The JCA J Institute is the place in Jacksonville for adults of all ages to learn, explore, socialize and grow.

J Institute provides the unique opportunity for members and the community to develop new skills, explore the world, improve personal wellness and socialize with others of varying interests. We offer an ever-changing array of innovative classes, programs and events to inspire and educate. With cultural arts offerings, enrichment opportunities, inspirational speakers and exceptional entertainment, there’s something for everyone.

J Institute guest speakers and panel discussions highlight issues of importance to the Jewish community and the community at large. Through insightful lectures, members and guests gain an understanding of challenges facing the world and possible solutions.

J Institute has an assortment of art classes to introduce JCA members and the community to modern and traditional art techniques, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink and pastel painting, beginner through advanced pottery, print making, drawing, flower arranging, candle making, photography and more. Other cultural arts programming, activities and special events include annual festivals, concerts, artist talks, film series, book clubs, author readings and other opportunities to explore your creativity, meet renowned artists and writers and share in a culture of artistry with others in the Jacksonville community.

J Institute brings physicians and other wellness professionals to the JCA for discussions on an array of health and wellness related topics. Sit and Get Fit weekday chair exercise classes keep our mature adult members fit and social. Other programs cover topics such as prostate cancer, gastrointestinal health, autoimmune disease, spinal health, stress and emotional health, cancer wellness and more.

J Institute is committed to bringing the Jacksonville community exceptional enrichment and cultural arts programming and has been recognized twice with Innovation Awards by the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America. See for yourself and experience the difference that the J Institute can make in your life!

The JCA offers year-round art classes and workshops that utilize an assortment of media and techniques. If you’re a new artist, experienced creative looking for community or just want to explore your creative side, cultural arts at the JCA offers a variety of classes throughout the year. All classes offered are for beginners and up.

Pottery: The JCA has a pottery studio and kiln onsite where you can learn clay forming basics or fine tune your handbuilding or wheel throwing skills. High-fire glazing techniques are also taught. Craftsmanship, creativity and an appreciation for the elements of well-made, functional pottery are emphasized. Clay is provided.

Oil Painting: Local artist instructors help you explore basic painting techniques while developing visual awareness and artistic self-expression. Principles in 2-D art, use of materials, painting techniques and color mixing are studied through a variety of subject matter.

Drawing: Learn to draw through inspiring exercises and a variety of drawing media and techniques with professional, experienced staff.

Pastel Painting: Local artist instructors teach the basics of painting with pastels as well as methods and techniques for working with the medium.

Chinese Ink Painting: This class introduces you to basic through advanced techniques of Chinese brush painting. Explore simple brush strokes and take inspiration from flowers, small animals and landscapes to create an evocative painting.

Art in the Afternoon: These monthly art workshops explore various forms of arts and crafts such as art journaling, Shibori tie dye, candle making, wreath making and button art.

Housed within the JCA, the Vandroff Art Gallery was dedicated by the Vandroff Family in 1988. Since its founding, over 300 exhibits have featured local artists, Israeli artists, group shows and solo exhibitions. The gallery is curated to highlight art of all mediums.

 

Susan Astelford | March 5 – April 1
http://susanastlefordart.com

 

Lee Cantrell | April 2 to 29

 

Art Guild of Orange Park | April 30 to May 27

Reception: May 3 from 1 to 3 pm

https://artguildoforangepark.org

 

Chris Crush | May 28 – June 24

Reception: May 31 from 3 to 5 pm

https://www.christophercrush.com

The JCA Sunday Film Series offers a fantastic collection of movies each season that are selected to reflect the range of human experience and for their cultural and entertainment value. All showings are free and open to the community.

In addition to the Sunday Film Series, other movie nights and film screenings are planned throughout the season. We hope you will join us to enjoy our latest showings!

Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival with literary, film and arts events, including films, theatrical performances, a book club, family events and its signature event, the Annual Jewish Book Festival, which showcases renowned authors you won’t see anywhere else in Jacksonville!

The festival also includes a pop-up bookstore with visiting authors’ books for sale, and a great selection of books curated by the Jewish Book Council are available for a nominal donation to the JCA.

All festival events are free and open to the entire community. For additional details about the festival or how to get involved, contact Lior Spring at (904) 730-2100 ext. 318 or lior.spring@jcajax.org.

 

To donate to cultural arts programming at the JCA, click here.

At the beginning of each year, the JCA welcomes world-renowned, emerging young musicians to Jacksonville with the JCA Young Concert Artists Series. In cooperation with Young Concert Artists, Inc., classical musicians from around the world take the JCA stage as part of our efforts to provide premier musical and cultural events for the Jacksonville community. Upcoming musicians include Omer Quartet, Violinist Randall Goosby and Pianist Aristo Sham.

For more information on Young Concert Artists, Inc., visit their website here.

Thanks to the generosity of the Berman Family, the JCA Young Concert Artists Series concerts are free and open to the entire community.

Art

Music and Festivals

Learning

Virtual Tours and Webcams

J Institute Program Manager Heather Terrill’s Facebook Recipe List

Shabbat

Jewish Learning Resources

Passover

Yom HaShoah

  • Sheer Luck: A Story of Survival – This documentary film provides an account of life in pre-war Poland, the five years Jack spent in various concentration camps (including Auschwitz), the Death March, and his survival in the waters of the Baltic Sea after the Cap Arcona, the ship destined to take him to safety, was bombarded and sunk
  • #neverforget6M – Together with Beth El Beaches Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida put together a virtual Yom HaShoah Program to honor the six million Jews who perished.

Lag BaOmer

Lag BaOmer commemorates a variety of historical events, including the end of a plague that killed many students of Rabbi Akiva (c. 50-135 C.E.), the yahrzeit of second-century mystical scholar Shimon bar Yochai, and a Jewish military victory over Roman forces in 66 C.E. In remembrance of these events, some people celebrate with picnics and bonfires. Visit this link for ways to celebrate at home!

Jerusalem Day

In honor of this holiday you can virtually send a note to the Kotel and even see live cameras at the Western Wall.

Shavuot

To access virtual opportunities for lectures, workshops, and musical performances  for Shavuot, click here!

Bake a cheesecake, warm up some blintzes, or make your own ice cream with these recipes in celebration of Shavuot!

Visit this link to find out more things you never knew about Shavuot.

Art Classes

The JCA offers year-round art classes and workshops that utilize an assortment of media and techniques. If you’re a new artist, experienced creative looking for community or just want to explore your creative side, cultural arts at the JCA offers a variety of classes throughout the year. All classes offered are for beginners and up.

Pottery: The JCA has a pottery studio and kiln onsite where you can learn clay forming basics or fine tune your handbuilding or wheel throwing skills. High-fire glazing techniques are also taught. Craftsmanship, creativity and an appreciation for the elements of well-made, functional pottery are emphasized. Clay is provided.

Oil Painting: Local artist instructors help you explore basic painting techniques while developing visual awareness and artistic self-expression. Principles in 2-D art, use of materials, painting techniques and color mixing are studied through a variety of subject matter.

Drawing: Learn to draw through inspiring exercises and a variety of drawing media and techniques with professional, experienced staff.

Pastel Painting: Local artist instructors teach the basics of painting with pastels as well as methods and techniques for working with the medium.

Chinese Ink Painting: This class introduces you to basic through advanced techniques of Chinese brush painting. Explore simple brush strokes and take inspiration from flowers, small animals and landscapes to create an evocative painting.

Art in the Afternoon: These monthly art workshops explore various forms of arts and crafts such as art journaling, Shibori tie dye, candle making, wreath making and button art.

Vandroff Art Gallery

Housed within the JCA, the Vandroff Art Gallery was dedicated by the Vandroff Family in 1988. Since its founding, over 300 exhibits have featured local artists, Israeli artists, group shows and solo exhibitions. The gallery is curated to highlight art of all mediums.

 

Susan Astelford | March 5 – April 1
http://susanastlefordart.com

 

Lee Cantrell | April 2 to 29

 

Art Guild of Orange Park | April 30 to May 27

Reception: May 3 from 1 to 3 pm

https://artguildoforangepark.org

 

Chris Crush | May 28 – June 24

Reception: May 31 from 3 to 5 pm

https://www.christophercrush.com

Film Series

The JCA Sunday Film Series offers a fantastic collection of movies each season that are selected to reflect the range of human experience and for their cultural and entertainment value. All showings are free and open to the community.

In addition to the Sunday Film Series, other movie nights and film screenings are planned throughout the season. We hope you will join us to enjoy our latest showings!

Discover Culture

Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival with literary, film and arts events, including films, theatrical performances, a book club, family events and its signature event, the Annual Jewish Book Festival, which showcases renowned authors you won’t see anywhere else in Jacksonville!

The festival also includes a pop-up bookstore with visiting authors’ books for sale, and a great selection of books curated by the Jewish Book Council are available for a nominal donation to the JCA.

All festival events are free and open to the entire community. For additional details about the festival or how to get involved, contact Lior Spring at (904) 730-2100 ext. 318 or lior.spring@jcajax.org.

 

To donate to cultural arts programming at the JCA, click here.

Young Concert Artists Series

At the beginning of each year, the JCA welcomes world-renowned, emerging young musicians to Jacksonville with the JCA Young Concert Artists Series. In cooperation with Young Concert Artists, Inc., classical musicians from around the world take the JCA stage as part of our efforts to provide premier musical and cultural events for the Jacksonville community. Upcoming musicians include Omer Quartet, Violinist Randall Goosby and Pianist Aristo Sham.

For more information on Young Concert Artists, Inc., visit their website here.

Thanks to the generosity of the Berman Family, the JCA Young Concert Artists Series concerts are free and open to the entire community.

Virtual Programming

Art

Music and Festivals

Learning

Virtual Tours and Webcams

J Institute Program Manager Heather Terrill’s Facebook Recipe List

Shabbat

Jewish Learning Resources

Passover

Yom HaShoah

  • Sheer Luck: A Story of Survival – This documentary film provides an account of life in pre-war Poland, the five years Jack spent in various concentration camps (including Auschwitz), the Death March, and his survival in the waters of the Baltic Sea after the Cap Arcona, the ship destined to take him to safety, was bombarded and sunk
  • #neverforget6M – Together with Beth El Beaches Jewish Federation and Foundation of Northeast Florida put together a virtual Yom HaShoah Program to honor the six million Jews who perished.

Lag BaOmer

Lag BaOmer commemorates a variety of historical events, including the end of a plague that killed many students of Rabbi Akiva (c. 50-135 C.E.), the yahrzeit of second-century mystical scholar Shimon bar Yochai, and a Jewish military victory over Roman forces in 66 C.E. In remembrance of these events, some people celebrate with picnics and bonfires. Visit this link for ways to celebrate at home!

Jerusalem Day

In honor of this holiday you can virtually send a note to the Kotel and even see live cameras at the Western Wall.

Shavuot

To access virtual opportunities for lectures, workshops, and musical performances  for Shavuot, click here!

Bake a cheesecake, warm up some blintzes, or make your own ice cream with these recipes in celebration of Shavuot!

Visit this link to find out more things you never knew about Shavuot.