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
Tribute Cards: May 2020
In memory of Mania Citrinbaum:
With deepest sympathy on the loss of your beloved Grandmother.
In memory of the beloved sister of Gerri Burns:
Deepest condolences on the loss of your sister.
In honor of Jay and Lucille Chazanoff:
In tribute to Lucille and Jay’s 50th Anniversary!
With love from the Loewenthal Family
SunriseWALKS 2020 goes virtual
We are excited to announce that our 5th Annual SunriseWALKS, which was scheduled to take place early next month, has transitioned to an online event due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Virtual WALK will take place on Sunday, June 28th at 10am.
The walk supports the Lucille and Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, which is celebrating its fifth year of service to children with cancer and their siblings. The event will bring together the Sunrise community for an interactive celebration that will feature special guests and performances while highlighting Sunrise campers.
Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Sunrise Day Camps and its year-round and in-hospital programs are offered completely free of charge to all children being treated for cancer and their siblings, on a non-sectarian basis. The JCC raises funds for the camp through community events, including the annual SunriseWALKS.
“Unfortunately, we are all now experiencing firsthand what it feels like for a family of a child with cancer. The fear and uncertainty that we are feeling now is what our campers and their families have felt every day since their diagnoses,” said Orit Lender, JCC Deputy Executive Director and Incoming CEO. “That’s why, now more than ever, it is important for us to continue to support our Sunrise families. We ask you to join us in supporting our Virtual WALK and hope to see you on June 28th!”
The JCC of Staten Island operates the camp through a partnership with Catholic Charities of Staten Island. It is the only day camp for children with cancer in New York City and serves families from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey. This year, to safeguard the children, many of whom have compromised immune systems, camp will take place virtually.
“Sunrise Day Camp plays a very important role in the lives of children with cancer and their siblings. Although our campers and staff will not have the opportunity to enjoy camp face-to-face, the program will be designed to maximize fun at home for the children,” said Sunrise Day Camp Director Sandy Haft.
A member of the Sunrise Association, Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is one of several camps in a growing network dedicated to providing safe, fun summer camp experiences for children with cancer and their siblings.
To register for the Virtual WALK or donate to the cause, please visit sunrise-walks.org/StatenIsland.
On Wednesday, May 20th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island, in partnership with UJA-Federation of New York, announced the launch of COVID-19 Connect to Recovery. The program will allow Staten Islanders to access social services to help them recover from the effects of the crisis.
COVID-19 Connect to Recovery was created in response to the current and growing needs of the Staten Island community precipitated by the coronavirus crisis. All participants in the program will have an initial comprehensive intake and assessment to see what services they are eligible to receive.
Orit Lender, Deputy Executive Director and Incoming CEO of the JCC explains, “We know that so many people on Staten Island have been hurt by this crisis. We created COVID-19 Connect to Recovery to provide a one-stop shop experience for people in need. Through our intake process, we can identify people’s needs and refer them to services that they may not know they qualify for. During these difficult times, we want to ease the burden for as many families as we can by making it as simple as possible to access these crucial resources.”
Services provided by the program include access to the JCC’s Kosher Food Pantry, health insurance navigation, financial and legal counseling, and ESL and HSE classes. Participants will be screened and enrolled for benefits and entitlements, including SNAP benefits, utility assistance programs, and other services. Individuals in crisis will also be referred to partner organizations for short term loans, cash assistance, and other social services.
Mental health services include support groups for people of all ages, remote weekly meditation and mindfulness classes, and additional therapies such as art, music, theater, and dance. There will also be special support provided for essential workers.
Seniors will be able to receive grab-and-go meals and referrals for clinical counseling treatment through Weill Cornell. Specific services for Holocaust survivors, including providing Kosher food, will also be available.
The JCC’s COVID-19 Connect to Recovery will be helmed by Neshama Marcus, LMSW, Chief Program Director of Community Based Programs, and Amelia Winter, MPS, ATR-BC, LCAT, Director of Senior Centers. The JCC has a great deal experience in recovery services for the Staten Island community. Following Hurricane Sandy, the JCC sprang into action, launching a similar service to help people displaced by the storm.
JCC CEO David Sorkin noted, “After Sandy, the JCC was here for Staten Islanders, helping long after the storm surge had subsided. We plan to do the same during and following this current crisis. We hope to provide a lifeline to those struggling and help get Staten Islanders back on their feet.”
The program is supported by UJA-Federation of New York, the Robin Hood Foundation, Verizon, Con Edison, National Grid Foundation, Mannix Shop Rite Stores, United Way, Food Bank NYC, Met Council, the Brooklyn Home for Aged Men, the Mother Cabrini Foundation, Northfield Bank Foundation, M&T Charitable Foundation, Borough President James Oddo, and DYCD. COVID-19 Connect to Recovery programs will take place in conjunction with Met Council, NYLAG, Hebrew Free Loan Society, Project Hospitality, and Weill Cornell.
For more information on COVID-19 Connect to Recovery services, click here or contact Carolyn Magliolo at COVID19@sijcc.com or 718.475.5264.
It has been said that a positive attitude is a little thing that can make a big difference in one’s life, one’s relationships and, of course, one’s summer camp experience. The difference between a vibrant, successful summer camp and one that is merely functional is a difference of attitude and enthusiasm.
At our camp, we are guided by an attitude that applauds effort, celebrates accomplishment, and never loses sight of the principle that from a child…everything is beautiful.
When walking through our campgrounds, we see children engaged and enthralled by their counselors’ positive attitude and enthusiasm. On any given day, you can see children prospering in an environment full of sweetness, fun, and joy. Whether they are swimming with friends in the pool, singing songs and dancing at Shabbat, learning about animals and nature in a hands-on manner, dressing up in color for our spirited season-ending Maccabi Games, or performing community service to help others, our children feel a connection to the people and world around them and experience the warmth of a caring community throughout all of their camp experiences.
Positive attitudes, modeled by the love and enthusiasm of our camp staff and fostered in every activity our campers pursue, make our camp the truly special place it is—one that our campers (and our staff!) can’t wait to return to each summer.
On Monday, May 11th, the Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC announced the donation of meals, flowers, and candy to program participants and staff from local developers David Berman and Murray Berman. The father and son purchased the items from their tenants, who are struggling due to the crisis. The goal of the donation was to benefit the JCC while also helping small businesses on Staten Island during this difficult economic time.
The donation consisted of 60 roast chicken dinners for families who attend JCC programs at the Gerard Carter Center, Todt Hill Community Center, and Richmond Terrace Community Center; 40 flower arrangements to be donated to Holocaust survivors in the JCC’s Café Europa program; and 50 candy baskets for JCC staff who are doing essential work through the crisis.
The donations came from La Rosa Chicken & Grill, 1172 Victory Boulevard, Langdon Florist, 1263 Clove Road, and Rocket Fizz Candy Store, 2955 Veterans Road West.
“We are so thankful for this generous donation to our program participants and staff,” said Orit Lender, JCC’s Deputy Executive Director and Incoming CEO. “We appreciate David and Murray Berman’s commitment to the JCC and to local businesses on Staten Island during this difficult time.”
For more information on JCC social services and the Families in Need fund, click here.
Legendary children's TV personality, Fred "Mr." Rogers, once shared with his listeners how his mother helped him deal with frightening situations when he was a child. Rogers said, “When I was a boy, I would see scary things in the news. My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”
In the Jewish tradition, we call the impulse to help others gemilut chasadim. Acts of loving kindness and helping others is at the heart of our camp program.
We promote values such as caring for the environment, honoring the elderly, and using kind words through activities, storytelling, and in the ways that we interact with one another at camp. Charitable giving, tzedakah, is encouraged throughout the summer and during special events like the Day of Caring and Sharing, a special day on which our campers help raise money for children with cancer, families in financial need, and others.
Moreover, at our weekly Shabbat celebrations, children are selected by camp staff for being the “Mensch of the Week.” A mensch is a person whose thoughts and actions make our world a better and more compassionate place. In the Jewish tradition, it is the highest compliment one can bestow upon another. Week after week, it is inspiring to witness our campers being honored for doing things, large and small, that make a difference in the lives of others such as welcoming a new camper to their group, being a compassionate listener, and offering words of encouragement to a fellow camper.
Written on the back of the Mensch of the Week shirts that the honorees receive is the phrase, “One Good Deed Leads to Another.” These children—with their kind hearts, contagious smiles, and thoughtful compliments—brighten everyone’s day and inspire all of us to do the same.
Similarly, during this pandemic, many members of our camp families are helping the community in a myriad of ways. Whether they are doctors, nurses, health care workers, first responders, caregivers of the vulnerable or other helpers in the community, we are inspired by their acts of selfless kindness. As Mr. Rogers said, we would be wise to focus on their efforts.
This story, shared with us by Camp Co-Director Stephanie Feldman, has a powerful message that resonates with all of us who know that JCC Day Camp is a very special place.
The story is told of a child who lived in the city near a forest. Almost daily, the young boy ventured off into the woods by himself. His father did not want to interfere with his son’s daily excursions, but he was concerned because he knew that forests could be dangerous.
One day the father pulled his son aside. “I notice that every day you go off into the forest,” he said. “I don’t want to forbid you to go there, but I want you to know I’m concerned about your safety. Why is it that you go there, and what is it that you do?”
“I go into the forest to find G-d,” was the boy’s simple response.
His father was deeply moved. “That’s beautiful,” he said. “And I’m pleased to hear you’re doing that. But don’t you know? G-d is the same everywhere.”
“G-d is,” the boy answered, “but I’m not.”
This story speaks powerfully of the idea that we often need to find a place, situation, or environment for self-transformation to occur within us.
At our summer camp, we strive to create just such an environment. From the moment children arrive at our camp, we want them to feel a sense of warmth and welcome. We seek to foster an environment where children are valued, respected, and included so they feel confident someone will listen. Moreover, we strive to establish and maintain positive interactions between our children and counselors that are characterized by respect, a non-judgmental attitude, and open communication.
Our 100-acre campground nestled in the Greenbelt is also a place where “city” children connect with our natural world. Lush green trees, the presence of animals, hiking trails and ponds are part of our campground’s natural beauty. Additionally, we offer weekly animal appreciation shows from animal lover Brian Wild and ongoing nature activities that connect the children to nature. We know that, especially after these challenging months of staying inside and social distancing, children will be eager to get outside and experience nature with their friends.
In short, like the forest in the story, our camp is a place where we connect with ourselves, one another, and our natural world.
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