The JCC’s Bulletin dates back to the 1930s, when it was a premier source of news for the local Jewish community. We are proud to continue this tradition of keeping our JCC community informed via our virtual Bulletin.
The bulletin circa 1974
In Memory of Egon Salmon:
In acknowledgement of a life well-lived. Thinking of you with love.
-Susan, Jake and Seth
Egon was a fine gentleman who did much to enhance the image of Staten Island and the Jewish community. He will sorely be missed.
-Murray & Marilyn Liebman
As we say goodbye to summer, fall gives us an opportunity for a fresh start. Fall marks the beginning of the school year, and I loved seeing our newest Early Childhood students walk through our doors for their first day of school. To me, there’s nothing better than knowing that we get the opportunity to help young minds learn and grow as they begin their educational journey.
I am also extremely proud that we were able to expand our Early Childhood services for children with disabilities by adding two new classrooms to our First Foot Forward program this year. You can read more about the expansion here.
Fall also brings the Jewish New Year, which we are celebrating next week. During the weeks before Rosh Hashanah, we traditionally reflect on the year that has passed and share our hopes for the year that is to come. It gives us an opportunity to review, assess, and renew.
At the JCC, this has meant reflecting on what’s most important to our Board, staff, and members. As we looked through all of our programs and services, as well as the needs of our community, one word continued to jump out to us: family.
In this spirit, we are beginning this year with a focus on bringing families of all shapes and sizes together and providing them with the programming they want and need. Throughout all of our programs, we embrace and demonstrate Jewish values, which are truly universal values. This year, we have decided to pick different values to specifically focus on each season. Fittingly, this season’s Jewish value is reflection, return, and renewal.
As we focus on new beginnings, we will kick off our family programming with our Fall Harvest Festival on Sunday, October 9th. We are offering a festival full of fun that the whole family can enjoy. For those who attended our inaugural festival last year, I promise that this year’s will be even bigger and better! Click here to learn more about the free event.
The family fun doesn’t end there—we also have more activities and programs planned for people of all ages and abilities beginning this month. You can learn about all our fall programs in our Program Guide.
We have plans to add even more family programming as the year progresses. Stay tuned for some exciting new programs and classes!
I hope you all had a great start to the school year, and I want to wish L’Shana Tova U’Metukah to all who celebrate. May you all have a sweet and healthy new year!
-Orit Lender, CEO
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island is proud to announce that it is partnering with Hebrew Public Charter School of Staten Island to provide after school programming for the school’s students.
Students at the new school will be able to enroll in the JCC’s Explorers program, which will take place on site at Hebrew Public Monday through Thursday. Explorers aims to enrich young children through creative projects, STEM activities, group sports, and social-emotional learning. The program will also include homework help. On Fridays, when the school closes early, students will come to the Bernikow JCC to use the indoor pool and other facilities.
“This program is the culmination of a partnership between the JCC and Hebrew Public, which has been ongoing since Hebrew Public decided to open a school on Staten Island,” noted JCC CEO Orit Lender. “Working with them has been a natural fit for us, since our missions aligned so closely. We are so excited to get to bring our Explorers After School Program to the new students of Hebrew Public. We look forward to collaborating with the school on many more projects in the future and wish them success in their first year of educating our children!”
Hebrew Public is leading a national movement of exceptional, diverse public charter schools that teach Modern Hebrew to children of all backgrounds and prepare them to be successful global citizens. The free public charter school, which is located in Midland Beach, is open to all age-and grade-eligible students in New York City, with preference given to Staten Island residents. It is first admitting students in kindergarten and first grade this year, with plans to expand to older grades in subsequent years.
"Even before we opened the school on Staten Island, we turned to the JCC for support and partnership. We were welcomed with open arms and felt a part of the community right away. Now that we opened the doors to our founding kindergarten and first grade families, we could not be more thrilled to have our partnership come to fruition with so many of our students joining the afterschool program at the JCC. We look forward to many years of working together,” said Valerie Khaytina, Chief External Officer of Hebrew Public.
Additionally, the JCC offers its Explorers After School program at the Bernikow JCC for students enrolled in other schools. To learn more, click here.
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host a bocce tournament on Thursday, September 22 to benefit the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island.
Now in its second year, the tournament promises a day of friendly competition in one of Staten Island's fastest growing sports. New and returning players will also have the opportunity to participate in a golf chipping contest. The event will feature a beer tasting by Flagship Brewery, a "Taste of the Mediterranean" cuisine, music, and raffles.
All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, the JCC's free day camp for children with cancer and their siblings. A proud member of the Sunrise Association, Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is the only camp of its kind in New York City and gives back the joys of summer to children who need it most. The camp proudly serves families from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and nearby New Jersey on a non-sectarian basis.
Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child's chronic illness can have on a family, up to seven weeks of summer fun are provided completely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of community donors.
This year, the JCC is proud to honor Brandon Sturman, Executive Vice President of Home Team Mortgage, and Vincent Malerba, President of Angelina's Group, for their continued support for Sunrise Day Camp.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, "Brandon and Vincent reflect the strong community spirit that allows us to make Sunrise Day Camp a memorable experience for our campers. We just finished another amazing summer season and you could see the joy on their faces every single day of camp."
She added, "We're excited to see everyone out on the bocce courts, having a great time while we support these deserving kids."
The event is co-chaired by Solomon Chemo, Cory Schifter, Bob Cutrona, and Brian Lincer.
The tournament will take place on the lawn at the Bernikow JCC, located at 1466 Manor Road. Players are asked to check in at 11am, before the tournament begins at noon.
To purchase tickets, click here.
The Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture, housed at the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island, will host a special program, Dance Like No One Is Watching: An Afternoon with Alison Cook Beatty Dance, on Sunday, August 14.
Alison Cook Beatty Dance is a non-profit, classically-based modern dance company, whose mission is “to create and share accessible, emotionally engaging dance for all.” The company’s performances are grounded in emotional honesty and vulnerability, and highlight the transformational power of art.
In addition to creating dances, Alison Cook Beatty Dance prides itself on community outreach. The company visits community centers, schools, and other venues to share its unique vision and artistic approach through special programs that combine performances and lectures.
This Sunday, the Bernikow JCC will host Alison Cook Beatty Dance for a program featuring performances of works such as “Central Park Field #4,” “Lifeline,” and more. Throughout the program, Artistic Director Alison Cook-Beatty will discuss the concepts and inspiration behind each piece. Following the performance, audience members will have the opportunity to learn more during a question-and-answer session with the full company.
Sunday’s performance is just one of the many world-class programs offered by the JCC’s Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture. Since the Grushkin Center’s launch last fall, the JCC has hosted a wide array of performances, lectures, and seminars—both in-person and virtual—to bring enriching cultural experiences to the Staten Island community and beyond. Live performances like this one are a particular favorite of audiences.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We’ve been so happy to bring community members back into our building over the past year for live productions by talented artists and performers. Art connects us all, and it’s really special to be able to experience it together.”
Dance Like No One Is Watching will take place at 4pm in the Bernikow JCC’s Lewis Stolzenberg Social Hall, located at 1466 Manor Road. Tickets are available online here.
Summer is always a magical time at the JCC, but this year, we are having even more fun. With over two thousand campers enrolled in all our programs, it is also a very busy time of year for us!
This year, we were able to do something special to over a dozen Ukrainian refugee families. For those in need, we were able to offer full scholarships to our day camp—which has allowed children who have been through extreme trauma to embrace the joys of childhood again. We are grateful to the Butler Foundation, A Chance In Life Foundation, and UJA-Federation of New York for allowing us to expand our camp scholarship program and support Ukrainian families in our community.
You may have heard the story of Maria, one of our Ukrainian campers. On her first day of camp she was extremely shy and spoke no English. Thankfully, we had Russian-speaking staff who were able to translate for her. Within a week, Maria was named “Friend of the Week” by her fellow campers—which was truly remarkable, but not out of the ordinary for our camp.
Photos courtesy of the Staten Island Advance
Last year, we saw a similar story play out when we offered scholarships to two foster children from Colombia. They had a blast at camp—making friends even though they did not speak English and were not familiar with American customs. It turns out that summer camp fun is the universal language! This story also has a happy ending, as we recently learned that the children were adopted by their host parent.
Last week, I visited one of our community-based camps at the Gerard Carter Center when we were visited by the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Commissioner Howard and I were so excited to see the kids engaged in STEM activities, dance, and sports—and the commissioner even took part in a game and bowled a spare!
Camp at the Carter Center is one of many summer programs we have throughout the community, including our Cornerstones, Beacons, and Summer Rising sites. In addition to these, we are also running basketball, soccer, and aquatics camps at the Bernikow Building.
Our newest mini-camp is called Summer Strings @ the J, an intensive program for intermediate and advanced young musicians. Our faculty member, Yvette Washington-Wheatley, has a special connection to us, as she was a scholarship recipient at the JCC’s own music school many years ago. We are very happy to welcome her back and to see how much the children are enjoying the program!
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute later this year, it is inspiring to see the tradition of excellence continuing on.
No matter which camp program, our children go home at the end of the day with smiles on their faces—and that’s what’s most important to us. It truly warms my heart and reminds me why we do what we do. We know these kids will always remember the wonderful summers they spent with us and the friends they made along the way. The JCC is proud to be a place where magic happens every day!
-Orit Lender, CEO
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host an exhibition of paintings by Ann Marie McDonnell. The works will be on display in the Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery, located on the second floor of the Bernikow JCC at 1466 Manor Road, throughout August and September.
McDonnell is a sculptor, printmaker, and photographer. She has maintained her studio at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center where she has worked for over 25 years. Her artwork is often project-based as a response to an invitational exhibition, competition, or personal project.
The exhibition will include printmaking work such as solar prints and monotypes, along with pigment print photography. Among the works in the exhibition will be pieces from The Jazz Series as well as In the Garden. The still life photography combines her interest in abstract painting and photography. The colorful pigment prints are inspired by her garden and her interest in flowers.
McDonnell said, “I treat the flowers as abstract elements, but I also acknowledge the symbolism of flowers in art history as a symbol of the transience of life.”
Ann Marie’s work has been widely exhibited in NYC as she has been an active member of the Staten Island arts community. Anne Marie is known for her public art bronze sculpture in Clove Lakes Park, The Bird Named Goldilocks, which won the 1994 Public Art Fund.
Her work is currently on view at the Historic Richmond Town Museum in her solo exhibition, Art Inspired by the Collection, which will be on view until November of 2022. She is also a participating artist in the exhibition, Art on the Terrace, in October of 2022.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “It is wonderful to be able to feature different local artists like Ann Marie throughout the year. I encourage everyone in our community to come visit the Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery over the next few months to see the latest exhibit.”
The exhibition is free and open to the public from August 1st through September 30th. For more information about the Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery, please contact Ela Seeley at ESeeley@SIJCC.com.
We are excited to announce that we will be opening two new preschool classrooms for children with special needs this fall. The agency will now be able to serve 16 additional children at our South Shore/Avis location (1297 Arthur Kill Road).
The classrooms are part of our First Foot Forward Program, which is dedicated to assisting children 2.5 to 5 years old with developmental needs. The individualized curriculum allows children to reach their full potential in a warm, nurturing environment. New York City and State fund First Foot Forward programming.
First Foot Forward specializes in helping children with speech/language delays, socialization concerns, developmental delays, poor motor skills, sensory needs, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. The JCC has been offering these services to Staten Island families for over 30 years.
“We are so proud to be able to open these new classrooms,” noted Orit Lender, JCC CEO. “We saw the need for additional services and expanded to be able to offer First Foot Forward to even more families on the South Shore. I can’t wait to meet all our new students and their families this September!”
To receive services, children need to be evaluated at an approved evaluation site. Program eligibility is recommended by the Department of Education’s Committee on Preschool Special Education and is based upon the individual needs of the child.
Children of all faiths and nationalities are welcome. All services (evaluations, transportation, tuition) are at no direct cost to parents.
In addition to First Foot Forward, the JCC partners with the NYC Department of Education to offer free 3-K and Pre-K For All. 3-K & Pre-K For All are offered at four JCC locations, with flexible scheduling and small class sizes. Extended day options for working families are available 7am-6pm.
To learn more, click here.
In honor of Henry James (Hank) Brandt.
In loving memory of Jean & Frank Cannavo.
On Thursday, June 16th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center of Staten Island installed five new board members at the organization’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. The newest members of the Board of Directors are Jozette Carter-Williams, Traci Frey, Isaac Gorodetski, Boris Natenzon, and Jack Stern.
JCC Orit Lender said, “I want to welcome our five new Board members, who all have a history of working with our JCC. They have so much knowledge and enthusiasm, and I am so excited to see them use their talents to help our agency grow! We are fortunate to have a supportive Board and a dedicated staff, who ensured that we got through the past few difficult years together and emerged on the other side stronger than ever. It is thanks to all of them that we can continue to serve the changing needs of our community and make a positive impact on Staten Island.”
Learn more about our new board members below!
Born in Brooklyn, Jozette Carter-Williams attended the College of Staten Island before beginning her career in the banking industry. She began her career as a teller at Staten Island Savings Bank and worked in various positions there until 2010. She subsequently worked at Empire State Bank before joining Northfield Bank this year as a Bank Manager, AVP. Jozette also owns and operates JoJo Cee Photography and has done charity photography for the American Cancer Society and Blue Lives Matter. Jozette was married to Gerard L. Carter, the namesake of the JCC’s Gerard Carter Center. Police Officer Carter was killed in the line of duty in July 1998. Jozette has become very involved in the Police Officer Gerard Carter Athletic Org., which was founded to help the children of Stapleton, the same community that Officer Carter patrolled. She continues to help children in the community and bridge the gap between our communities and the police through charitable endeavors. Jozette married Grady Williams Jr. in 2017. She has three children, Louis, Selena, and Jason, as well as two “bonus” children, Grady IV and Jenese. She is currently enrolled in the Academy of Art University pursuing a degree in Photography and the Arts.
Traci Frey previously served on the Board from 2007-2010 and was the Treasurer at the end of her service. She has been a member of both Congregation B’nai Israel and Temple Emanuel. In her professional life, she served as the Deputy Superintendent of District 31 on Staten Island from November 2019- June 2021. Prior to that, Mrs. Frey was the Principal of the Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning High School, a New York City Outward Bound School following the tenets of Expeditionary Learning, for 10 years. Prior to becoming Principal, Mrs. Frey was the Assistant Principal of the Science Department at Edward R. Murrow High School, where she began her education career as a physics teacher in 1996. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hamilton College, Masters in Secondary Science Education from the College of Staten Island, and Administration and Supervision Certificate from the College of St. Rose. She is the proud mother of Rebecca and Katie, and loving wife of her husband of blessed memory, David.
An immigrant from Ukraine, Isaac spent most of his childhood in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood in Brooklyn—and has resided on Staten Island since his family moved across the bridge in 1999. As a Staten Island resident, he became a professional commuter at an early age, first traveling to CUNY Baruch College to attain a Bachelor’s degree in economics and then to earn a J.D. at New York Law School. Fresh out of law school, Isaac joined the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a prominent think tank that conducts research and advances innovative ideas across a wide array of public policy issues, for five years. In 2016, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo hired Isaac to create and direct a public policy department at Borough Hall. In that capacity, Isaac and his team worked to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing Staten Island—from the opioid epidemic to mental health to workforce development. At the conclusion of Borough President Oddo’s final term, Isaac joined the Richmond County Supreme Court as principal law clerk to the Hon. Paul Marrone, Jr. Isaac is especially enjoying his new role as a dad to a little baby girl. He resides with his wife and daughter in Annadale and is excited for opportunities to serve communities across Staten Island.
Boris Natenzon is the founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Enexia Specialty, one of New York’s largest full-service independent pharmacies. Born in Tashkent, formerly USSR, Boris moved to the United States with his family at three years old and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He is a husband and a father of 3. Boris opened his first pharmacy along with his wife, Mrs. Angela Natenzon, RPh. in 2002, shortly after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Long Island University in 1999. Enexia Specialty Pharmacy has been a tremendous initial step in reaching the vulnerable and contributing to better wellness for the communities Boris works with. Vitacare, Enexia’s long-term care division, offers specific services to senior care and non-profit agencies throughout NYC. During some of the darkest times over the last few years, Boris spearheaded the fight with NYS and the Governors’ office to get COVID-19 vaccines directly to facility patients and healthcare workers. Boris personally vaccinated thousands of people in pop-up clinics, private homes, and Enexia Pharmacy locations. In addition to his work, Boris has been a strong supporter of the Staten Island and New Jersey Chabad communities. He also serves as a board member of the (SIHC) Staten Island Holocaust Center, is vice-chair at the Northwell foundation board, and was recently awarded by Project Hospitality the Les Trautman Award for Outstanding Commitment to the People of Staten Island.
Jack Stern has been practicing law on Staten Island since 1977. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, he has worked for the Legal Aid Society of New York before entering private practice. His areas of expertise are real estate, elder law, and business practice. He was previously a partner in O’Neill, Stern & O’Neill and is presently a partner in Stern, Stern, and Fruchtman. Additionally, Jack is an instructor at the Staten Island Board of Realtors. In his free time, Jack serves on the Board of the St. George Theatre and Hillel at the College of Staten Island. He is a Past Chairman of Eger Lutheran Home and Services as well as a Past President of Congregation Aviv Hadash. Jack is a former director of New Springville Little League. He is a member of the Richmond County Bar Association. Jack and his wife Randi recently served as Journal Chairs for our Allan Weissglass Distinguished Leadership Award.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
1466 Manor Road
Staten Island, NY 10314
485 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10301
1297 Arthur Kill Road
Staten Island, NY 10312
BERMAN EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
2221 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10314