Member Notice:
THE DAWSON AQUATICS COMPLEX ENTRANCE IS CLOSED through Friday, November 26th. During this time, all members must enter through the Main Entrance (Rotunda). All members will receive their health screening, proceed to the Member Hospitality Center (formally known as the Front Desk), apply an arm bracelet, and then scan through the LJCC secure access door.
2016 Redesign Interior Pages About Us


With so much programming going on within the Jewish community JPOD CLT aims to educate and inform you each week, so you can get involved in programs that you feel passionate about.  Episodes will cover topics ranging from social action opportunities, holiday and community events, or personal stories, and how they make our Jewish community stronger and more visible to the greater Charlotte region.  This started as a lightbulb idea when I realized just how much time it took to keep up with every email, FB post and CJN article about events in the community.  Listen on your way to work, school or the gym once a week for just a few minutes to learn about the opportunities and stories available in your Jewish backyard. 

SEASON 2 Podcasts 

Season 2 Wrap Up
Covering a wide range of topics and people, all in all JPOD Charlotte Season 2 was a success.  And three personal pledges on how I plan to show up for racial inequities and injustices.

Maya Lapidot-Boaz
Dedicated to all the Jewish Community Graduating Seniors - Maya Lapidot-Boaz spent her high school years as a BBYO leader and a Stand with Us Intern.  These experiences have shaped her Jewish Identity and led her to a big move after graduation.

Elise Kosofsky
When I see Elise walking towards me in the parking lot, I know she is probably going to ask me for something but I don’t mind because I know it’s for the greater good of our shared Jewish community.  Find out what makes Elise so good at “the ask”.

Mental Health with Stacy Brink
Stacy Brink, a clinical licensed psychologist and member of our Jewish Community,  answers all my questions about managing mental health during the ramification of a global pandemic.  She shares several tools to help ourselves and those around us navigate through our changing situations. 

Shalom Park with Butch Rosen
Butch Rosen, former Foundation of Shalom Park Executive Director, shares the history of Shalom Park from his perspective and the cooperation and compromise that has led to its success.  

Mini-cast featuring Kara Culp
Kara Culp, Engagement Coordinator at the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, shares how she and her husband are juggling working from home and their two young children’s needs during the stay at home order.  Reclaimed family time is the highlight of her days.

Mini- Cast featuring Bob Jacobson
Bob Jacobson, an avid-volunteer and home alone widow, shares how he has been spending his newly found free-time.  Silver linings include a clean house, items to donate and new neighbors.

Mini-Cast: Megan and Andy Harkavy
Megan and Andy share their experience with the birth of their second child and Coronavirus NKU1, reminding us all to take precautions for our own health and those we love. 

Mini-Cast with Sherry Kornfeld
Sherry Kornfeld, a Jewish Charlotte unicorn, shares her struggles and accomplishments in shifting, Early Bird Developmental Services, from an in person business to a tele-therapy model so they can continue to serve their clients during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mini Bagels in the Age of Coronavirus by Amy Lefkoff
With permission from Amy, I share her story about caring for her aging parents in her home and the difficult decisions that need to be made to keep everyone healthy.

Mini-Cast with Randi Lan
Inspired by a neighborhood FB post Randi Lan and her family, Charlotte Jewish community member for 15 years, did a mitzvah during this coronavirus situation.

Coronavirus, A Self-Indulgent Episode:
Our JPOD host Emily Russell shares her truth about being home during this coronavirus pandemic and how the Jewish/Greater Community has sprung into action to get and stay connected.

Women’s Philanthropy Spring Event:
Jill Halverstam and Lisa Strause-Levinson, the Women's Philanthropy Spring Event Co-Chairs, share with us how a simple invite or push can make a great impact on the community.   Celebrate Women’s Philanthropy and the Pearl Society with Founder of JewBelong, Archie Gottesman on March 31st, 7pm, Sam Lerner Center.  A minimum individual/family gift of $180 is required to attend this event.

Summaries In Their Own Words:
Rabbi Judy Schindler and Judy Seldin-Cohen summarize their book Recharging Judaism: How Civic Engagement is Good for Synagogues, Jews, and America

Judy Seldin-Cohen: The Impact of Volunteering
Judy Seldin-Cohen shares two examples, Shalom Park Freedom School and A Way Home Housing Endowment, of how a group of passionate volunteers can really make an impact.  Finding the right place to volunteer for yourself makes it meaningful and worth fitting into a busy schedule.

Artist in Residence at Temple Israel
Temple Israel is hosting its first ever Artist in Residence with Mordechai Rosenstein on March 5-8th.  There will be opportunities all weekend for the community to listen, paint and learn.  Rabbi Helene Kornsgold, Director of Congregational Education and Arial DiDonato, Director of Events and Programming both of Temple Israel are excited to welcome the community.

Community Organizing 101 and 102 at Temple Beth El
What is community organizing? Who would be interested? Why does this fit into Reform Judaism?  Rabbi Dusty Klass, Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth El answered all my questions and convinced me to put these two seminars on my calendar - March 4th and April 5th. 

Lunch and Learn at Temple Israel
Rabbi Howard Siegel, Senior Interim Rabbi, inherited the lunch and learn series and has made it his own by exploring the writings of Rabbi Harold Kushner every second Thursday of the month at 11am since September.  He also discusses his role as Interim Rabbi and the introduction of an original program even though he is only here for a year or two.

The Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice Part 3: Donna Tarney
In her role as Education Coordinator, Donna Tarney, provides Holocaust educational resources, hosts teacher workshops and guest speakers throughout the year for schools and community members.  By using the Holocaust as a backdrop to learn about our own current biases, teachers, students, professors and community members can explore ways to break down barriers in our communities and schools.

Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queen University of Charlotte
Part 2: Talli Dippold
From archiving survivor stories to humanizing the holocaust to providing education curriculum to partnering with community leaders they are bringing the lesson of the past into conversation with our present in order
to intentionally shape a better future for students and the community at large.

Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queen University of Charlotte
Part 1: Rabbi Judy Schindler
Giving voice to the voiceless, and forming community partnerships to create positive change. Drawing on history to guide our way as we advocate for those who need a spark of hope to lead them out of despair.

Charlotte Jewish Film Festival 
The selection committee whittled the films down from over 200 to their top 16.   Jeff Turk, co-chair, previews the 2020 film festival.  Comedy, Documentary, Politics, Basketball, Food and more there is something for everyone this year.

Rabbi Hanan Schlesinger - Director of International Relations and one of the founders of Roots and Shadi Abu Awwad - Founder of Roots Teen Group and United States Palestinian Representative share the work they do through face-to-face interactions, to build a pre-political movement of understanding, nonviolence, and transformation among Israelis and Palestinians, in a region fraught with anger, frustration and ignorance.

The only publicly celebrated Jewish holiday I can think of.  There are many ways to celebrate this year all over the Greater Charlotte area, from Lake Norman to Uptown to South Charlotte to Sun City to SC.  Light the candles, give a gift to JFS, teach your child's classroom and eat donuts.

Tali de Groot
JPOD’s first personal interest story about a home grown Jewish millennial advocate. Having spent her whole childhood immersed in the NC Jewish Community, Tali left for college excited for a more diverse experience.  She found comfort in J Street, worked for J Street from August 2016 through November 2019 and recently moved to Texas to serve as Finance Director on a congressional campaign. 

Bar MAXvah
Using a diy style program from the Society for Humanist Judaism as her guide, Emily shares her personal journey of planning a Bar Mitzvah with and for her son.  They benefited from and took advantage of the diverse Jewish Community here in Charlotte along the way.

Cantor Shira Lissek
Temple Israel's Cantor Lissek in partnership with Cantor Magda Fishman will perform Kavanah: The Heart and Soul of Barbara Streisand on December 15th.  She also shares her love of liturgical music every week on Shira with Shira.

Anti-Defamation League: ADL
The ADL is focused on stopping the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all.  The JCRC brought the ADL and its Words to Action to Charlotte in September for students, teachers, educator and Jewish Professionals. They also talked to professionals in greater charlotte about ways to address hate in our community.

J Street
J Street organizes and mobilizes pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who want Israel to be secure, democratic and the national home of the Jewish people.  Amos Gil, Capital-South Regional Director, shares details about their work and why they visit communities like Charlotte.

Israel Action Network: IAN
IAN builds a strong base of support for Israel and counters delegitimization in the context of two states for two peoples. On Oct 23/24 they will be in Charlotte for leadership and community training as part of Charlotte JCRC’s effort to help the community have more meaningful conversation about Israel. 

Levine JCC Cultural Arts Fall Highlights
Jeff Turk and Susan Cherin Gundersheim talk about Fall Flicks, Surviving Birkenau: the Dr. Susan Spatz story, Oct 26th and Crossing Delancey-An Evening With Peter Riegert, Oct 27th.   Plus, the Charlotte winner of the 2019 Jewish Playwriting Contest, the Sabbath Girl Performance, Nov 9th and 10th. 

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Update Part 2: Israel
Laurel Grauer, Director of Community Relations and Israel Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte talks about educational programming that helps the Charlotte Jewish Community have more comfortable and informed conversation about Israel.|

Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) Update Part 1: Schools
Laurel Grauer, Director of Community Relations and Israel Affairs for the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte talks about the rise in anti-Semitism in our schools and how the JCRC helps build relationships with administrators and staff to support our Jewish Community students and their families.

Moishe House
With their East Coast Headquarters in Charlotte, Moishe House is what being Jewish in your 20s is all about. They provide a space for over 70,000 young adults around the world to create meaningful, welcoming Jewish communities for themselves and their peers.

Ballantyne Jewish Center
The Ballantyne Jewish Center is dedicated to serving all Jews throughout Ballantyne and surrounding areas with Ahavat Yisrael –unconditional love and concern for every Jew, regardless of background and affiliation.  With unique programming, they offer Judaism with a smile and a home away from home for everyone who walks through their doors.

Chabad of Charlotte
Chabad of Charlotte exists to ensure the Jewish future of our community. Through authentic but loving educational and outreach programs, Chabad aims to touch and inspire every Jew in the Charlotte Metro Region.  Don't miss their Grandest Opening of the Epstein Family Chabad Center for Jewish Life on September 15th.

Carolina Jews for Justice Greater Charlotte Chapter
CJJ CharlotteCommitted to creating a just, fair, and compassionate Charlotte through combining advocacy and education to organize non-partisan Jewish voices in the Charlotte NC area.  “We build relationships where people help each other"

Hebrew High
Hebrew High reflects the vibrant energy of our Jewish teens by giving them a voice to explore their Judaism in a safe environment with passionate and skilled teachers who want to help our students make an impact on the world. Hebrew High is a supplementary Jewish program for students in grades 8-12, sponsored by Temple Beth El and Temple Israel, and open to ALL Jewish teens!

Charlotte and Eastern Region BBYO
BBYO is the leading pluralistic Jewish teen movement aspiring to involve more Jewish teens in more meaningful Jewish experiences.  Charlotte is home to four BBYO Chapters, meeting every Tuesday evening during the school year, and the Eastern Region Office.  All Jewish teens in 9th – 12th grade are welcome to join Charlotte BBYO at our Big Splash Kickoff, Saturday, August 17th - 6:45-9:00pm Levine JCC pool. Cost $10 online, $15 at the door

SEASON 1 Podcasts

Episode 50: Camp SOAR
Camp SOAR is a free three day camp for children and adults with special needs.  It provides a fun and memorable experience for special needs campers and the same memorable experience for the volunteers.

Episode 48: The Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community

Foundation for the Charlotte Jewish Community is the Nonprofit organization in the greater Charlotte region dedicated to raising and managing long-term charitable resources to sustain the quality of Jewish religion, life and culture by linking our donors' philanthropic intent with the needs of the community.

Episode 47: The Mikvah at Temple Israel
Temple Israel's Mikvah is open to anyone in the community for monthly woman visits, spiritual healing, conversions, and marriage transitions.  Rabbi Ezring shares traditions on the use of mikvah and his own story of being a Rabbi.

Episode 46: Live, Laugh, Give benefiting Jewish Family Services
Orny Adams headlines this years Live, Laugh, Give Comedy Night benefitting Jewish Family Services, for all the social services they provide for our Jewish Community.

Episode 45: Yom HaShoah Community Commemoration Program
Rabbi Murray Ezring shares the importance of the Jewish Community Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Commemoration Program on May 5th at Temple Israel from 4-5pm.

Episode 44: Maccabi Games
Jewish Charlotte area youth (ages 13-16) can participate in their favorite sport or art this summer in Detroit, Aug 4-9th, at the JCC Maccabi Games - the second largest organized sports program for Jewish teenagers in the world.  
For more information email

Episode 43: LJCC Sports Specialty Camps
Offering 5 additional weeks of specialty sports camps the LJCC has a little of something for every young sports player.  Stephanie Garner, Director of Sports, shares the details about camp and the regular season sports programs.

Episode 42: Rock Steady Boxing at the Levine JCC
In Rock Steady Boxing, Parkinson’s disease is the opponent.  Jenny Crow and Suzanne DiOrio share their journey of being Rock Steady Coaches and the impact it has made in their clients lives and their own. 

Episode 41: The 13th Annual Sam Strause LJCC Invitational Golf Tournament 
On April 15th, members and supporters of the LJCC will come together, for a day go golf, to celebrate the life and legacy of Sam Strause and raise funds to benefit the Levine JCC Oasis senior enrichment program.  

Episode 40: Upstream Arts
Upstream Arts is returning for its third residency, April 1-5th, to change mindsets about ability and disability and activate and amplify the voice and choice of individuals with disabilities in our charlotte community.

Episode 39: 3rd Annual Charlotte Jewish Playwriting Contest
Don’t miss this opportunity to see a different side of theatre and vote on your favorite play.  Susan Cherin Gundersheim shares the history and importance of this program and Dusty Klass shares her reading committee experience and why she loves this program.

Episode 38: Community Purim Carnival
On March 17th our Jewish community comes tog ether to celebrate Purim with storytelling, Kosher lunch, games, prizes, shopping, moon bounces and more. This community collaboration is a family favorite and brings out everyone in the community young and young at heart.
Chabad YP -
Hamantash Bake -

Episode 37: Camp Mindy
The Mindy Ellen Levine Day Camp, located on a lush 54-acre campus in the heart of South Charlotte, is the Levine JCC's premier traditional day camp for preschoolers thru teens.  Through making friends, participating in an array of activities, learning new skills, being outdoors, and experiencing Judaism, camp becomes a magical place where campers have fun, grow and develop positive self-esteem.

Episode 36: On the Same Page: Chapter II with Martin Fletcher
This twice yearly community book read hosted by the Center for Jewish Education is an opportunity for readers and book clubs to gather and hear directly from the author.  On March 24th Promised Land author Martin Fletcher will be here to speak.

Episode 35: Bernstein Leadership Group
Following three pillars, jewish identity, community, and leadership skills, BLG is developing leaders for the future Charlotte Jewish Community. 
Application due March 11

Episode 34: Chantal Otelsberg: LJCC Staff Registered Licensed Dietitian 
Chantal Otelsberg, MS, RDN, LDN is a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian nutritionist on staff at the LJCC to help with your dietary needs for overall wellness or a pre-existing condition. 

Episode 33: The 2019 Main Event for the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte
The Main Event featuring Bari Weiss, a New York Times editor and writer, was organized by Emily, Sam, Bill and Angie Zimmern, a multigenerational effort.

Episode 32: Temple Beth El 22nd Annual Comparative Religion Series
Spirituality: How do you connect with your higher power? Join Religious Leaders for a lecture and discussion at Temple Beth El, Starting Jan 29th for six Tuesday evenings.

Episode 31: The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival
The Charlotte Jewish Film Festival is the longest running film festival in the area and has grown from an innovative idea of screening 2 jewish films into a 4 week long festival with 13 screenings this year.  Susan Cherin Gundersheim, Judy Laxer and Jeff Turk highlight some of this years films.

Episode 30: Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte’s Annual Campaign
Raising the funds needed to grow every part of the Jewish community in Greater Charlotte, in Israel and around the world. 

Episode 29: Joined in Education JIE
Gale Osborne, Development Director at CJDS talk to us about JIE: an opportunity for parents, to dig in deeper with current trends or philosophies on growing educated, well-adjusted, thoughtful whole people no matter how old they are.  
Learn more about JIE

Episode 28: Charlotte Jewish Preschool
With a mission to provide young children with a secure and loving atmosphere in which to grow, develop a positive self-image and learn the joy of Jewish life, Brooke Amo, Director, shared all the ways CJP works to be its best each year. 

Episode 27: The Charlotte Jewish Day School
Since 1988 the Charlotte Jewish Day School has been serving elementary age children and their families for an intertwined Jewish and General Studies Education. 

Episode 26: The Jewish Preschool on Sardis - JPS
For the last 32 years JPS has provided the opportunity for children to grow and learn through play while also instilling a love of Judaism to its students and their families.  I spoke with Devorah Weiss Gorkan, Director, and Leah Levin, Advisor at Large, to learn more.  

Episode 25: Room in the Inn at Shalom Park
Each year Temple Beth El, Temple Israel, Levine Jewish Community Center and the Foundation of Shalom Park partner with Urban Ministries to provide shelter and food for the homeless during the winter months.

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