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
February is Jewish Disabilities Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month. Our JCC welcomes individuals of all abilities, rooted in the shared Jewish values of dignity and justice.
Serving people with disabilities is a core part of our agency’s mission, and we strive to provide inclusive programming that everyone can enjoy. One example of this is our collaborative Girl Scout troop. The troop is unique—the JCC’s Troop 5772 and its sister Troop 5312 are the only troops in New York City that serve girls with disabilities alongside their traditional peers.
Troop 5772 functions like any other troop—the girls work together on projects, participate in fun activities, and even sell cookies! You can purchase cookies here to support the troop.
The girls and their families were so excited to be profiled by PIX11 at their February meeting. You can see the whole story here.
As one of our Girl Scout moms, Kathreen Torres, told reporters, “Having a special needs daughter, it tends to be more difficult for her to make friends, so this is a safe place for her.”
Kathreen is the mother of six, and our Girl Scout troop allows four of her daughters to all be in the same group at once. Within the troop, the girls have made friends and love being together.
Our Girl Scout troop is just one of many programs we run for children with disabilities. During the school year, we offer our First Foot Forward special needs preschool, Dr. and Mrs. Megna Kids Club for Special Kids, Teens After School Program, and an inclusion program in our Explorers After School Program.
In the summertime, Marvin’s Camp for Children with Special Needs provides an educational, creative, social, and safe environment. Marvin’s Camp is a unique recreational summer program customized for children with disabilities. With a wide array of both social and developmental activities, children are engaged by professionally-supported trained staff to create some of the best memories of their summer. This year, we are excited to bring back transportation and trips for our Marvin’s Campers! You can learn more about Marvin’s Camp here.
For young adults, we offer our Day Habilitation Without Walls program. The program, which continues to grow, offers social, recreational, and vocational activities at the JCC as well as in collaboration with our partner organizations. Young adults take part in activities such as delivering meals to the homebound, music and aquatics classes, and working with various departments in the JCC. We engage our participants in opportunities to be healthy, social, and active members of the community with a maximum degree of independence.
In all of our programs, we emphasize the importance of creating a space where everyone feels welcome. The JCC is proud to be a place where people of all abilities can feel at home, make friends, and have fun.
On Sunday, April 3rd at 10am, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host the 13th Annual Nancy Avis L’Dor V’Dor Awards. The virtual event will honor seven local women for their accomplishments within the JCC as well as in the Staten Island community. The award is named in memory of Nancy Avis, the first female president of the JCC’s Board of Directors.
At the event, Allison Romeo and Stephanie Mizrahi will receive the First Generation Award. 8-year-old Maddie French will receive the Next Generation Award. Dr. Ginny Mantello will receive the Bridge to the Community Award. Sydney, Samantha, and Morgan Avis will be receiving the Nancy Avis Legacy Award.
“My mother-in-law, Nancy Avis, changed my world and the world of those around her. We are so proud to honor Nancy’s memory by celebrating these amazing women,” said Kim Avis, Event Chair.
“We are proud to be able to honor the memory of Nancy Avis, who paved the way for so many women in our community,” noted JCC CEO Orit Lender. “Our seven distinguished honorees truly represent the best of Staten Island through their tireless work serving the community. We are especially excited to honor several young community leaders, including Nancy’s granddaughters, who are continuing her legacy in our community. We look forward to celebrating all our honorees at our L’Dor V’Dor event!”
Funds raised at the event will benefit the JCC’s programs and services. Tickets are complimentary, but preregistration is required.
Learn more about the event and register here.
Last week, we were excited to join with several community leaders to announce a partnership that will offer workforce development opportunities in the Staten Island community. Through this partnership, we will join with the Clean Energy Academy to offer a free 70-hour energy efficiency technical training, combined with professional development career advancement support services. The program, which will be delivered virtually, focuses on energy efficiency, outreach, education, and implementation assistance initiatives for small commercial properties.
This training will be beneficial for people looking to begin their career in this field and will help make our community greener and more energy efficient. The JCC has always been ahead of the curve with our commitment to green energy, from putting solar panels on the roof of the Bernikow Building to making energy efficient upgrades to our buildings with ConEd. We are proud to lead the way on Staten Island when it comes to energy efficiency, so this partnership is a natural fit for our agency. We are proud to make an impact on both our borough’s workforce and our environment through this program.
This initiative is just one piece of JCC Career Connections, which we launched last fall. Career Connections offers comprehensive assessments and wraparound social services that guide individuals looking for career help to the appropriate trainings, workshops, job fairs, mentorships, and internships. We are now consolidating all of our social service programs under the umbrella of JCC Connections, helping anyone in need access crucial services.
We know that people looking for help often need more than one service and don’t know how to access it easily. Our one-stop-shop method helps link people to community resources, benefits, legal and financial counseling, our Kosher Food Pantry, and so much more.
Not only does every person who comes through the doors of this program access the training they need to take their career to the next level, we also help them overcome any barriers they may have to finding success in their careers. Whether that’s learning soft skills or finding health insurance, our holistic approach helps meet a wide variety of needs.
We are grateful to our community partners for this project, the Clean Energy Academy, NYSERDA, ConEdison’s Small-Medium Business Program, Energy EDC, Soulful Synergy, GreenTech LEADers, and Life3. I would also like to thank Assembly Member Cusick, Borough President Fossella, and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce for the support they have given the project.
I want to send a special thank you our staff members who have worked tirelessly on this initiative. Without their crucial work, we would not have been able to get this program off the ground.
We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to Staten Islanders and hope it is the beginning of a larger shift to embracing green energy on Staten Island. For those interested, the program is open to everyone aged 18+ with a high school diploma or equivalency, regardless of background. All applicants will undergo interviews, evaluations, and a screening/selection process. For more information, contact Kathi Indelicato at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.475.5236.
-Orit Lender, CEO
On Thursday, February 3rd, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island joined The Clean Energy Academy and other community partners to announce a partnership that will offer workforce development opportunities in the Staten Island community.
The JCC and The Clean Energy Academy will offer a free 70-hour energy efficiency technical training, combined with professional development career advancement support services. The program, which will be delivered virtually, focuses on energy efficiency, outreach, education, and implementation assistance initiatives for small commercial properties.
Additional partners in the program include New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), ConEdison’s Small-Medium Business Program, Energy EDC, Soulful Synergy, GreenTech LEADers, and Life3.
The program is part of JCC Career Connections, which offers comprehensive assessments that guide individuals looking for career help to the appropriate trainings, workshops, job fairs, mentorships, and internships.
JCC CEO Orit Lender said, “We are so excited to add this training to our Career Connections programming. This is beneficial for people looking to begin their career in this field and will help make our community greener and more energy efficient. Thank you to our community partners for their crucial work in helping us get this program off the ground. We are thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity to Staten Islanders looking for career training in this sector.”
Assembly Member Michael Cusick, the chair of the NYS Assembly Energy Committee, noted, “The Clean Energy Academy’s work in energy efficiency training is a valuable tool in our continued effort to clean up our energy grid in the state of New York, and to have it on Staten Island at the JCC is a great thing. This is a tremendous workforce development opportunity for our local community, and it will have a strong impact on how our local businesses contribute to our shared goal of reducing emissions in the state of New York.”
Director of Workforce Development and Training at the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Adele Ferranti said: “NYSERDA is excited to partner with Energy EDC, the Staten Island Jewish Community Center, and the members of the Willdan Clean Energy Academy to expand the Academy’s Small Commercial Energy Efficiency Analyst Electrical and Thermal Systems training to Staten Island. The project builds on curriculum that was successfully piloted and leverages a winning workforce development model that will provide residents with hands-on technical training, industry-recognized certifications, and generous supportive services – all with a direct pathway to well-paying clean energy jobs, which is vital as New York transitions to a clean energy economy.”
“The transition to a clean energy future is producing good jobs for people who have the skills, knowledge and commitment,” said Shaun Hoyte, who oversees Con Edison’s energy efficiency programs for small- and medium-sized businesses. “This comprehensive training program that JCC of Staten Island, Soulful Synergy and other partners are offering can be a first step for those looking to get started in a career helping energy customers make upgrades that will save them money and reduce emissions.”
This program is open to everyone aged 18+ with a high school diploma or equivalency, regardless of background. All applicants will undergo interviews, evaluations, and a screening/selection process. For more information, contact Kathi Indelicato at email@example.com or 718.475.5236.
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