New JCCs Prove Movement Is Resilient

Although financial realities have created a somewhat cautious approach to moving forward with renovation, planning, and raising funds for JCC facilities, I must share my enthusiasm regarding my participation in two JCC projects in the past four days. This is the first time in 18 years that there have been two in a week! OnRead More

From Affiliation to Engagement

I began my Jewish communal career in 1972 as a BBYO regional director in Minneapolis. At that time, affiliating with Jewish institutions constituted a principal way – THE principal way – of expressing one’s Jewish commitment and connection to the Jewish community. Accordingly, Jewish communal institutions, lay leaders, and professionals focused on recruiting members, servingRead More

Solar Panels at the Staten Island JCC Save Energy–and Money

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JCC Association’s Social Responsibility Consultant, Barbara Lerman-Golomb, visited the Bernikow JCC in Staten Island, NY on Wednesday, June 6, 2012, for a greening presentation and to explore first-hand the impressive array of solar panels on their roof. Those panels enable the solar thermal hot water system to function throughout their JCC. JR Rich, Assistant Director ofRead More

Are You Bringing Joy to Your Judaism?


We couldn’t agree more with the JCC professional who wrote a blog post about Karina Zilberman’s presentation at the JCCs of North America Biennial. The Jewish educator from the 92nd Street Y is charismatic and charming, but what made her session so special was that she enabled people to feel alive and connected and joyful.Read More

JCCs of North America Biennial Offered Great Takeaways

You’d expect a gathering of over 600 JCC professional and lay leaders to showcase lots of clever thinking. But what made last week’s JCCA Biennial Convention in New Orleans so great from a marketing point of view was the profusion of terrific ideas in action. Here are just a few. Let’s start with the Biennial app,Read More

A Million Signatures Demand a Moment of Silence for Munich 11


The Jewish Community Center Movement is deeply involved in an effort to create a worldwide viral response to a wrong that has not been addressed since 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes were captured and murdered at the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September. To the outrage of many at the time, the International OlympicRead More

Shock and Dismay at the Killings in Toulouse, France

Dear Friends, I believe that shock and dismay characterize the feelings of Jews and non Jews around the world as the news about the horrific murder in Toulouse were received. Toulouse is an active Jewish community of some 20,000 Jews out of 600,000 Jews believed to live in France. I spoke earlier today to EphraimRead More

On to Sao Paulo

We came to Sao Paulo for the Pan American Maccabi Games and visited the Hebraica, which is the largest JCC in the world. It’s nearly impossible to describe everything that is there; just know that over 25,000 Jews belong, and the building and facilities are another example of a strong commitment to maintaining Jewish life. TheRead More

Letter from Argentina & Brazil

The experience with the Buenos Aires Jewish community provided yet another perspective on South American Jewry, totally different from that in Caracas.  In four days, we gained an understanding of the true meaning of community building,a sense of multi-generational connection to JCCs that was characterized not only by the amazing Hebraica, which felt very muchRead More

Hanukkah in Venezuela

I am writing from the airport in Caracas, Venezuela, after an incredible 24 hours visiting with the Jewish community leadership.  As many of you are aware, these are not easy times in Venezuela and even more so for Jews.  Unlike other countries where anti-Semitism comes from the people, here it comes from the government. Anti-IsraeliRead More