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jcc circle

The Magazine of the North American Jewish Community Center Movement spring 2009

5769 chct

A Deeper Shade
of Green:
JCC Expands Environmental Awareness
Also: Teens Wake Up to the World
Jewish Military Wife Writes Book
JCC Maccabi ArtsFest Photographer Helps Young Artists See
jcccircle spring 2009 www.jcca.org 5769 chct

2 A Deeper Shade of Green
4 Eyes Wide Open
6 6 Standing By
8 Teens Lead the Way
11 JCC Association Services:
Special Pullout Section
15 15 My Jewish Journey
16 A Community of Writers
18 Corporate Sponsorships
4 19 JCC Happenings
25 Enid Rosenberg: Making
2 Connections Is Her Goal

18 8


jcccircle sponsors
The following sponsors have made this issue of JCC Circle possible. JCC Association thanks them for their generosity.

Association of Jewish Kades Financial, Inc. Octane Fitness To help support the work of JCC
Chaplains of the United www.kadesfinancial.com www.octanefitness.com Association and JCC Circle, please
States contact Fani Magnus Monson,
Landscape Structures The Ostroff Group vice-president of development, at:
Club Resource Group www.playlsi.com www.ostroffgroup.com
www.clubresourcegroup.com JCC Association
Les Mills North America, Inc. Precor 520 Eighth Avenue
The Coca-Cola Company® www.lesmillsusa.com www.precor.com New York, NY 10018
www.cocacola.com tel: (212) 532-4958, x5136
Matrix Fitness Systems The Redwoods Group fax: (212) 481-4174
CSI Software www.matrixfitness.com www.redwoodsgroup.com e-mail: FaniMM@jcca.org
microSteps, Inc. Staples Business Advantage
Cybex International www.micro-steps.com www.StaplesLink.com
Mondo Star Trac
EnerNOC www.mondousa.com www.startrac.com
Network Services Company Sterling & Sterling, Inc.
First Data Services www.nsconline.com www.sterlingrisk.com
New Balance TechnoGym
Freemotion Fitness www.newbalance.com www.technogym.com
Alan P. Solow
Honorary Chairs
Edward H. Kaplan
Ann P. Kaufman
Jerome B. Makowsky
Morton L. Mandel
Lester Pollack
Daniel Rose

dear friends Vice-Chairs

Lisa Brill

Donald Brodsky
he economic challenges facing our country confront local Jewish Community Cheryl Fishbein
Centers throughout the continent, as well as JCC Association itself. The Jewish Gary Jacobs
philanthropic world has been damaged by the general reduction in wealth due to Virginia A. Maas
the decline in the equity and housing markets as well as the impact of well-publicized Stephen R. Reiner
Toby Rubin
financial frauds. At the same time that Federation campaigns are reported to be down,
Stephen Seiden
more of our fellow citizens need assistance from our communal institutions. Paula Sidman
Ironically, it is just at such times that we must insure that every family looking to its Secretary
JCC for service will find a welcoming and embracing environment. Reports tell us that Shirley Solomon
members are looking toward their Jewish communal home for exercise and learning Assoc. Secretaries
experiences because they enjoy the cost effectiveness and camaraderie they find at the Enid Rosenberg
JCC. They are looking for the comfort of community during these tough times. So while Michael Segal
we are strapped for cash, we all must deliver more. Michael Wolfe

At JCC Association, we have reduced our operating costs, but we have made certain Treasurer
that the services we provide to our constituent JCCs and camps remain as strong as Edwin Goldberg
ever. That means that we continue to supply and support curriculum in areas from early Assoc. Treasurers
childhood education to camping, that we are developing innovative initiatives for adults, Stephen Dorsky
that our consulting services in wellness, management, and Judaic education remain the Andrew Shaevel
Doron Steger
envy of others, and that our Jewish personnel in the armed services are cared for by our
chaplains. We have done so while maintaining our traditional dues structure, and we are President
grateful for the support of our members. Allan Finkelstein

Local JCCs and camps are doing their best to provide more with less. We will remain jcccircle:
dedicated to adding value to Jewish life. We are not out of the woods yet; difficult times,
Sr. Vice-President,
and perhaps hard choices, lie ahead. As we all move forward, let us resolve to make Marketing & Communications
those choices based on the Jewish values that are central to the Jewish people’s ability Robin Ballin
to adapt, and not only survive, but prosper, through the centuries.
Creative Director
Peter Shevenell
L’hitraot Communications Manager,
JCC Circle Editor
Miriam Rinn
Jeremy Kortes
Dan Hertzberg
Alan P. Solow
Chair, JCC Association For address correction or Information about JCC Circle contact info@jcca.org or call Alina at
(212) 786-5096.
©2009 Jewish Community Centers Association of North America.
All rights reserved.
520 Eighth Avenue | New York, NY 10018
WE WANT YOUR Phone: 212-532-4949 | Fax: 212-481-4174 | e-mail: info@jcca.org | web: www.jcca.org
E-MAIL ADDRESS! JCC Association of North America is the leadership network of, and central agency for, 350 Jewish
Community Centers, YM-YWHAs and camps in the United States and Canada, who annually serve
JCC Circle is spring cleaning, and more than two million users. JCC Association offers a wide range of services and resources to
our e-mail list needs some attention. enable its affiliates to provide educational, cultural and recreational programs to enhance the
Please take a moment and send your lives of North American Jewry. JCC Association is also a U.S. government-accredited agency for
serving the religious and social needs of Jewish military personnel, their families and patients in VA
current contact information to Alina
hospitals through the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council.
at acherny@jcca.org, subject line:
JCC Association receives support from the UJC National Federation/Agency Alliance, local
JCC Circle. Todah Raba! federations and Jewish Community Centers.
ISSN 1065-1551
without replacing the entire area. Some of the carpet tiles are

A Deeper
held in place with friction to avoid any possible harmful fumes
from glue. New insulation was added in the lounge where
drywall was used so the heating and cooling system doesn’t have

Shade of
to work as hard. Walls were painted with low VOC (volatile
organic compound) paint, which reduces the risk of respiratory
and other illnesses caused by more toxic paint.

Green Shatter-proof, insulated windows were installed in the new

conference room. These new windows also will be installed
across the front of the building thanks to a Federal Homeland
Security Grant. Besides the obvious benefit of added safety, the
by Karen Kohn windows offer increased energy-efficiency. Insulated glazing
and tinted glass reflect the sun’s heat outward during warmer
“We often think about saving energy by
weather and keep heat inside when it’s cold out.
driving energy-efficient cars, but the energy
used in buildings exceeds the energy used to Heating/Cooling System Uses Less Energy
operate cars by about three to four times.” The most ambitious of the JCC’s green initiatives, however,
is the installation of geothermal heating and cooling in the
So says Seth Penchansky, vice-president of the board of the overhaul of the Maas Lounge. Unlike conventional heating and
JCC of Washtenaw County in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and a cooling systems, geothermal heating technology uses absolutely
member of the Facilities Committee for the last five years. no fuel to operate. Instead, geothermal systems send coolant
Penchansky should know: The JCC is embarking on an through piping buried underground to extract the heat that
effort to go as green as possible, and their green initiative
is much more than just recycling paper or turning down
the thermostats at night. As a principal of Penchansky
Whisler Architects, a firm that specializes in sustainable
architecture, Penchansky oversaw the design and installation
of several recent building renovations, which include state-
of-the-art green technologies that are making the JCC more
environmentally friendly than ever before.
Green Building Materials Lower
Environmental Impact cool
Energy-efficient building design is not a new concept
for the JCC. Four years ago, the gym was renovated and
featured the first energy-efficient rooftop heating and
air-conditioning unit with fresh air exchanges to reduce
carbon-dioxide levels in the room.

In a project completed last fall, the JCC went even further to

create a greener and more efficient facility. The renovation
included the latest innovations in energy-efficient lighting.
In the Maas Lounge, 21 fixtures with four lamps each were cool
replaced by eight fixtures with three lamps each, which also
use lower-wattage bulbs. The result was a lighting system that
uses just one quarter of the energy previously required. The
conference room features the new lighting, as well.
Maas Lounge floors were replaced with more sustainable
and longer-lasting building materials, such as Marmoleum, a warm
natural linoleum flooring made from linseed oil. In areas where
carpeting was needed, carpet tiles made from some recycled
nylon were used so that small sections can be swapped if needed

2 jcc circle spring 2009

exists there naturally. A minimal amount of electricity is
used to operate a compressor, pump and fan.
We Make It Easy to Save
The Earth maintains relatively constant temperatures.
In southern Michigan, the ground is between 55 and
Money and Save Energy
57 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. By cycling 30-degree We know that JCCs are trying to save money in every
coolant through 55 degree earth, for example, the possible way. So we set out to find a way for our
system can increase the temperature of the coolant, affiliated JCCs to reduce the cost of electricity, develop a
which raises the temperature of the air in the room. new revenue stream, and become more environmentally
In the winter, a geothermal system draws heat from aware and energy efficient. It took a lot of time to find
the Earth to warm a room. In the summer, it extracts the right company, but we’re proud to announce that we
heat from a room and sends it back underground for have selected EnerNOC, a leading provider of energy
solutions, as our recommended provider for energy
storage. Since earth is much denser than air, it can
curtailment and management.
change the temperature of the coolant (and in turn, the
room) much more efficiently than an air-to-air system. When the electric grid is congested, EnerNOC calls upon
its network to reduce its electricity usage according to a
The new heating system also works in conjunction with pre-determined plan. This is called “demand response.”
an energy recovery ventilator, which draws in fresh Lowering demand for electricity helps reduce the risk
air from a vent in the roof. The unit runs only when of brown-outs and black-outs and alleviates the need to
build new peaking power plants. With EnerNOC, JCCs will
a carbon dioxide (CO2) sensor indicates fresh air is
receive the most bottom-line value from demand response,
needed, and it recovers 70 percent of the energy that together with cost-savings opportunities. EnerNOC makes
would otherwise be lost by conventional air circulation participation in demand response easy, as they manage
systems, enabling the heating and cooling system to run the process and absorb all the risk. Your JCC’s curtailment
more efficiently. strategy will be customized for your agency, and EnerNOC’s
operations team works to get your site(s) enabled and
While geothermal technology may sound like science ready for an energy emergency quickly. They provide
fiction, it actually works well and is very cost-effective. world-class support, help you identify and implement a
There may be a higher initial cost upon installation, host of sustainable savings opportunities, and best of all,
but the system can pay for itself within five years in there is no charge for their services. In fact, EneNOC will
recouped energy costs. Geothermal heating is twice pay you to participate.
as efficient as standard equipment, has twice the life EnerNOC rewards the sites in its network, like the JCC, with
span, and requires less maintenance. According to year-round payments just for being on ready to reduce
Penchansky, it just makes good business sense. electricity consumption in the event of a grid emergency.
Sites also receive additional payments if and when they’re
“The best things we can do to conserve energy are called into action, creating two new potential revenue
to use new light bulbs, install better insulation, and streams. Revenue potential varies by region and how much
energy a site is able to reduce, but in major metropolitan
improve heating and cooling in homes and offices,”
areas, it can reach $35,000 or more. Not only do JCC
says Penchansky. facilities get paid directly from EnerNOC for their efforts,
they also save on monthly electricity bills.

JCC Plans Future Building EnerNOC representatives will customize a plan specific to
each facility’s needs after an energy audit of your JCC,
Improvements which it will conduct at no cost to you.
The JCC intends to upgrade the building further EnerNOC was founded in 2001 and is publicly traded on
in the coming years, including replacing the JCC’s NASDAQ. It is licensed in every U.S. state and Canadian
23-year-old roof and installing thicker insulation in province that allows these services. In addition to energy
the new roof. Eventually, the JCC must replace the 40 curtailment, in some markets it is also licensed to help
year-old boiler that heats the main part of the original you find cheaper power sources than your current electric
building. “When the boiler expires, we’d consider company, given the power of its group buying ability.
using geothermal heating again in the future,” says To find our how EnerNOC can work for you, contact
Executive Director Leslie Bash. The geothermal info@enernoc.com—subject line “JCC Inquiry” or to sign
heating system in the Maas Lounge serves as a pilot up for the program, visit www.enernoc.com/get-started.
project for that possibility. The project would be a
large investment, but some of it could be financed by
energy savings. Now, that’s efficient.

Karen Kohn is a freelance writer based in Michigan.

www.jcca.org jcc circle 3

Eyes Wide Open:
Showing Teens a New Perspective at JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®
by Miriam Rinn

Television. Movies. Video games. Teenagers have been immersed

in manufactured images their entire lives. “It’s part of the air they
breathe,” says photographer Lloyd Wolf, so when it comes to making
photographic images, he finds they can do really good work at a
relatively young age.

lthough Wolf believes that photography has between the generations, they went to a senior center
always been a manipulative art, the advent of and a camp. The young photographers interacted with
digital photography has destroyed the idea the older people, and they were able to deal with the
of photographs being a literal reflection of reality. technical challenges of young children in constant
“Most of the students are computer savvy,” he says, motion. The workshop’s theme was d’or va d’or,
and they understand how Photoshop works. “They generation to generation, another reason to include
get it pretty fast.” subjects of different ages.

As the photography artist-in-residence at last year’s Wolf has been a photographer since college, and his
JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®, Wolf led 31 teens through an work has appeared in Vogue, the Washington Post
intensive photo-making experience. “I’ve taught on Magazine, National Geographic Explorer, the U.S.
and off my whole career,” says Wolf, and he found the Holocaust Museum, and numerous other outlets.
ArtsFest teens among the best groups he’s ever worked He started teaching in the public schools in the
with. Lloyd brought the teens to what he describes early 1970s. He has worked with homeless kids and
as visually rich areas—and sent them out to take immigrant students, as well as college students. “You
pictures on the street. “We went into areas that were learn from teaching, and you get energy from teaching,”
funky but not scary,” Wolf says, and the teens ventured Lloyd says. Lloyd also does general commercial
out in groups of two and three to take pictures of photography as well as more creative projects. He’s
whatever captured their attention. The photos varied currently part of a group working on a documentary
tremendously: some teens took pictures of people, about an area in Arlington, Virginia called Columbia
some took landscape shots, some focused on abstract Pike. “It’s the most diverse area in the country, perhaps
designs. Chuckling, Wolf mentions that many teens outside of Queens,” he says. He’s also taking photographs
photographed public pay phones. “They think they’re of street shrines, those spontaneous memorials to
antiques,” he says, like Model T Fords. murdered children or automobile accidents one sees
along roadsides and against buildings. In addition to a
According to Lloyd, “You can’t play an instrument by book on Jerusalem and an ongoing series on klezmer
just talking about it, and the same is true of a camera.” musicians, Lloyd is developing an investigation of
He put the teens in places where there was a lot to Jewish time called Circles within Circles. His work can
photograph. Because he wants to break down barriers be seen at www.lloydwolf.com.

4 jcc circle spring 2009

A formal exhibition of JCC Maccabi ArtsFest
photographs, “Eyes Wide Open,” traveled to JCCs
in New Orleans, Minneapolis, and Houston in 2009.
A selection of photographs from the show are
available through JCC Association’s online store:
go to www.jcca.org/eyeswideopen.

At ArtsFest, the teens presented

their work in different ways. “The greatest Jewish
“I wanted them to have as
close an experience to an teen program in
exhibition as they could. We America for the
made beautiful prints with
white borders,” Lloyd explains.
creative crowd“
They also projected their work — Mattan Klein,
over a jazz piece created by jazz ensemble artist-in-residence
the instrumental jazz group at
ArtsFest. “It went over well,”
Lloyd says. “They were very New Orleans JCC
pumped and felt very proud.” August 2-7, 2009

Lloyd will mentor another Merage JCC of Orange County, CA

photography workshop in New August 9 - 14, 2009
Orleans for the 2009 ArtsFest,
and he’s already excited by
the potential. “It’s going to be
overwhelming. There’s just so www.jccmacreg.org
much to see.”

www.jcca.org jcc circle 5

Standing by
A Jewish Navy Wife Tells Her Story

Ethan and Esther run to greet

their father.

practice,” Buckholtz said. The trick is

finding them. When Buckholtz first
asked the base chaplain to recommend
a synagogue, he unknowingly gave her
the number of a group of Messianic
Jews, people who accept Jesus Christ as
the messiah while they observe Jewish
practices. “That was horrible,” Buckholtz
said, but the experience encouraged her
husband to become a Jewish lay leader
through JWB Jewish Chaplains Council.
by Miriam Rinn of her element in tiny Anacortes, Working as a team, the Buckholtzes got
Washington while her husband was on

materials from JWB and started doing
ometimes, it takes one lucky a ship half way across the world, and outreach. Their first event brought
break. Alison Buckholtz became Standing By tells in touching detail together 30 people for a Hanukkah
an overnight sensation after how she managed to find a place for party—service members, retirees, and
having been a professional writer for herself in that world. While coping spouses. The Buckholtzes have since
eleven years when her essay about with her own loneliness, she struggled organized holiday celebrations including
a cardboard cutout of her husband to help her children deal with the sense a Passover Seder, a Purim megillah
appeared in The New York Times of dislocation and abandonment they reading, and a Rosh Hashanah dinner.
“Modern Love” column. “Flat Daddy,” felt when their father disappeared for “It was a great feeling to know that we
as the cutout was called, was her months. “I didn’t know that you could provided an outlet,” Buckholtz said.
attempt to console her young son talk about him all the time and feel sad, “Being a lay leader has been fantastic.
Ethan when her husband, Commander and still thrive,” Buckholtz said. She It’s been one of the best things here.”
Scott Buckholtz, a U.S. Navy pilot, was had to negotiate the difference between
deployed. Flat Daddy turned out to grieving that Daddy is gone, and Buckholtz grew up in Charleston, South
be no substitute for Real Daddy, but moving on with life and being happy. Carolina—“Everything you could do as
Buckholtz turned that break into a a Jew in Charleston was centered in the
book, Standing By: The Making of an Another challenge for Buckholtz was JCC”—and lived in Washington, D.C.
American Military Family in a Time of to provide Jewish experiences and before she married. Twenty minutes
War, published by Tarcher/Penguin. a Jewish atmosphere for her family, from her parents, near her brothers and
both when her husband was home sisters, in an urban community filled
As a young Jewish mother of two and when he was away. Although most with Jewish institutions, reading the
preschoolers, three thousand miles people think that few Jews join the Times and The New Yorker, Buckholtz
away from her family and friends, armed forces today, “there are plenty was not your typical military spouse.
Buckholtz felt more than a little out of Jews in the military and they do For the last three years, Buckholtz has

6 jcc circle spring 2009

CAPT Irving Elson, a Jewish chaplain in the U.S. Navy, blesses the jet flown by Scott Buckholtz on the USS Truman.

written about military life for a general others in the same situation are eager they visit her family. “It’s very sweet
population. “I really enjoy writing to help. to watch that happen,” Buckholtz said,
first-person essays,” she said. “Civilians and she determined to include that

who don’t have any sense what this uckholtz spent a lot of time part of her life in the book.
world is like think that it’s radically creating a Jewish nest for her
different, and it’s not. My goal [in the children. She ordered challahs Scott Buckholtz is about to be deployed
book] was to show the human side of and Jewish foods, she bought Jewish to Iraq, and Alison Buckholtz and
deployment.” Buckholtz discovered a DVD’s and CD’s, she celebrated Ethan and Esther are going back to
natural inclination for military wives Shabbat and all the holidays at home. Washington, D.C. Buckholtz can be
to reach out to each other. “That sort “I had always heard that Judaism was reached at http://www.alisonbuckholtz.
of closeness happens faster,” she said, centered on the home,” Buckholtz said, com and more information about
because of the need to have people and she really worked on ways to infuse the book is available at http://www.
available to cover when there’s no her home with a Jewish ambiance. The standingbybook.com/Home.html. “ It
family around. “You’re always looking result is that her children know all the is so gratifying to me to be able to bring
for someone who can help you in an prayers and songs for Shabbat, she the story of Jewish military families to
emergency,” Buckholtz pointed out, and said, and can sing confidently when Jewish audiences.”

www.jcca.org jcc circle 7

as critical in their planning for college

Teens lead the way! and careers, but further, it indicates

their reconnection to traditional Jewish
values of tzedakah and tikkun olam.
JCC youth and teen directors know
these facts from first-hand experience.
They work with teens every day within
the JCC Movement—at JCCs and

he idealism of youth is one of JCC teens by the Florence G. Heller- camps—and have the chance to inspire
our great natural resources. JCC Association Research Center finds and be inspired by them. There are
Hopeful and filled with energy even more startling evidence of teens’ many stories similar to the ones you
and optimism, young people yearn to desire to be involved—72 percent will read here of teens who are creating,
be engaged with the world—whether participate in community service building, doing, and supporting
they know it or not. Lately, they seem to projects, with 40 percent coming to efforts in their communities, which
be awakening to their potential to make the JCC for that activity. Published indicate we should feel hopeful for
a huge difference in their communities, studies by Independent Sector, the our leaders of tomorrow. For more
in their country, and even in the welfare Panetta Institute, and others have information about other programs
of the planet. According to the U. S. provided evidence of an upswing in or resources related to teen activism,
Bureau of Labor Statistics, 55 percent activism, volunteerism, and social or to share news of successes in your
of teenagers volunteer an average of entrepreneurialism among teens. These own community, please contact me at
three and a half hours a week, the only trends reflect the value teens place on aselkow@jcca.org.
age group to increase its volunteer time community service and experiential Aaron Selkow, director, Merrin Center for
over the last year. A recent study of education. Many teens see such service Teen Services

The Door and Ladder Society (top row,

L-R) Jonathan Berger, Aaron Maslia,
Noah Adler, Benjamin Harris, Kyle
Schaffer, Nick Myers, (Middle row,
l-r) Shayna Brandi, Alex Rubin, Kelli
Regenbaum, Nicole Gillman, Rebecca
Gaillard, Nikki Cohen, Tammy Bronstein
(bottom row, l-r) Erin Smith, Bradley
Maran, Marisa Alzadeh (not pictured)
Maia Hoberman

The Door and Ladder Society is an numerous grant requests. The teens
18-member group of Jewish high school evaluate and discuss each proposal, finally
sophomores, who represent each of deciding on which proposals to fund, just

teens give the Atlanta Jewish youth groups, and

whose religious backgrounds range
from Orthodox to secular. Members
as other funding groups do.
The Door and Ladder Society is

t’s never too soon to start training must go through a selective admissions a program of the Marcus Jewish
teens to become philanthropists. The process, which includes both essays and Community Center of Atlanta,
Marcus Jewish Community Center interviews, and then study the Jewish supported by the Jewish Federation
of Atlanta’s Door and Ladder Society, philanthropic tradition, collective of Greater Atlanta and the Jewish Teen
a hands-on philanthropy program for grantmaking, venture philanthropy, Funders Network: http://www.jtfn.org/.
Jewish tenth graders, recently awarded and community needs. While most of People interested in learning more
$10,000 in grants to programs for the money comes from community about The Door and Ladder Society,
children with special needs. Recipients of donors, each teen must make a personal including the application process
this year’s grants were Amit’s B’Yachad contribution of at least $180. and participants’ written reflections,
Buddy program and the MJCCA’s Camp can visit The Door and Ladder
Isidore Alterman, a camp for children In response to a request for proposals Society website:
with autism spectrum disorders. from different charities, the group receives www.atlantajcc.org/doorandladder.

8 jcc circle spring 2009

Laine with her mother Judi and older
brother Randy

She set out with a goal to raise $10,000

to start the fund—and truthfully, this
amount seemed a bit overwhelming.
When it was all over, she had raised
more than $16,500. And she’s already
planning for next year’s event.

“Looking back, I realize what a

tremendous impact summer camp
has had on my life,” said Laine. She
has attended various camps for eight
summers, including a summer at
JCC Camp Discovery. “I learned
many important life lessons at camp,
including teamwork, cooperation and
independence from my family, all while
making long-lasting friendships in an
environment that is more relaxed and
different from school. I wanted to give
other children the chance to have a
wonderful, life-changing experience, just
as I have had.”

n this turbulent economy, there will be
more families this year unable to pay

Sweet sixteen charity for summer camp for their children,

so the Laine Meyer Camp Scholarship
Fund is needed more than ever. While
Tapping the idealistic spirit—and funds­—of teenagers. other teens are already involved with
social action projects through the
by Sarah DePaolo and eager to actively improve the world Rosenthal JCC, Laine was able to take that
around them. These teens statistically are spirit to the next step. She knew her peers

hen Laine Meyer’s parents more interested in charity and volunteer could do more. These were adolescents
asked her what she wanted work than most adults around them. who, for the most part, come from very
for her sixteenth birthday, Most are required by their schools to do comfortable homes. Instead of buying a
the Briarcliff High School junior community service—and that doesn’t new pair of jeans, she asked them to dig
told them she didn’t need anything, hurt their college applications either. into their pockets and make sure a less-
but she knew that other kids did. They have the potential to become a fortunate child had some of the same
For her Sweet 16, she chose to found fundraising force to be reckoned with. opportunities they had had.
the Laine Meyer Camp Scholarship And they did.
Fund at the Rosenthal JCC of More than two hundred teens attended
Northern Westchester in New York, Laine’s party in the JCC’s auditorium, Laine chose the Rosenthal JCC because
and organized a combination Sweet and each donated $36 or more. The DJ she has been involved with the JCC for
16 party/fundraiser for her camp donated his time and the lighting special so many years. She is currently part of
scholarship fund. effects. Laine baked some desserts, and the JCC’s Youth Leadership Council,
her parents bought more. JCC staff and has participated in many after-
Laine helped the Rosenthal JCC tap into helped Laine solicit goods from local school programs in the past. “The JCC
an oft-ignored source for charity and merchants for a silent auction for the was a great place to grow up!” she said.
fundraising—teens. Not only do today’s parents and other family members who “The JCC has acted as a second home
teenagers have expendable income—a also attended. Laine invited her entire to me.”
result of after-school jobs, chores, and high school class, as well as friends from
lives with relatively few responsibilities— Sarah DePaolo is a freelance writer
camp and other extracurricular activities.
based in Westchester County, NY.
but Generation Y is also more idealistic

www.jcca.org jcc circle 9

Baltimore JCC teen staff, Melanie
Waxman (left) and Beth Steiner pose
on the streets of Washington DC
with one of the many Inauguration
day celebrities.

can’t vote. They have social justice and

environmental issues on their minds.
Emily Boling, a high school junior, feels
fortunate to be growing up in these
times when a member of a minority
can become president of the United
States. “Now children are realizing this
reality, that anyone can do anything,”
says Emily. “I will be able to say to my
kids when they are reading [about it] in
their textbooks, ‘Your mom was there.’”

“Long before the JCC of Baltimore had

organized a trip to the inauguration of
JCC teens take over DC President Obama, I knew I had to be
there,” says Jon Monfred, a high-school
senior and founder of the school’s
by Robin Rose-Samuels to parents and worked to convince them Young Democrats Club. Describing the
that the teens would be safe and get to moment after Obama’s swearing in,

ifetime memories are made
“ by allowing yourself to be
be a part of the day.” Some of the parents
were reluctant at first, but the teens were
Jon says, “Tears flowed freely. Strangers
embraced. It was pure and unbridled
engaged in the moment.” This adamant that they could do this and joy in the nation’s capital…and how
is the mantra of Melanie Waxman, the eventually won their folks over. spectacular to have experienced such
Baltimore JCC Maccabi Teen Experience joy amongst friends!”
director. That’s why in the fall of 2007 The teens left Baltimore the day before

Waxman put a deposit on a coach bus the inauguration, spending the night s a JCC teen staff member,
to take a group of Jewish teens to the on the ballroom floor of the DCJCC. Beth Steiner had the added
Presidential Inauguration in Washington. In preparation for the monumental responsibility of being a
A year later that same bus would cost day ahead, Waxman led a discussion. chaperone. She helped shepherd the
three times as much, if one could even “Among the questions I asked was, ‘What teens from the DCJCC at 6:00 in the
be found, and Waxman was escorting other historic event would you have liked morning through a crowded five-block
45 teens and 10 chaperones to D.C. for to witnesses?’ Their answers included the walk that took an hour and half. She
the swearing-in of the first African- liberation of the concentration camps, talked and bonded with the teens as
American president of the United States. Lincoln’s inauguration, Martin Luther they sat in front of a Jumbotron along
King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and the the museum-lined mall, staying with
“I did not honestly think it would work march on Washington. Others went for them all day in the frigid cold and finally
out! The dream of taking high-school the crossing of the Red Sea and the 1969 escorting them back through the throngs
teens to the inauguration to be a part of World Series. I was blown away.” of people to awaiting buses at the JCC.
history was daring!” declares Waxman. “We were starving, freezing, exhausted
“My thoughts ran from ‘How are we Waxman had attended President Bill and exhilarated. I finally made it home
going to stay safe?’ to ‘Where are we going Clinton’s first inauguration, and she by 8:00 p.m. and just crashed. It was
to situate ourselves so that we will actually remembered the excitement, the energy, 100 percent worth it. I feel a sense of
get to be a part of the celebration?’” the pins, and the people on soapboxes optimism and hope for our country. I
pontificating about many ideas. “I don’t know what the next four years will
Waxman and her team worked with the wanted teens to experience and take bring, but I can only hope that we will
FBI, the Washington DCJCC, and various in the fervor of the times. I knew it move onward and upward.”
parents to set a game plan and work would ultimately stay with them the
towards the goal. Her team made a trial rest of their lives,” she says. Waxman Robin Rose-Samuels is the marketing
trip to D.C. and mapped out an itinerary believes teens have become politically director of the JCC of Greater
step-by-step. “We presented a Powerpoint invested in recent years, even if they Baltimore.

10 jcc circle spring 2009


Are you taking
advantage of the
of areas in which
JCC Association
can help improve
your operations,
boost your bottom line,
further your mission?
Of the many JCC Association services available to affiliated JCCs,
these areas are of particular value in challenging economic times.
Contact us to explore how these services can help your JCC today.

Benchmarking Economy Hotline

JCC Excellence: The Benchmarking Twice a week, we send you the latest
Project helps JCCs retain members, information on how to weather this
increase camp registration, improve economic downturn: great ideas on
customer service and more, all through clear inexpensive marketing, suggestions on how
analysis of statistical data. You can sign up to keep morale up, tips on membership
and find out why executive directors and growth and retention, analysis of the banking
board members are saying, “A major benefit crisis and how it impacts you. You need help
of our affiliation with JCC Association.” right now, and we’re giving it to you.
“Nothing you do will be more valuable.”

Signature Programs Business & Finance

Distinguish yourself in the marketplace while Our Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership
reaching out to many demographic groups with & Management is dedicated to strengthening
our signature programs. Let our initiatives help the economic base of your JCC. From in-
you connect with teens, parents, young adults, person consultations to webinars to step-
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Games® • JCC Maccabi ArtsFest® • An Ethical managing in a downturn, and establishing a
Start® • TAG: Jewish Values Through JCC business model, we offer tools you can use to
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to go. Now, that’s a great deal. this benefit of affiliation.

Human Capital Consultants

Great staff is key to a successful JCC, and Do you know your consultant? You should.
our professional development services Each JCC has a committed consultant
department is entirely focused on who can provide or lead you to the
finding you the right staff, training the help you need with governance, fitness
staff you have, and educating the next planning, camp, marketing, FRD, early
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can bring your staff to the next level—that consultants’ fees run into many thousands
level of service that keeps your members of dollars. As an affiliated JCC, you’ve
happy to belong to your JCC. already got one on the payroll.
My Jewish Journey
Dina Weinstein

My sons and I are singing as we drive home from camp at the Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center:

O, our hands are strong and our hearts are young/

and a dreamer keeps a dreamin’ ages on/
keeps a dreamin,’ keeps a dreamin’ along/
What did we do when we needed a farm?
We plowed and we sowed ‘til the sun went down/
O, our hands are strong and our hearts are young and a dreamer keeps a dreamin’ ages on/
keeps a dreamin’ keeps a dreamin’ along...

I learned that song as a child at the JCC of Greater Boston Jacob & Rose Grossman Camp. I also went to
Camp Ramah and to Kutz Camp in upstate New York. My Jewish camping experiences were all over the
map and I’ve lost track of my fellow campers, but the songs stay in my mind. They were my favorite part
of summer camp, and I judged how well the summer went by how much singing I did. When my camp group
was busy singing, cliques disappeared and there was unity. Summer camp singing sessions were where
and how I learned prayers, Israeli anthems, and goofy songs to sing in the car with my kids.
Now Yehuda and Benjamin, my five and seven-year-old sons, come home from camp singing every day.
On a few mornings, I sit in on some of the song sessions at camp, mostly to avoid adult life and to soak in
the happy atmosphere of camp. Leading the tunes is Aaron Margolis (photo, below), a smiling man with a
scruffy beard, dressed in a camp T-shirt, a bandana, and shorts, and wielding a shiny black guitar. To the
children at camp, Aaron is as glamorous as a rock star. They crowd around
him when he leads them in song, and stare at him adoringly when he
passes by.
My sons don’t know it, but the singing sessions subtly convey Jewish
stories and values. Songs my boys sing at camp tell them to be a good
friend, pitch in and help, get things done, have fun, don’t be petty,
be patriotic, be proud of who you are. These are American and
Jewish values that could be taught through a boring lecture,
but I’m glad a song leader like Aaron is getting them across
in singing sessions replete with silly hand gestures.
I surprised my seven-year-old the other day by
joining him in a Hebrew song he had learned: Ani v’ata
ne’shaneh et ha-olam – You and I shall change the world.
“How do you know that?” he asked me. “I learned it a
long time ago at JCC camp,” I told him, as he looked at
me, amazed.

Dina Weinstein is a freelance writer living in Coral Gables, Florida

with her two sons and husband.

A a r o n M a r g o l is
www.jcca.org jcc circle 15
A Community of Writers

by Michelle Brafman abuse, rape, and the loss of children,

parents and husbands.

even winters ago, I dragged my
very pregnant self to hear author The group members possess a
Faye Moskowitz read at Politics common hunger for the tools to tell
and Prose, Washington DC’s renowned their stories: some to publish, others
indie bookstore. She drew such a vivid to preserve their family histories, and
picture of her late grade-school English all because they know the healing
teacher Miss Bartlett that I forgot that and redemptive powers of shaping an
my esophagus felt like it was on fire, or experience into a narrative.
that my bloated body barely fit on the
Before the first meeting I led, I sent
small folding chair.
out a writing exercise in the hope
I knew that one day I would find a that one or two participants would
way for Faye to become my teacher. arrive with stories. Fourteen members
What I didn’t know was that Jean showed up with essays and poems to
Graubart, director of the Leo and share. Now my challenge and joy is to
Anna Smilow Center for Jewish Living squeeze everyone’s submission into a
and Learning at the Washington two and a half hour workshop.
DCJCC, was sitting several rows away,
I begin each workshop by giving a
hatching a plan to make this happen.
prompt, a tool to launch longer pieces
I didn’t know that she would recruit
that the writers can develop between
Faye and visual artist and poet Miriam
sessions. I organize the sessions
Mörsel Nathan to lead an annual
around a theme, which I tie into a
summer writing retreat just outside
specific element of craft. For example,
of Baltimore or that this would evolve
into a community of writers I would Faye Moskowitz (left) and Miriam in an effort to urge the writers to
join and eventually help lead. Mörsel Nathan engage their senses, I asked them to
describe a family recipe. This prompt
Every August, a collection of returning yielded a host of wildly funny and
e-mail addresses and vow to continue moving bubbe stories and enough
participants and newcomers gather
writing after they leave Pearlstone. recipes to fill a sisterhood cookbook.
at the Pearlstone Retreat Center to
study memoir with Faye, poetry with Three years ago, Jean devised a way to Some of the most powerful essays
Miriam, and now, fiction with me. keep the community alive by creating appear around the High Holidays
Some arrive with trepidation, insisting an ongoing writing workshop at the when I ask the group to write about
that they have no story to tell; others JCC open to anyone who has ever forgiveness. One woman, a retired
speak longingly of college notebooks attended a retreat. Roughly every executive who initially intimidated
filled with poetry, and a few quake sixth Sunday afternoon from fall to me with her husky voice and razor
slightly at the prospect of writing spring, a group of women ranging in sharp wit, wrote about her troubled
outside their preferred genre. By the age from 30 to 80 meet at the JCC to relationship with a sibling. I suggested
end of the four days, every participant share their writing. These women are that she write a letter from her sibling’s
has written memoir, poetry, and scholars, visual artists, social workers, point of view.
fiction; they’ve cried, laughed, and high-school teachers, administrators,

entrusted their fellow writers with physical therapists, journalists, and one ur workshop has evolved
tender pieces of themselves. On the is even an ex-CIA operative. They’ve into a community. When one
last day of the retreat, members swap survived cancer, domestic violence, member underwent major

16 jcc circle spring 2009

surgery, several writers visited her
bearing hearty soups and flowers. One

woman showed up with a volume of e at the JCC take our middle name seriously. In
Pablo Neruda’s work, and they spent
a world where it’s increasingly difficult to find
the afternoon sipping tea and reciting
time to connect to others in person, we decided
poetry to each other. These writers
swap their work outside of class, and to think outside the box—or in this case, the building. Many
during the workshop, they listen to of us have forgotten how to get together with like-minded
each other with respect, compassion souls for anything that’s not absolutely necessary, and
and an increasingly discerning ear for the only way to get back to it is with a big jump start. A
language and narrative structure. retreat serves as a reminder of the sense of purpose and
engagement that comes into our lives from sharing common
One of my favorite parts about our interests with new people, learning together, and of course,
meetings is the chance to steal wisdom
relaxing and having fun, without the distractions of cell
from the stories I hear. Empty-nesters
phones, computers, work and family.  We are there for a
and grandmothers speak wistfully
of their years changing diapers and purpose—in this case, writing—that unites us with the goal to
playing marathon games of Crazy challenge ourselves and each other.  This taste of condensed
Eights. I remember their words when community is never enough—after returning to our busy
my kids are bickering or a snow lives, participants inevitably long to see each other again
day interferes with the time I’ve set and feel grateful to have a place to do so at the JCC. Many
aside for work. They tell me through find themselves newly committed to finding more ways to
their poems and memoirs, “Enjoy, integrate a sense of connection and inspiration into their
this intense parenting phase will be lives, and the JCC is there waiting with open arms.
over in a nanosecond.” They’re right.
Jean R Graubart
The son I carried when I heard Faye Director,
read is now in kindergarten, and last Leo and Anna Smilow Center
session, our youngest member brought
for Jewish Living and Learning
her infant to class, the first baby born
to the group. The baby girl, swaddled in
pink with cheeks to match, nursed and
nuzzled while a few of our writers read
poems about mothers and daughters.
The young mother listened intently,
and when it was her turn to read, she
told of the kabbalistic thread that binds
the souls of her grandmother and
her baby. A few days later, we learned Opinions,
of the death of our Neysa, the eldest
member of the group. Be it the lost
family members who show up in our
collective writing or Faye’s Miss Bartlett
or Neysa, we are bound to the living
and the dead through memories and
the stories they summon.
Michelle Brafman teaches creative
writing at George Washington ING
University. Past winner of the Lilith CALL CC
Magazine Fiction Award and the
ALL : S 2010
F. Scott Fitzgerald Prize, her short
stories have been nominated for
a Pushcart Prize and Best New Washington, DC | January 24-26
American Voices 2009.
Join the dialogue: contact steverod@jcca.org

www.jcca.org jcc circle 17

Shared Values, Shared Missions:
the Core of Corporate Sponsorships
We celebrate The Coca-Cola Company® and welcome New Balance®!

s JCC Association and local JCC host four years ago, Coke added that program to its
communities head into the home stretch sponsorship as well, in the belief that living
of preparation for this summer’s JCC positively can be expressed not only through
Maccabi Games® and JCC Maccabi ArtsFest®, sports, but also through the arts.
we are celebrating our nearly two decades of
partnership with The Coca-Cola Company® of New Balance’s core values include integrity
North America, presenting continental sponsor and teamwork. Originally founded in the
of the Games, and a sponsor of ArtsFest, and early 1900’s, New Balance has grown to
welcoming a new Games continental sponsor, be one of the largest athletic footwear and
New Balance.® apparel companies in the world, but it remains
committed to giving back to the communities
At the root of both of these sponsorships is a shared in which it does business. At New Balance,
vision and sense of mission. The Coca-Cola support of grassroots marketing initiatives
Company’s connection to the Jewish community is part of the company’s history. The core of
goes back to the early 1900’s when Coke became this is a sponsorship philosophy that follows
the first soft drink to acquire kosher its brand positioning around the
certification. Coca-Cola’s corporate importance of fit. When the “fit”
platform is “live positively”—they is right, New Balance will gladly
appreciate our commitment sponsor a nonprofit’s program.
to Days of Caring and Sharing A quick look on the New Balance
and its community service activities, the Games ethos of website shows how many important programs it supports.
rachmanus—placing fair play and enjoyment above winning
at any cost—and our desire to help our teens connect to their As you look to develop corporate sponsors for your
Jewish identities and Israel in the most positive way. Because local JCC, remember, if the “fit” is right, and if there is a
Coca-Cola believes in promoting a healthy, active lifestyle, shared vision and mission, there’s a good likelihood that a
they donate mostly Dasani bottled water and Powerade. mutually-beneficial partnership between JCC and company
When JCC Association created JCC Maccabi ArtsFest can be made.

What’s especially exciting about the New Balance sponsorship of the JCC Maccabi
Games—through which it is providing both financial support and the uniforms
for the host community teams—is that it is accompanied by a preferred vendor
relationship that will benefit both JCCs and individual JCC members. Now that
we’ve rolled out the Games sponsorship, be on the lookout for team clothing for
JCC Maccabi Games teams, all other JCC leagues, camp clothing, and New Balance
footwear. Individuals as well as JCCs can order online via special websites, getting
extraordinary discounts, and JCCs will also get a rebate on every order they, or
their individual members, place with New Balance. Elite Team Supplies is the
exclusive distributor of New Balance for the JCC preferred vendor program.
Log on to www.elitets.net/newbalance/jcc for details.

18 jcc circle spring 2009

JCC Works to Help Special-

Needs Children Get the
Services They Need

Houston JCC, TX
When two-year-old Julien Herschkowitz first
started in the STARS program at the Bertha
Alyce Early Childhood Center he was nonverbal,
developmentally delayed and sensory challenged.
what’s going on in the north american “Between not talking and having sensory and
jewish community center movement feeding issues, we had our challenges ahead. We
knew this program was going to help him but I
never knew it would help him this much,” says
Rebecca Herschkowitz.

STARS is a preschool program for children with

autism spectrum disorders. Kids get intensive
intervention with one-on-one instruction, speech
therapy and occupational therapy in small
classroom settings. It’s a highly regarded program
that costs more than $30,000 a year, beyond the
reach of the Herschkowitz family without the help
of the Irvin Kaplan Children’s Scholarship Fund of
the JCC of Houston and other sources.

Scholarships give more than 300 children a year

the opportunity to participate in all JCC programs
for children. “Our children are our future. If we
can’t give them the things they need from the
beginning then our future is gone,” says Cindy
Falik Lipshutz, a retired school teacher and chair
of the 19th Annual Children’s Scholarship Ball.

Now at four years old, Julien is a different

little boy. “He is singing, dancing, talking. He
comprehends and plays with his siblings. It’s a
miracle. He’s still got a long way to go, but it is
still a miracle!” says Rebecca.

Dancing in the Dark raise money from family and friends outside the
area, expanding the fundraising reach of the APJCC.
Addison Penzak JCC, San Jose, CA
A big draw was that Jonathan Roberts and
The Addison Penzak JCC held one of its most successful galas when it Valentina Kostenko from the television show
chose a theme based on the reality TV show Dancing with the Stars. In would be performing at the gala. Roberts and
addition to the usual fundraising methods—tickets sales, live and silent Kostenko live in Silicon Valley and volunteered to
auctions—the reality TV show theme gave the APJCC the chance to help the APJCC.
introduce several innovative ways of raising money.
“Feedback from the event was great and we raised
The highlight of the gala was a ballroom dancing contest featuring over $100,000, making it one of our top fundraising
seven APJCC past presidents, who practiced for weeks with events ever,” reported Susie Weitzman, the APJCC’s
professional ballroom dance instructors before the event. Attendees special events coordinator. “Our past presidents
received one free ballot to vote for their favorite dancer, but they really put their hearts into the dance contest. Our
could buy additional ballots to increase the tally. A panel of judges also panel of judges did a lot to make the event fun for
weighed in. people too. The panel consisted of two professional
Before the gala, the amateur dancers competed to see who could raise ballroom dancers and the APJCC’s director of
the most money online by creating individual fundraising pages using Jewish life & learning, Rabbi Joshua Fenton. They
www.firstgiving.com. The Web pages made it easy for the dancers to used a sense of humor in critiquing each dance and
they kept people laughing.”

www.jcca.org jcc circle 19

Shimon & Sara Birnbaum JCC, Bridgewater, NJ
The Shimon & Sara Birnbaum JCC changed its pool
sanitization system from chlorine to salt.  The new salt system
is healthy for the skin, non-irritating to the eyes, eco-friendly,
does not damage swimwear, and is extremely cost-effective.

Staten Island Gathers in Sorrow,

Katz JCC, Cherry Hill, NJ Joy and Strength
As part of their going green initiative, the Katz JCC Alan & Joan Bernikow JCC, Staten Island, NY
recently collected old sneakers for the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Within a six week period, the Staten Island community
program, which takes worn-out kicks and turns them into gathered at the Alan & Joan Bernikow JCC to mourn, to
Nike Grind, a material used in sports surfaces, playgrounds, celebrate, and to voice support. In each case, the whole
and even new Nike products. The JCC collected over six Jewish community came together in less than two weeks.
hundred pairs of sneakers.
The first time was on December 3, 2008, shortly after the
massacre at Mumbai, India. Within days, the JCC became the
Fixing the World, center of communal grief over the senseless end of so many
innocent lives. More than 450 people listened to speakers,
One Cup at a Time watched a video, and offered prayers that such a tragedy
would never happen again. Then came Hanukkah and the
JCC of the Greater St. Paul
wish to bring the community together again, this time in
Area, MN celebration. Although there have been outdoor ice carvings
The simple things you do have a of menorahs in the New York City area, none had ever taken
profound effect on others, even place on Staten Island. A few hundred people came out to
something as simple as a cup enjoy seeing the menorah carved and lit—a modern day
of coffee. Mirembe Kawomera version of the miracle of light.
coffee (means “delicious The community rallied a third time in support of Israel during
peace” in Luganda, a native the Gaza conflict. It was standing room only as speaker after
Ugandan language) is grown speaker, including representatives from the Israeli Consulate
by a 750-member cooperative and Knesset to nearly every public official on Staten Island,
of Jewish, Christian and Muslim farmers who have put aside declared the undeniable right of Israel to protect its citizens.
ancient differences for the benefit of their community. The St.
Paul JCC is helping these farmers by offering the certified- None of these events would have been possible without the
kosher, organic coffee to its members. Sales from the campaign support and efforts of the diverse Jewish community, which
help to improve Ugandan schools, health care, and farming. recognized the need to work together to show solidarity—in
sorrow, in joy, in strength.
“The program is powerful and we have been making this
known to our members through our Web site and monthly
newsletter. We are proud to help make a difference in the lives
of others,” commented Penny Schumacher, program director
at the St. Paul JCC. Mirembe Kawomera coffee, which has
been featured in local newspapers, O magazine, and the St.
Paul JCC’s Web site, is available for sale at the JCC.
To find out how to be part of this unique opportunity
to help build peace and prosperity around the world,
visit www.deliciouspeace.com and request a community
organizing guide.

20 jcc circle spring 2009

Lawrence Family JCC, La Jolla, CA
At the Lawrence Family JCC of San Diego County’s annual meeting, the 41 JCC Maccabi Games Committee chairs
were honored with the Volunteer of the Year Award. The JCC Maccabi Wall of Honor thanks donors and volunteers.

Long Locks Benefit Others

Samuel Field/Bay Terrace YM-YWHA,
Little Neck,NY
This past summer at Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village,
campers were doing more than just swimming and
sailing. They were growing their hair for children
suffering from serious illnesses.  In doing so, they were
expressing one of Camp Poyntelle’s core values: mitzvah
goreret mitzvah, one good deed begets another. 
Campers and staff who decided to grow their hair
for donation joined a new club called Ponytails from
Poyntelle. For some it was their second, third, or even
fourth time, and they inspired others to follow their
actions. Members of the club met throughout the
summer to share their individual experiences and
reasons for taking on this personal challenge. Ponytails
from Poyntelle allowed campers to see that their mitzvot
extend past their bunkmates to children in need all
around the country.

www.jcca.org jcc circle 21

Camp Deeny Riback Gives Back at That was the genesis of the first ever “CDR Big Give” to
benefit the Mt. Olive Police Department, Flanders First Aid
First Ever “Big Give” & Rescue Squad, and Mt. Olive Kiwanis Club. Big Give Team
Leaders Anna Bauch and Amanda Nessel worked with a
JCC MetroWest, Flanders, NJ
dedicated group of LITs contacting these organizations and
The best lessons learned are often the ones that take you determining their specific needs. They settled on 10 Big
by surprise. Just ask the 2008 Leaders-in-Training (LITs) at Easy Lockout Tool Kits for the Mt. Olive Police Department
Day Camp Deeny Riback in Flanders, New Jersey. This group to open locked vehicles without harm to the vehicle and
of ninth and tenth graders learned much more than sports, eight Jr. & Sr. Epi-Pens, along with eight sets of pediatric
crafts, and swimming last summer. They learned about defibrillator pads, for the Flanders First Aid & Rescue Squad.
tikkun olam (repairing the world) and the importance of For the Mt. Olive Kiwanis Club, a generous group who
respect, kindness, and charity. But their most important life volunteered their time in June to help build “Deenyville”
lesson was the one they might not have expected: how great (a playland for CDR’s youngest campers), a new tool-filled
it feels to work together to give back to your community. toolbox and power tool set was proposed.
It all began with a generous JCC Association grant to Their efforts raised close to $3,000, and representatives
participate in a Days of Caring and Sharing project, funded from the recipients gathered at CDR for a special
by the Legacy Heritage Fund. “Our 25 LITs were split into presentation ceremony during the last week of camp.
two teams with a starting fund of $750 each,” explained Ackerman summed it up best when she said, “It was
Camp Director Diana Ackerman. “The teams chose three wonderful to watch these young men and women focus their
organizations that play a vital role in both community and efforts on giving back to our community. They learned from
camp life. Their goal was to raise funds to purchase essential their community partners and friends and experienced first
items for each of them.” hand the responsibility—and the joy—of being a true leader.”

Job Search Assistance Open to All During the private, individually tailored job-search sessions, the
employment specialist helped job seekers:
Peninsula JCC, Foster City, CA
• Identify goals, work-related skill sets, interests and work
In response to the growing economic and employment environment preferences
challenges facing many people, the Peninsula Jewish
• Remain current on the Bay Area labor market and its trends
Community Center partnered with Jewish Vocational Service
to offer free individual consultations with an employment • Identify employment barriers and challenges, and develop
specialist. The confidential service, available by appointment, strategies and referrals to overcome them
was free to the entire community. • Create strategies for developing job leads and employer
“Our doors are open to everyone,” said Deborah Pinsky, PJCC contacts
executive director. “One of the PJCC’s guiding principles is • Articulate and market skills and work experience
‘Repairing the World.’ We want to help our community weather
this economic crisis and provide them with resources that will In addition, visitors to the PJCC found a helpful kiosk in the
enrich their lives and offer opportunities for wellness, reflection lobby stocked with current employment and networking
and growth.” resources.

22 jcc circle spring 2009

Stranded Dog Touches
Children’s Hearts
Indianapolis JCC, IN
When Indianapolis firefighter Rick Hines rescued Biscuit, a
Great Pyrenees dog, from the freezing waters of the White
River on January 21, 2009, he could not have known how
many young hearts he would touch. The 14 three- and four-
year-old children of the Indianapolis JCC Early Childhood
Education Center’s Bet class voted unanimously to donate
the funds raised through their regular charity collection to
help defray some of the cost of Biscuit’s medical bills.
The large white dog, a stray, had escaped from temporary
caretakers and somehow wandered onto the icy river, where
it became trapped on a large piece of ice and couldn’t swim
to shore. Rescue divers were called to retrieve the dog and ECE teachers Beth Grimm and Tammy Smith emphasize the
bring it to safety. value of tzedakah by encouraging parents to let their children
On January 29, the children presented their gift of more earn money for charitable donations by doing small tasks
than $75 to Biscuit’s handlers when Biscuit and a second around the house. Each time the classroom’s tzedakah box
Great Pyrenees visited the Bet classroom at the Arthur M. accumulates enough money for a donation, the children vote
Glick JCC. on the recipient of their funds.

Aaron Family JCC, Dallas, TX

On December 24, from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Aura Lounge was the place to be in Dallas, Texas.  Nearly seven
hundred people had an incredible time partying at the 2008 Matzoh Ball. The party is a co-production of the
Jewish federation and the Aaron Family JCC.

www.jcca.org jcc circle 23

Big Giving Starts Small
Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Tenafly, NJ
Penny Harvest—a “common cents” initiative that grew from
one child’s desire to feed the homeless—has come to the
Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, the first agency to embrace
the project in Bergen County. The Penny Harvest mission
is to collect unused pennies gathering in jars and pockets
all across America, and turn those pennies into grants for
community organizations.
Leading the New Jersey effort, the children’s department at
the JCC encouraged first to fifth grade students who attend No Dropped Stitches Here
the JCC after-school program, Finish the Day at the J, and
other children in the community to join together to make a Soloway JCC, Ottawa, ON
difference in the lives of others. Each and every Wednesday afternoon, on the second floor
And that is just what they did. The JCC maintenance of the Soloway JCC, you can hear lively conversations and
department hand-built a giant container, shaped like a debates taking place among piles of wool and knitting needles.
menorah in honor of Hanukkah, and the children placed it in The Mitzvah Knitters are women in their 70’s, 80’s and 90’s
the JCC lobby so that members and visitors could deposit who meet once a week for a couple of hours to make blankets,
their loose change in the bin. Six weeks later, the group hats, shawls or whatever else they can create from their
went on a field trip to the Valley National Bank in Tenafly donated wool for senior homes, shelters, street people, or
to count what they collected. Each child got to drop bags of anyone who needs it.
coins into the bank’s change-counting machine, and watched
attentively as the dollar amount on the counter rose higher In honor of Mitzvah Day in early December, the knitters made
and higher. To everyone’s surprise and delight, when the last 200 hats and scarves. Half of them were distributed in lunch
bag was counted, they had raised more than $1,300. bags for people living on the street, and the other half went to
the Snowsuit Fund. They made blankets that were paired with
“A key mission for the JCC is to teach everyone the stuffed animals and distributed to children who have been
importance of giving back, and Penny Harvest takes this removed from their homes. This remarkable group of women
concept to a new level, as it teaches young children that is keeping Ottawa warm and cozy, one stitch at a time.
they can really make a difference,” says Michal Kleiman,
director for the JCC Finish the Day at the J program.
The group decided to donate $800 to the UJA Northern Wee Recyclers Clean Up
NJ Emergency Crisis Fund to help people in the local
Sid Jacobson JCC, East Hills, NY
community recover from the current economic crisis, and
gifted the remaining $500 to Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Sid Jacobson JCC Early Childhood Center (ECC)
is going green and supporting different environmental
initiatives.  The drive began last year when a conscious
Skylar Oliver (left) and Noa Slotky, two students in the JCC
effort was made dramatically to reduce the amount
after-school program, count pennies at Northern Valley Bank. 
of parent notices being printed. Instead, the JCC sent
them electronically.  Parents reacted positively, and the
amount of paper saved was considerable.
The next phase of the program began in October,
when teachers and students started recycling water
bottles.  The classes made a spot for the bottles in the
classrooms and then brought them to a big recycling
can in front of the ECC office.  The children became
enthusiastic recyclers and pushed their carts to the bin
to dump their bottles.  In just three months, the ECC
has recycled over 1,350 water bottles that otherwise
would have gone into the landfills.  
Staying with the theme of water, the ECC donated one
month’s tzedakah money to the Jewish National Fund’s
Reservoir Project.  Last year they purchased a garden
of trees in Israel, and this year they helped fund the
reservoirs that water those trees. During Tu B’Shevat, the
ECC donated money to plant a circle of trees in Israel’s
Children’s Forest, in addition to planting a tree and 50
bulbs closer to home through Bette Midler’s New York
Restoration Project.

24 jcc circle spring 2009

leadership profile

Enid Rosenberg:
Making Connections
Is Her Goal
by Miriam Rinn

t’s no surprise to learn that to the pleasures and discipline as a volunteer leader,” she recalls.
Enid Rosenberg likes to get of golf. A tomboy when she was “The JCC was the connector to
things done. The lifelong young, Rosenberg says that despite the broadest spectrum of Jews.”
Cleveland resident exudes energy often being the only woman sitting Later, Rosenberg served as chair
and optimism. She sits on ten at meetings, she always feels of the JCC and presided over a
different boards including JCC comfortable. She’s currently the turnaround. She’s very proud of
Association’s, meets many people, chair of Menorah Park Center for the Mandel JCC and what they’ve
and revels in making connections. Senior Living, again the first woman accomplished. “We’re vibrant, we’re
“I’m a professional volunteer,” to serve in that position. alive, we’re doing a great job.”
Rosenberg says, and the best
part of her work, to her mind, is Cleveland hasn’t changed much While Rosenberg chose to return to
bringing different people together since her childhood, according to live in Cleveland, she acknowledges
and building bridges—within the Rosenberg. It’s still easy to get that the city’s Jewish community is
Jewish community and beyond. “I around and a great place to raise a shrinking. “People don’t stay close
connect people I know from here to family. “It’s Midwestern but it thinks to home anymore,” she says, and
there,” she says. “What I’m trying to East. It’s a very giving community,” when teens go away to college they
connect is talent.” she says of the area’s 75,000 Jews. often don’t return. Her own two
“We feel we’re sort of leaders in the children, both lawyers, settled in
After several years as a teacher, country.” She is justifiably proud of New York and Chicago, and now the
Rosenberg started her volunteer a community that produced national Rosenbergs enjoy visiting a little
career by serving as PTA president leaders such as Morton L. Mandel, granddaughter in Chicago.
and then president of the Orange who she credits as a mentor.
City School Board. She then moved Rosenberg first became involved Rosenberg has served on the board
to the board of trustees of the with the JCC in Cleveland when of JCC Association since 2006 and
Jewish Community Federation of she and her husband, a physician been the Marketing Committee
Cleveland, and also the Oakwood and head of occupational health at chair since 2008. “It’s been a
Country Club, a 100-year-old University Hospitals of Cleveland, delight to be involved and be part
organization where she served as returned from several years in the of a larger picture,” Rosenberg
the first female president. She’s Washington, DC area. That was said, adding, “I like people. I want
active in the American Jewish the time when the community was to make the world a little better.”
Committee as well as United starting to build the Mandel JCC. That could serve as the mission of
Way of Greater Cleveland and, As soon as she learned about the all professional volunteers.
an enthusiastic golfer, with First project, she wanted to get involved.
Tee of Cleveland, a group that “It was a way for me to get excited
introduces disadvantaged children about something, to use my skills

www.jcca.org jcc circle 25

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To get good answers,

you have to ask the
right questions.
Plenty of questions will arise in the coming months, as JCCs
contend with the perils of the shifting economic landscape.
But which ones will lead to solutions?
In the leadup to the 2010 JCCs of North America Biennial, let your
voice—and your questions—be heard. We will be starting Biennial
forums for JCC leaders on Facebook and LinkedIn. Share your
ideas and experiences, as we work together to develop tools
that will help JCCs maintain high quality service while meeting
today’s unprecedented operational challenges.
Join the conversation.
And help shape the course of Biennial
2010—the JCC Movement’s essential forum
for questions...and answers.