA for close to four years and she is thrilled to be sharing her love of books and reading with this community.

Deuteronomy: The Last Speech Of Moses - With Dr. Micah Goodman

Free Online Course from the Tikvah Fund
The ideas of the Book of Deuteronomy changed the world. In 8 online episodes, delve into the theological and political lessons of Moses’s final speech with Micah Goodman, a leading voice on Judaism, Zionism, the Bible, and the challenges and opportunities facing Israel and world Jewry. He is president of Beit Midrash Yisraeli-Ein Prat, an institute where secular and religious Israeli young adults study together, and a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. Dr. Goodman is the author of Catch-67: The Left, the Right, and the Legacy of the Six-Day War, Maimonides and the Book that Changed Judaism, and several Israeli best-sellers on Judaism’s canonical texts.

Shalom Maine - Adult Jewish Learning

Ongoing Adult Ed. classes from the JCA and our Community Partners have moved online!

For updated class info, please visit: https://www.mainejewish.org/programs/adult-jewish-learning/

If you are already enrolled in the class, please check your email for instructions on how to connect with you teacher and classmates via ZOOM (online video conferencing tool).

Mah Jongg

Play for free online against your friends! We have a group that normally meets at the J two days a week to play Mah Jongg, and they were missing their games, so we found a way for them to meet up online. The website is https://myjongg.net. Anyone can create an account for free online, and play up to 8 games a day. If you want to play against your friends, make sure you select "Create private table," and then you can email your friends the code to get into your table! You can also play against bots. And as a bonus: there's a section to "chat," so you can say hi while playing. Enjoy!

Yoga & Fitness

Online Yoga Classes with JCA instructor Ashley Flowers

Monday - 5:30 PM Evening Yoga
Tuesday - 11:30 AM Midday Yoga
Wednesday - 9:00 AM Rise & Flow Yoga
Thursday - 10:15 AM Midday Yoga
Friday - 9:00 AM Rise & Flow Yoga

Classes are $5/session, registration is directly through Ashley's website: https://ashleyflowersyoga.as.me/schedule.php

Private sessions are also available. See Ashley's website for details!

Plus enjoy several free yoga/meditation videos here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ashleyflowersyoga/videos/

Movement Mondays With PJ Library
Aleph Bet Yoga w/ Sarah Spiegel Dunn

June 1, 8, 15, & 22 at 9:30 AM
Start your week off right with Movement Mondays! Take some deep breaths and get your body moving with Aleph Bet Yoga. Join PJ Library Mom and founder of Samudra Studio Yoga Sarah Spiegel Dunn to stretch, breathe and move your bodies into poses inspired by the Hebrew alphabet.
Join us on Facebook each Monday at PJ Library Southern Maine.


Free Online Guided Meditations: Looking for ways to cultivate some inner calm? Try these brief guided mindfulness meditations that you can practice on your own. https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations

Free Online Jewish Meditation Resources: from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. https://www.jewishspirituality.org/get-started/resources-for-challenging-times/

Virtual Services

Online Services

Virtual Services

Congregation Bet Ha'am - Please click here to join them on Facebook Live. You do not need to log into Facebook. Read more about Shabbat services here.

Temple Beth El - Check out their brand new "VirtSHUL" page, an up-to-date guide to all things TBE during the Coronavirus Pandemic including online Shabbat Services, Morning Minyan, KIDdish!, and more.

10 Minutes of Torah

Adapting to the moment The Center for Small Town Jewish Life has organized a "10 Minutes of Torah" series from Maine rabbis. Each d'var Torah will be about 10 minutes long, and will be shared on their Facebook page daily. Each session will be posted on their homepage, so just scroll around and click on whichever teaching you are interested in hearing. Enjoy!


Kids & Family

JCC Camps Flagpole Initiative

Four consecutive Wednesdays — May 13, 20, and 27, June 3rd, at 8 PM EST

Together with JCCs across the country, we are extremely excited to launch the new JCC Camps Flagpole initiative. Flagpole is a virtual community rally of solidarity and song taking place every Wednesday, streaming via Facebook Live on our Jewish Community Centers of North America Facebook Page.

This interactive and music-filled series will be hosted by nationally touring Jewish musician Rick Recht and prominently feature JCC camp community leaders, directors, counselors, campers and alumni sharing inspiring news from our camp communities.

Watch here: https://www.facebook.com/JCCAssociationOfNorthAmerica/

PJ Library Resources for Lag B'Omer

In Jewish tradition, we count the 49 days between the second night of Passover and the beginning of Shavuot. This is called S’firat Ha’Omer (“The Counting of the Omer”). On the 33rd day of counting, we celebrate the holiday of Lag B’Omer.

To help celebrate the Holiday, PJ Library has put together some great resources for you and your family:

Video: Lag B'Omer Campfire with PJ Library in Southern Maine

Website: The Lag B’Omer Lowdown: History & Activities

Video: Join Yosemite National Park's own Ranger Kate with a special campfire program!


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Community Resources

Diaper Bank

In-Kind Donations:

In response to coronavirus (COVID-19), KJFS Diaper Bank is limiting in-kind donations from the community. We are still accepting corporate donations and donations from our Amazon Wishlist, but we are suspending in-kind donations including donations of open packages of diapers.  We are working to make sure agencies providing direct services are receiving the supplies they need to keep babies safe, dry and happy.

In Need of Diapers?

While our offices are closed for direct distribution, we are providing supplies to a number of area agencies.  Please call us at (207) 772-1959 and we will return your call with a list of resources.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention

Maine Department of Labor

The Bureau of Unemployment Compensation

State of Maine FrontLine WarmLine

Maine launches support line for first responders in coronavirus outbreak. You can call the warmline at 207-221-8196 or 866-367-4440.

Mainers Together

Mainers Together is operational and out helping neighbors! They are connecting people with services, delivering groceries and supplies, and providing some financial assistance. If you have a need, please reach out using their confidential form on the website! If you have time or financial stability, you can sign up to volunteer or donate — there are a lot of ways you can help from home. We’ll get through this together. https://mainerstogether.com/

Community Meals and Soup Kitchens Map

Please use this great map to find resources in your community. You can also view it in list form by visiting: https://waysidemaine.org/community-resources