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
In memory of Florence Werb.
-Steve and Hillary Barth
In honor of Ilene Pfeiffer.
Last week, we hosted a party for our friend Angela Olsen as she celebrated her 60th birthday. But this wasn’t just a gathering to celebrate Angela’s big day—it was the kickoff of a new fund in the Olsen family’s name at Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, a free camp for children with cancer and their siblings.
Angela and her husband Tom, a JCC Board Member, know firsthand what it’s like for our Sunrise families. They are the parents of three boys, TJ, Andrew, and Mark. As a child, TJ was diagnosed with cancer. Now an adult, TJ serves as the inspiration for the family’s efforts to give back to other children with cancer.
As Angela said herself, “Having had a son with pediatric cancer, I knew we had to commit ourselves to this cause and how important this camp is, not only to the kids but their families.”
The family’s generosity and commitment to our campers led to the naming of the Olsen Family Wellness Center Fund for Sunrise Day Camp. The fund will support the Olsen Family Wellness Center, a key component of the Sunrise experience.
While we often focus on the more active aspects of camp, the Olsen Family Wellness Center is crucial for our campers. If they aren’t feeling well or just need a place to decompress, campers can go to the Olsen Family Wellness Center for some quiet time and medical attention. Our camp nurses are trained to care specifically for children with cancer, who have different medical needs than typical campers. This year in particular, the Olsen Family Wellness Center is more important than ever in the face of the pandemic.
The Olsens have long been involved with Sunrise, and this new naming opportunity has brought them even closer to the cause. Tom and Andrew, along with Jessica Caracciolo and Karen Aversa, have chaired our Sunshine Sunday event in the past, and they look forward to bringing the event back early next year. Andrew is also holding his own birthday fundraiser to support the fund later this month.
We are incredibly grateful for their unwavering support throughout the years, as well as their continued commitment to the children of Sunrise. It has been wonderful to see the Olsen family’s love and support of our campers grow throughout the years, and we know there is more to come!
If you are interested in donating to support the fund, you can do so here.
-Orit Lender, CEO
On Monday, July 12, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted its 41st Annual Golf and Tennis Classic at the Richmond County Country Club. Over 170 players participated in the event.
The JCC’s Golf and Tennis Classic benefits the Isador Aberlin-Ed Rovner Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund provides scholarships for the JCC’s day care and summer camp programs to families experiencing financial hardship. Some of the scholarships support children in Marvin’s Camp for Children with Special Needs.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “These past 16 months have been difficult for everyone, but especially for children from families struggling financially. Children have been isolated from each other, making summer camp and day care extremely important. We’ve seen the need for camp and day care scholarships rise, and we are proud to be able to provide childcare options for families in need.”
“This was a challenging year for a lot non-profits, including the JCC,” noted Rob Myers, Senior Vice President of IDB Bank. “We’re happy to be by their side and to continue to support them.”
The day’s festivities included brunch, lunch, and a $10,000 raffle prize drawing.
Lender continued, “Families need us now more than ever to help them navigate and come out of this stronger, and we’re extremely grateful to all of you who’ve helped support us in making that possible. Special thanks to our event co-chairs Alan Poritz and Lenore Schwartz, as well as our presenting sponsor IDB Bank for all of their support.”
To see a full list of golf winners and more pictures, click here.
With the recent uptick in violent incidents, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island has begun offering Krav Maga classes to help Staten Islanders protect themselves from harm.
Developed for the Israeli Defense Forces, Krav Maga is a self-defense system that focuses on instincts and practical techniques for hand-to-hand combat. Unlike many other martial arts, which focus on form, Krav Maga emphasizes real-world, situational preparedness.
The JCC’s Krav Maga classes will teach participants fighting stances, attacks, and defenses. The program will also equip learners with techniques to defend themselves when confronted with weapons such as knives, bats, and close-range guns, as well as threats from multiple attackers.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “While the recent rise of violent incidents against Jews is heartbreaking, we know that there is work we can do to help make our community a safer place for all. That includes not only speaking out against hatred, but empowering people to protect themselves.”
While the JCC was prompted to offer Krav Maga classes in response to violence against Jews across the city and nation, these classes are open to everyone interested in learning self-defense techniques. Krav Maga also benefits stability, flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular health, and mental well-being.
The JCC currently offers 8-week Krav Maga classes, as well as drop-in options, at its Bernikow building on Manor Road. Female-only and male-only classes are also available. The classes are open to learners of all ages. Discounts are available when registering multiple family members.
To learn more and register for Krav Maga classes, click here.
We know that this summer is critical to ensure continued learning, to build trust, and to create space for young people to re-connect and re-engage with one another. To help compensate for the loss of learning that many students have experienced during the pandemic, we are offering several programs to help kids back on track while still having fun this summer.
Our newest program is Summer Rising, which we will run for free at various schools in conjunction with DYDC and the DOE. This is an academic enrichment program that aims to help prepare students for school in the fall. Summer Rising will provide opportunities for young people to learn, to get outside, and engage with peers and caring adults in safe, supervised, and enriching robust programs, readying them for a return to school in September.
In our JCC Day Camp programs, we are partnering with Catapult Learning to provide a summer learning program to enrolled JCC campers. The Summer Learning Experience has been funded through the generosity of a grant from UJA-Federation, which allows us to provide this service to campers free of charge.
In our Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, we also include STEM as part of our programming. Projects are tailored to children’s ages and abilities. This week, campers learned about engineering using pipe cleaners, sticks, and marshmallows!
These programs are only able to run thanks to the generosity of our donors and funders. This Monday, we will host our 41st Annual Golf & Tennis Classic. Funds raised at this event will allow us to award camp scholarships to children in need, including kids with special needs. While the golf portion of the event is sold out, we still have a few tennis slots available. By playing or donating to the event, you are helping our children thrive in the face of adversity. You can learn more about the Outing here.
We are proud to be able to provide these services, and with your support, we can help even more kids make academic progress before school begins again.
-Orit Lender, CEO
This weekend, we will celebrate the 4th of July and our nation’s independence. For many of us, this is one of the first times we will be gathering with family and friends since the pandemic began. While we are certainly not yet completely out of the pandemic, this holiday gives us a chance to take a breath and have some much-needed fun.
At the JCC, we are also celebrating the successful launch of camp this week, as well as the addition of two new Board Members, Angie Master and Ed Sappin.
Angie Master is a real estate broker at Casandra Properties. Born in South Korea, she was raised in Spokane, Washington before moving to New York. Previously, Angie served on the Board of Trustees at Staten Island Academy, where she chaired the Trustees Committee. She cares about expanding educational opportunities for all children and has volunteered as a tutor at a KIPP Charter school in Newark and at Seamen’s Society on Staten Island. Angie and her husband Dan have two children, Emma and Trip, who attended preschool at the Avis JCC and went on to attend Stanford.
Edward Sappin is a native Staten Islander with strong ties to the Jewish community and has been affiliated with the Jewish Community Center since he was a child, going to Family Park and attending summer camp. Ed has a proven track record as a leader and investor, with strong results in fundraising, organizational development and business development. Ed is the founder and CEO of Sappin Global Strategies, an investment and advisory group, and is also a Partner at Nimali, a renewable energy investment group. Ed serves on the Board of the New York Chapter of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Alumni Group and is a member of the Christer Herter Society. Ed is the father of three children and the son of Sue Sappin, our Board President.
We are so proud to have Angie and Ed on our Board. I hope you will join me in giving them a warm welcome!
Angie and Ed were formally installed at our Annual Meeting a few weeks ago. We were thrilled to be able to have our first in-person Board Meeting in over a year—my first since taking over as CEO last July. Seeing our Board Members was a reminder of how much they have given of themselves over the past year and a half. From serving on emergency committees to answering emails and phone calls at all hours, our Board stepped up in so many ways. We would not have been able to get through the pandemic without their dedication and support. I want to thank each and every one of them for the work they have done and continue to do for our JCC.
Thanks to the guidance of our Board and the hard work of our staff, we have been able to accomplish so much over the past year. I hope you will take a few moments to watch this video of our year in review.
I wish you and your family a safe and happy 4th of July!
-Orit Lender, CEO
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