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
On Thursday, March 30th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted a drive-thru Passover Food Pantry Distribution in conjunction with MetCouncil. Three hundred families, comprised of over 1,500 individuals, received Kosher for Passover food packages during the distribution.
JCC CEO Orit Lender noted, “Passover is a holiday where family gathers together to eat a large meal and celebrate. Unfortunately, we know there are those in our community who cannot afford to put food on the table. That’s why we are proud to be able to step in to help make sure no one in our community goes hungry during the holidays.”
Volunteers from the JCC Kosher Food Pantry, MetCouncil, the Pride Center of Staten Island, Amazon, and Empire State Bank worked throughout the day in the cold to create food packages for the less fortunate. They were joined by Borough President Vito Fossella, Council Member David Carr, and representatives from the offices of Senator Lanza, Senator Scarcella-Spanton, Assembly Member Tannousis, DA McMahon, and Council Member Borelli.
“I want to personally thank our volunteers and staff for their hard work to ensure that everyone in our community has food on their plates this Passover,” said Lender.
Additional Passover distributions took place earlier this week in conjunction with COJO of Staten Island. The JCC also participates in the Bread of Life Food Drive, which distributes food throughout the borough during the spring holiday season.
On Thursday, March 23, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host Women Front and Center at Li Greci’s Staaten. This new event celebrates female empowerment and raises funds for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island.
The JCC’s Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is a free summer camp that brings back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings. Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is a proud member of the Sunrise Association and is located on the campus of Staten Island Academy. Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Sunrise Day Camp is provided completely free of charge, on a non-sectarian basis.
Women Front and Center will highlight women in business, public service, and healthcare. The event will also spotlight women-owned businesses, whose generous contributions will make it a memorable evening for all who attend.
During the program, the JCC will honor three incredible women for their leadership and support for Sunrise Day Camp. The honorees are Gabriella DiMaggio, the Honorable Edwina Martin, and Ann Marie Quinn, LCSW.
Orit Lender, the first female CEO of the JCC, said, “As women, it is so important to uplift other women and celebrate all that we can accomplish by working together. We are proud to honor these women who truly make a difference in our Staten Island community.”
Women Front and Center, which is presented by TD Bank, will take place from 6:30pm to 9pm and will feature dinner, wine and beer, raffles, music, and dancing. Tickets for a special raffle prize—an Yves Saint Laurent pouch—can be purchased online in advance. Winner need not be present.
Event tickets, raffles, and sponsorships can be purchased online at https://www.sijcc.org/wfc.
This spring, Israel will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day. In the months leading up to the milestone occasion, Jewish communities around the world will celebrate with special events and programs.
The Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture, housed at the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island, has planned a months-long celebration with fun and enriching activities for folks of all ages.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We’re so excited to highlight Israeli culture and honor this important milestone for the global Jewish community! From art, music, and dance, to film, sports, and family activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this special celebration!”
The center kicked off the festivities on March 11th at the Bernikow JCC with a Comedy Night. Over 200 people attended the night of laughs with a Jewish flair, which featured up-and-coming NYC comedians.
The second event, “Language of the Soul,” took place on March 12th and featured Yonatan Grinberg performing classical violin works by Bach, Ysaye, and original works based on Jewish tunes.
On March 26, the JCC will present a free children’s music show, Timbalooloo, at the Arden Heights Boulevard Jewish Center. The show features internationally renowned composer and musician Oren Etkin, who guides children to express themselves musically across cultures.
The JCC will also host the Richmond County Orchestra on March 26 at the Bernikow JCC. The orchestra will perform its “Musical Miracles” symphony.
On April 23 at the Bernikow JCC, sports fans will enjoy an afternoon with Jewish baseball legend Art “The Smasher” Shamsky. Shamsky, who helped bring the Miracle Mets to the World Series Championship in 1969, will share stories and sign copies of his New York Times bestselling memoir, After the Miracle.
The Bernikow JCC will bring a taste of Israel to Staten Island on April 27 with a free festival for families with children of all ages. Guests will enjoy music and dance performances, interactive Krav Maga and Hebrew calligraphy workshops, arts and crafts, giveaways, and more. The JCC’s social hall will be transformed into a shuk, or food market, where families can sample Israeli cuisine.
Broadway and film fans can look forward to a documentary screening of Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen on April 30 at the Bernikow JCC. Following the screening, audience members can participate in a Q&A by actress Neva Small, best known for her portrayal of Chava in the 1971 film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof.
Photography can immerse us in the lives and cultures unfamiliar to our own. The Bernikow JCC is excited to host an exhibition, Humans of Tel Aviv, by street photographer Erez Kaganovitz, whose work highlights the diversity and rich complexity of Israeli stories.
On May 1, guests are invited to a gallery viewing and Israeli wine tasting. On May 2, the JCC will also host a meet and greet with the photographer. The exhibit runs from April 26 to May 9.
On May 9, the Bernikow JCC will present “Am Israel Chai”: A Celebration of Israel in Song. The special performance by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene will feature Israeli-American singer Magda Fishman, Greek-born legend Avram Pengas, led by Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotkek.
To buy tickets and learn about additional events celebrating Israel at 75, visit https://www.sijcc.org/israel75.
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