Tuesday, April 23

Same great festival, different date

by Lev Rothenberg

Celebrating the Fourth of July in January?

For some, having the renowned Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts in May instead of the fall is like having the Fourth of July in January. But do not be confused. 

May 6-9 is the Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts, 2nd edition – something new and special.

Hurricane Sandy put a bit of a damper on the original festival last November, grounding the planes that were to bring two of our most popular authors.

Not to be deterred, we made room in our schedule and now are bringing both authors to Indianapolis in May, along with a great film and a discussion with its producer.

Oh, and we’ve thrown in a chance to win a $2,000 diamond ring set.

Here is the lineup:

Monday, May 6: David Javerbaum, the irreverent, satirical, 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer and author of The Last Testament, A Memoir by GOD.

Wednesday, May 8: Alicia Oltuski, author of Precious Objects:  A Story of Diamonds, Family and A Way of Life.

Thursday, May 9: Besa, The Promise, a Heartland Truly Moving Pictures award-winning film that bridges generations and religions, uniting fathers and sons, Muslims and Jews. A discussion with Bill Morgan, the film’s producer, follows the show.

All programs begin at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome. 

Registration is $8/$5 JCC members and can be purchased at www.jccindy.org, by calling 251-9467, at a membership desk or at the door.

Lest we forget, the opportunity to win a $2,000 diamond ring set is thanks to a donation by Aronstam Jewelers! Oltuski will draw the winning raffle ticket on May 8. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the JCC or with at the door (cash only) the night of the event.

More about Lev Rothenberg

Wednesday, April 17

Turning over a new season

by Richard S. Kordesh

It’s time to seed the beds with snap peas, radishes, beets, carrots, and spinach. Winter’s wait created time for reflection about how this year’s growing season might be distinctive. Now, the ideas that emerged from such considerations can be put into action.

We’ve never been able to get our peas past the stage of seedlings without having had them chewed on by rabbits or birds or both. So, this year we’ll fence them in and cover them.

Taking steps to gradually replace the lawn with vegetable and fruiting plants has occupied us each year as well. This year, we’ve targeted previously grassy patches beneath our deck for strawberry transplants. Doing so will eliminate some dicey spots where mowing long presented a challenge. And, those spaces will eventual burst with sweet, juicy, red fruits!

Because one works a garden space so closely, walking through it even while it is still brown calls up memories of what had occurred in different seasons with different planting approaches. One learns from what worked and what didn’t go so well.

We’re not formally trained gardeners – we learn by doing, by reading, and by talking with others. Our classrooms are the beds and the grounds around our trees and bushes.

The garden has taught us and our kids many lessons about spacing, timing, feeding, watering, pruning, and when it is the right moment to harvest.

With spring, a new term that will bring forth new insights has arrived.

Guest blogger Richard S. Kordesh is the author of Restoring Power to Parents and Places and has worked professionally in the community development field for 35 years. Visit Richard's website for more

Friday, April 12

How do you do Earth Day?

by JCC staff

Earth Day was founded on April 22, 1970, to raise awareness of environmental issues.

The coalition that pushed for the first celebration more than 40 years ago was diverse, with supporters getting behind the day for a range of reasons.

It’s in this spirit that the 2nd Annual JCC Indianapolis Earth Day Community Celebration was organized to include more than 50 exhibits speaking to a range of environmental issues. These interactive, educational booths are meant to encourage a more thoughtful approach to how we as individuals impact our communities and planet.

So, which of our Earth Day focal points most engage you? 

  • All aspects of gardening: Learn about composting, hydroponics, seedling plantings, constructing a mini greenhouse, building a rain barrel, the underworld life of earthworms in your garden and much more, presented by master gardeners and educators.
  • Alternative energy sources: Check out vegetable oil, solar, motion dynamics and other ways to generate energy. Meet the Purdue Solar Racing team and check out their solar-powered car. 
  • Creative recycling: Make sun-catchers, birdhouses and terrariums from plastic bottles, create a bouquet of flowers from phonebooks and plastic bags, learn origami to unfold something beautiful by reusing paper. Discover what you can do with unwanted electronics and how you can transform ordinary household items into something usable. 
  • Education: Try forecasting the weather with a Fox 59 meteorologist. Answer trivia questions about nature and the environment and “win some green” (cash!). 
  • Pedaling: We encourage you to “arrive green” and ride your bicycles to the Earth Day Community Celebration at the JCC. Pedal & Park will offer free and secure bicycle parking. 

The JCC Earth Day Community Celebration is a free, family-friendly event sponsored by Indianapolis Power & Light Company on Sunday, April 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Tuesday, April 9

Exercise of the Month: April

by JCC Association and One Club

The glutes (your butt muscles) are one of the body's strongest muscle groups and include your body's largest muscle: the gluteus maximus. 

Making the glutes a focus of your workout can help burn big calories, and that's why everyone can benefit from adding lunges, which target the glutes, to their regular routine.

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH: Rear Lunge to High Knee

How to do it:
  • Stand with your right foot placed firmly on a step/bench, knee bent.
  • Stretch your left leg back into a lunge position
  • Lift your arms straight overhead
  • In one motion, pull your left knee up and your arms down, contracting your core. 
  • Reach your left foot back behind you into the lunge and raise your arms back up overhead
  • Perform 15-30 reps, then switch sides
Primary Movers: Glutes, Quads, Core

Benefits: Power