You know it’s time to stop blogging about bacon…

When people start handing you clippings from the newspaper and say things like, “This story about chocolate-covered bacon made me think of you!” So this will be the last bacon post you’ll read on this site for awhile. But let me go down swinging. When I was a kid my parents would take my Halloween […]

Bacon Nation–Getting Uncomfortably Close

As part of our continuing effort to keep the public updated on the rise of bacon as the balsamic vinegar of the aughts, I bring you the following: On my way home from Pesach I stopped at a high-end Whole Foods (is there another kind?) that had a special section devoted entirely to chocolate and […]

Bacon-Cubed and Cleaning the Anacostia

If you take your blog-reading seriously, then at this point you’ve probably heard about the bacon bra–the sort of bizarre cultural curiosity that only internet can make possible. Last week we mentioned the rise of a new and disturbing bacon lollipop. Now word reaches us of bacon vodka. Isn’t there some rule of three that […]

The Bread of Affection

By Alex Grossberg, Preschool Assistant Director and Pedagogista As the students and teachers of our Preschool began preparing for Passover, there was a lot of discussion about the symbols of the holiday. The one symbol that the students kept mentioning was matzah! Unlike most adults, children usually seem to enjoy matzah. As one three year […]

Report from the Set of the DC-area Extreme Makeover Home Edition

My colleague Randy Bacon (Behrend Builders, Director) and I took a group of 18 volunteers to help out the Location Crew on the sets of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It was a day to remember. We arrived at registration where we all received our hard hats and bright blue Extreme shirts. We grabbed our tools and were off to work. (Read more!)

Volunteer in DC – Unextreme Home Makeover

I think that Randy Bacon and Adam Levine have the best jobs at the Washington DCJCC. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job. More to the point, I couldn’t do their job. Randy is the director of Behrend Builders, our year-round shelter repair program, and Adam is our Fellow from Avodah: The Jewish Service Corps. Together they run volunteer projects for the Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service that perform needed improvements in homeless shelters, schools, low-income housing and community organizations all around the District of Columbia.

I am going to tell the following story, not because it is extraordinary, but because it is very, very ordinary. The kind of story that could be told any day of the week simply by asking Randy and Adam, “So, what are you up to?”

The referral came from Neighborhood Legal Services. Peggy turned to them when a city inspector showed up at her house citing her for various code violations, fining her, and giving her seven days to make the repairs. Peggy, a senior who earns less than $12,000 a year, didn’t have the money. And seven days later the inspector would show up once more, and fine her again for the repairs which Peggy was unable to make. The next week, same story. The bill kept getting larger. This went on until Peggy had accrued $9500 in fines. More than 75% of what her total income for the year is.

…and we’re back

It’s been too long. Why the long silence? What can we say but, “Woe is the plight of the institutional blogger.”  We were still working. We swear it. Unfortunately, the blogging fell under the category of “other duties as assigned” and there was stuff further up the list to attend to. But that’s no excuse. […]

Remembering Katrina

It has been three years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, so we sent the following questions to Randy Bacon, a New Orleans native and director of the Behrend Builders Shelter Repair program at the Washington DCJCC. Randy led a group of volunteers to New Orleans in May/June of 2006. Where were you […]

Tattoo Jew

According to one of the few, remaining, universally respected sources of information on contemporary Jewish life, The New York Times, it turns out that it is okay for Jews to have tattoos. Since it is in the New York Times, it must be okay. I trust their movie reviews, why not their promulgation of religious […]

Calling All DC-Area Writers: The 2008 Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival Writing Contest

In conjunction with the opening event of the 10th Annual Hyman S. & Freda Bernstein Jewish Literary Festival (September 14–24, 2008), the Washington DCJCC will sponsor a writing contest on the following theme: Humor is often strongest at the most serious of times. Gallows humor, as it has been called, can arise from stressful, traumatic, […]