Open Beit Midrash

Thursdays, Feb. 20-March 26

How well do you know King David? Do you want to learn more about ethical wills? What do you know about Sephardic Jewish history? Are you interested in learning about the challenges faced by other faith groups? Learn about all this and more at Open Beit Midrash.  

Holiday Baking Classes

Next classes: March 3, March 24

Join the EVJCC Challah Factory’s Chef Melinda as she walks you through the steps to prepare delicious holiday treats.

7 p.m. Tuesdays

Sept. 17: Rosh Hashanah  Class is full. 
Dec. 17: Hanukkah Class is full. 
March 3: Purim
March 24: Passover

Cost is $18 for each class, which includes the lesson, a recipe and the chance to sample the goods. 

 About the instructor: 

Chef Melinda McNeil has made challah, pizza and other baked goods at the East Valley JCC’s Challah Factory since  fall 2016.   She served as a Hebrew linguist in the Air Force and after her service, she enrolled in the Scottsdale Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School where she honed her skills as a chef and baker. She has worked as chef/baker at the Phoenician Resort, Simply Bread bakery, La Grande Orange, Wildflower Bread Company and the Olive & Ivy restaurant.

Jewish Genealogy: Step by Step

10 a.m. Wednesdays | March 4-April 1, 2020

Are you interested in learning more about your family’s history? Genealogy expert Judi Missel will walk you through the steps to research your family’s roots. The series is geared toward beginners and it is advised to attend all four classes. Students should bring their own laptop. 

March 4: Starting Your Genealogy Research & Exploring U.S. Resources

March 11: Jewish Genealogy Resources

March 25: Heading Offshore and Using DNA

April 1: Breaking Through Brick Walls

Cost: $40 for the series or $15 per class

Judi Missel, a member of the Phoenix Jewish Genealogy Group and the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies, has been fascinated by genealogy for over 30 years. She has researched
and published biographies and frequently speaks about her visit to the International Tracing Service Archives in Germany.


Challah Factory


Challah and other baked goods are baked fresh at The Challah Factory in the East Valley JCC’s kosher kitchen.

Chef Melinda creates delicious baked goods each week, including challah (plain, raisin and chocolate chip),  Monkey Bread (pull-apart cinnamon bread) and cookies (chocolate chip).  She also bakes special holiday and seasonal treats throughout the year.  You can also order by calling 480-897-0588.

Online orders must be placed by 8 a.m.  Wednesday morning for that Friday’s order. 

The EVJCC kitchen is under the kosher supervision of Rabbi Michael Beyo.

Other Programs