A JCA Podcast highlighting the voices of community leaders and amazing people here in Southern Maine.

Episode 16: Bess Welden

In this episode of J Talks, Molly interviews award-winning playwright Bess Welden and David Winitsky, Founder and Executive Director of the Jewish Plays Project. Welden and her new play Madeleines recently won the JPP’s 11th Annual Jewish Playwriting Contest, and she and Winitsky discuss the play, what exactly constitutes a “Jewish Play,” and what it means to present this kind of work to the public.

Episode 15: Eli Small

In this episode, Molly speaks with former Center Day Camp Director Eli Small about his roles as a developer, business owner, and former teacher navigating the Covid era, and the balancing act of passing on values and traditions he was raised with while meeting the needs of his family and community today.

Episode 14: Patrisha McLean

In this episode, Molly talks with the journalist and photographer, Patrisha McLean. Patrisha founded the nonprofit Finding Our Voices, which is dedicated to breaking the stigma surrounding domestic violence and supporting survivors in their journey toward healing.

Episode 13: Sara Hallie Richardson

In this episode, Molly talks with the JCA's Welcoming Receptionist and local musician,  Sara Hallie Richardson. They talk about performing live during a pandemic, serving celebrities in LA, and observing Judaism with a broader lens.

Episode 12: Stephen J. Schwartz

In this episode, Molly talks with attorney Stephen J. Schwartz about his memories of Portland as a kid, his loving father, his experiences in practicing law, and the history behind our new JCA building on Congress!

Episode 11: Karl Schatz and Margaret Hathaway

In this episode, Molly talks with Karl Schatz and Margaret Hathaway - the incredible couple behind Ten Apple Farm in Gray, Maine. They discuss goat hikes, their popular new Maine Bicentennial Community Cookbook, and the importance of holding on to hope!

Episode 10: Judi Slotsky

In this episode, guest interviewer and JCA Welcoming Receptionist Sara Richardson interviews our incredible Mah Jongg instructor, Judi Slotsky, about the basics of Mah Jongg and their excitement around playing it together one day soon!

Episode 9: Rabbi Carolyn Braun

In this episode, Molly speaks with Rabbi Carolyn Braun of Temple Beth El about her connection with Judaism at an early age, her rabbinical journey as a woman, and the joys she is finding in this "new normal."

Episode 8: Rabbi David Sandmel

In this episode, Molly talks to Rabbi Sandmel, Senior Advisor on Interreligious Affairs at ADL (Anti-Defamation League). We learn about his connections to Maine and his work to strengthen interfaith relationships around the world.

Episode 7: Cantor Sheila Nesis

Quite apropos of this election week, Molly talks to Cantor Sheila Nesis about the power of healing through music, the ways in which we can come together, and how to hold space for everyone.

Episode 6: Barbara Merson

In this episode, Molly talks to Maine Jewish Film Festival Executive Director, Barbara Merson, about the behind-the-scenes process of MJFF, community engagement, and belly dancing! The Maine Jewish Film Festival goes from November 7th to the 22nd. More info at: www.mjff.org

Episode 5: Rabbi Jared Saks

In this episode, Molly talks with Rabbi Jared Saks of Congregation Bet Ha'am about social justice, inspiring the youth, and why connection is so important.

Episode 4: Rabbi Aaron Shub

In this episode, Molly talks with Rabbi Aaron Shub, of Congregation Shaarey Tphiloh, about his rabbinic journey, plans for the High Holidays, and reaching out to people during this time in history.

Episode 3: Rabbi Gary Berenson

In this episode, Molly talks life, High Holidays, and Black Lives Matter with Rabbi Gary Berenson of Etz Chaim Synagogue in Portland.

Episode 2: Jeff Tremblay

In this episode, Molly chats with the head of Levey Day School in Portland Maine, Jeff Tremblay. Learn where he started, what he's done for Levey, and how he plans to move it forward in the time of Covid!

Episode 1: Rabbi Rachel Isaacs

Our first podcast features a conversation with Rabbi Rachel Isaacs of Beth Israel Congregation and The Center For Small Town Jewish Life. Find out how one of "America's Most Inspiring Rabbis" ended up in Waterville, Maine on this episode of J Talks!