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
Last week, the ceasefire following Israel’s 11-day conflict with Hamas was welcome news after days of violence and death. We are all so relieved that the ceasefire continues to hold and that tensions in the region appear to be deescalating.
Unfortunately, we soon learned of anti-Semitic acts in our own city. We are heartbroken by these acts of violence and hatred. That’s why I was so proud to stand up with local leaders on Wednesday to push back against bigotry in our community at a press conference on the steps of Borough Hall.
We were joined by elected officials from both parties, leaders from various organizations, and representatives from diverse communities that represent Staten Island. Our message was one of unity, peace, and collaboration.
The hatred we’ve seen cannot continue to spread unchecked. We cannot stand by while seeing anti-Semitism, anti-Asian hate crimes, and other bigotry take place in our community. At the JCC, we are proud to stand strong with our fellow Staten Islanders to say that we will not allow hatred to take hold in our community.
As we always say at the JCC, the answer to hate is love, and we will continue to help spread that message in any way we can.
Additionally, we are partnering with JCC Association of North America to present a special virtual town hall on the rise of anti-Semitism in North America. The two-part series, which features Israel’s Acting Consul General Israel Nitzan, will help us understand the current rise in antisemitism in North America and what we can do in response. The series begins Tuesday, and you can register here.
We are fortunate to live in a diverse community and get to interact with people of different races, religions, ethnicities, and identities. As we approach Memorial Day, a somber reminder of those who have sacrificed so much for our country, I am grateful for the rich tapestry of American life and culture. We will continue to work to ensure that everyone, no matter their background, feels safe and accepted in our community.
I wish you all a peaceful holiday weekend.
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host the first ever virtual Beatrice Victor Senior Olympics from June 1 to June 13.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the JCC could not host the Beatrice Victor Senior Olympics (BVSO) in person this year. However, the JCC remains committed to seniors’ wellness and pivoted to offer a new BVSO experience that seniors can participate in safely.
The theme of this year’s Senior Olympics is Mind, Body, and Soul, with a wide array of activities in three categories that contribute to overall well-being. Participants can select as many activities as they would like, from mind-stimulating word games and puzzles to sports and traditional Olympic events to meditation and volunteering.
“The virtual format of this year’s BVSO presented us with a great opportunity to think outside the box about what a Senior Olympics can look like. The pandemic has reminded us how important self-care is, so the events we’ve chosen are all about taking care of our minds, bodies, and souls by having fun doing the activities we enjoy,” said Lisa Lubarsky, who is coordinating the event for the JCC.
The BVSO is open to individuals 50 years of age and older. Participants can register for free and complete events at any time during the Olympics, logging their activity through the JCC website. While prizes will be awarded for best in each event during a closing ceremony on June 18, the focus of this year’s Senior Olympics is not on competition, but on physical, mental, and spiritual health.
The event is named for Bea Victor, a community leader who founded the Senior Olympics in 1987. Victor continued to direct the program for 20 years and was involved with the event until her passing last year.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We are so proud to carry on the tradition that Bea Victor started when she founded Staten Island’s Senior Olympics. While Bea is no longer with us, her legacy of advocating for seniors to stay active and independent lives on through the BVSO and countless other senior programs at the JCC.”
To learn more and register for the Beatrice Victor Senior Olympics, click here.
Since the start of the school year, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island has served hundreds of children and their families as a Learning Bridges provider for the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD).
Learning Bridges is a free program designed to support children on their remote schooling days. On days when children are scheduled for remote schooling under the city’s blended learning model, students enrolled in Learning Bridges report to their designated site. The JCC operates five of these locations for Staten Island, including sites at their Bernikow and Avis buildings, as well as their three Cornerstone Community Centers.
Each day, JCC Learning Bridges staff members help students log into their remote learning sessions and guide them through the classwork assigned by their teachers, offering academic support to supplement missed classroom time. Students also enjoy recreational and creative activities, such as sports, time outside, and arts and crafts. The pandemic has changed what childhood looks like in many ways, but Learning Bridges gives students back opportunities to be around other children, express themselves, and engage in important social-emotional development.
When offered the opportunity to become a Learning Bridges provider in the fall, the JCC was eager to use its expertise in youth programming to offer a safe and enriching program for children that would also benefit their parents. For many working parents who cannot stay home on remote schooling days, Learning Bridges is an essential childcare service.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Very early on in the pandemic, we recognized that families were going to struggle long term. The ability to have their children come to the JCC, where we can provide a safe environment, was something we knew we had an expertise in doing and we wanted to help families navigate this really uncharted timeframe.”
As New York City begins its transition to post-pandemic life, the JCC remains committed to serving the changing needs of Staten Island children and their families. With schools likely to return to full-time in-person learning in the fall, the JCC will once again offer its afterschool program, Explorers. Explorers, which runs at the JCC’s Bernikow building, aims to expand children’s minds with academic support and STEAM activities, nourish their bodies with sports and recreation, and promote mindfulness with social-emotional learning activities.
The JCC will host open houses for Explorers on June 15 and June 23 from 4pm-8pm, by appointment only. Families interested in learning more about the program can sign up for an appointment here.
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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