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
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
I recently had the privilege of sitting down with three of our JCC’s former Executive Directors – Joe Harris, Lewis Stolzenberg, and David Sorkin – each of whom played a significant role in evolution of the “J” that we know today. Getting a chance to talk to these three former leaders was a unique and special experience. Each of them shared stories from the “old days” – stories of success, stories of challenges, stories of happy times and stories of not-so-happy times.
Listening to my predecessors’ stories reinforced for me what I already knew, each of them possesses the skills of a great leader – high level personal integrity, commitment and dedication, lifelong learning, helping others develop along the way – just to name a few. Though each of them faced different challenges, their underlying goal was the same. They were able to forge a sense of community – kehillah – on Staten Island. And I am honored to follow in their footsteps.
In hearing their stories, I felt the same passion and commitment from our JCC’s former leaders that I feel every day as I continue their work to build community. Their stories and accomplishments inspire me to build upon the foundation they laid. I am equally inspired by the JCC’s Board of Directors, who I view as key partners in the Agency’s work. Their ongoing support and advice are crucial to our success, and I am grateful for all they do.
As the mother of two young adults, I pledged to myself that in my role of CEO, I would prioritize the development of the next generation of leadership. It is with great pride and joy that I can say that the JCC has launched it Young Leaders program – a group of young professionals in their 20s and 30s who we believe possess the skills to be Staten Island’s leaders of tomorrow. We are working with both our Board of Directors and the Staten Island business community to provide mentorship and professional development opportunities to these young professionals. We are also providing the group with social, recreational, and networking opportunities.
I came away from meeting with my predecessors with a reinforced understanding of the importance of not only preserving our past but of also building our future. It is incumbent upon all of us to be “leaders” in continuing to build community on Staten Island, so that future generations will be able to share in the same opportunities that we enjoy today. So think about becoming involved – join a committee at the JCC or in your local community – do what you can to make your dreams tomorrow’s reality.
-Orit Lender, CEO
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host community service, youth engagement, and learning opportunities.
On Monday, January 16, the JCC’s Beacon program at I.S. 49 will collaborate with community partners to present a Day of Service and Education for students and their families. The program will feature workshops, including an interactive opportunity to honor Martin Luther King Jr. through hip-hop and poetry, as well as a school improvement project. Students can receive community service hours by participating in at least one workshop or the service project. There will also be a basketball tournament featuring teams from Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Harlem.
The JCC’s Beacon program, which is funded by the Department of Youth & Community Development, is pleased to partner with the Central Family Life Center, CSI LPP, YMCA, Staten Island HBCU Experience, Staten Island NAACP Youth Council, and Staten Island MBK to make this event possible.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We’re so proud to work with other community organizations to uplift Staten Island youth and their families through meaningful school-based programs like this.”
The Day of Service and Education will take place at I.S. 49 Berta A. Dreyfus, located at 101 Warren Street from 9am to 3pm. Breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information, please contact Desiree Scott at DScott@SIJCC.com.
On January 16, the JCC will also host a free talk by the Honorable Ronald A. Gregg. Judge Gregg will speak about the significance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, offering valuable perspective from his distinguished background and experiences as the first African American judge appointed on Staten Island.
The lecture will take place at the Bernikow JCC, located at 1466 Manor Road, at 2pm. All are welcome to attend.
The JCC’s Richmond Terrace Cornerstone Community Center at 71 Jersey Street will host a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk on Tuesday, January 17th at 3:30pm.
To honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service, the JCC will offer special volunteer opportunities in its Kosher Food Pantry, also located at 1466 Manor Road, from January 16 through January 27. Individuals ages 18 and up can help Staten Islanders in need by stocking the food pantry shelves and assisting clients during their visits. Teens ages 16 and 17 may also volunteer with an adult chaperone. Flexible time slots are available.
As a way of saying “thank you” to volunteers for being generous with their time, the JCC is pleased to offer volunteers a free day-pass to enjoy the Bernikow building’s fitness center and indoor pool. Community service letters are also available for students upon request.
Lender said, “Building community through acts of service and kindness is at the heart of so much of what we do here at the JCC. We’re excited to launch this special initiative in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and welcome volunteers who are eager to make a difference.”
To sign up, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c45aaa62ba4ffc70-martin#/ or contact David Lutzker, Volunteer Coordinator, at DLutzker@SIJCC.com for more information.
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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