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
Art @ the J: Michele Guttenberg
Our newest art exhibit features the work of Michele Guttenberg. Guttenberg, who works with various media including watercolor and oil paint, began cultivating her talent as a young woman. She took up drawing as the mother of three young children, searching for something to sustain her beyond her household life. Initially amazed to find that she could draw, this first foray into art sparked a lifelong passion.
Guttenberg credits many others in her life with teaching and inspiring her to create art of her own. Her brother Steven pointed her in the direction of drawing when she was seeking purpose and gave her helpful tips to improve her craft. Her cousin Alice helped her learn watercolor. Guttenberg’s passion for art is shared with her husband Neil Besignano—she recalls that when they took up oil painting, they were each other’s teacher and muse. Another influence on her work was Jeanne Meisels, an instructor at the Art Lab in Snug Harbor. Today, Guttenberg gives back to her many teachers, and to all that art has given her, by teaching other students in her own classes at the Lab.
Michele Guttenberg’s work is a powerful reminder that it’s never too late to learn something new or discover one’s passion. It also reminds us that we should share our talents with one another—we never know where inspiration will come from!
Come see her work at our exhibit on display at the Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery at the Bernikow building. An Artist’s Reception, free and open to the public, will be held there on Thursday, November 21st from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The exhibit will be open through December.
Announcing the first NORC on Staten Island
On Tuesday, November 19th, the JCC of Staten Island announced that it will operate the island’s first ever NORC—Naturally Occurring Retirement Community—in Stapleton. Stapleton was designated as a NORC based on the large population of seniors who live in the area.
This NORC has been named GO KOSSAH, which stands for Keeping Our Seniors Safe and Healthy—a priority for us here at the J! The social services offered in this community, such as health assessments and transportation to medical appointments, will help seniors live safely and independently in their homes. This newest endeavor will support the JCC’s other initiatives to enhance the well-being of our seniors.
This project, announced today in a press conference at the Carter Center in Stapleton, was made possible through funding from the Department for the Aging (DFTA), allocated by Councilwoman Debi Rose. The JCC is proud to play a continuing role in serving Staten Islanders at all stages of life.
Tree of Life One Year Memorial
On Sunday, November 17th, we joined with several community and faith-based organizations to hold a memorial ceremony honoring the lives of those we lost in the shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway. We are especially grateful to Rabbi Chuck Diamond, the former rabbi from Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, who spoke about his former congregants who were killed just over a year ago.
We will never forget their memories and continue to honor them by fighting against Anti-Semitism and hate of any kind.
Our staff wore blue to honor Diabetes Awareness Month! Join us as we host a special diabetes educational event on Tuesday, Nov. 19th at 12:30pm in the Arts & Crafts Room where Raghda Alraei will speak to us about diabetes management.
On Wednesday, November 13th, the JCC of Staten Island honored five local men for their commitment to Judaism as well as their accomplishments within the JCC and in the Staten Island community.
This year’s honorees were:
Ofer B. Nacmias
Spirit of Judaism Award
Rabbi Michael D. Howald
Rising Star Award
The event benefitted the JCC’s KIDS IN NEED programming. For thousands of Staten Island children and young adults, these programs provide a lifeline–whether it is helping them deal with disabilities, cancer, food insecurity, or severe economic hardship. The programs include special education for preschool children, afterschool activities for children and teens with developmental disabilities, day habilitation for young adults with developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities, a food pantry for children and families with food insecurities, and camps for children with cancer or special needs.
Congratulations to our honorees and their families!
#GivingTuesday supports Kids in Need
This year, Giving Tuesday falls on Tuesday, December 3rd. We hope you’ll take the opportunity to donate to our KIDS IN NEED programs, which serve children facing cancer, disabilites, food insecurity, and financial instability.
Learn more about how to get involved and watch some videos highlighting our programs here!
Veterans Day Drive
In celebration of Veterans Day, we are collecting the following items at the Bernikow & Avis/South Shore Buildings through the month of November:
· Body wash & liquid soap
· Shampoo/conditioner (full sized)
· Single edge disposable razors
· Large print word puzzle books
· Sweatpants sizes M - XL
· Craft/art supplies: adult coloring books, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, art books, watercolor books
All donated items will be distributed at the Brooklyn VA Medical Center. Thank you to all our Veterans for your service!
Holiday Fair on December 8th!
The office is operated out of the Seaview Senior Housing complex and serves the residents who live there. An on-site coordinator provides comprehensive screenings to residents to determine eligibility for benefits, including Medicare/Medicaid enrollment, tax exemption benefits, HRA services, advocacy, and mental health and medical referrals. She also coordinates shopping trips twice a week for residents and plans other relevant programming that improves daily life for residents.
“It’s a great place to live,” said John, a resident of the complex. “I’m really happy that I can get access to so many things right in the building.”
Other activities that have taken place since the complex opened are a theatrical performance, a “Welcome Summer” party, bingo, and tai chi. Some other educational presentations included topics such as scam prevention, identity theft, tobacco education, and Medicare enrollment. These events were presented in partnership with Illuminart Productions, Fidelis, Senior Services of North America, Vita Care Pharmacy, Tobacco Free Staten Island, and the NYS Division of Consumer Protection.
Another resident, Mary, noted, “I like going to these free events, and I get to meet my neighbors. We’re becoming a really nice community.”
The complex has 160 apartments exclusively for low-income seniors, as well as indoor common spaces, ample parking, and outdoor amenities. Residents were selected to live in the complex through the City’s senior housing lottery process.
“With the senior population booming on Staten Island, we understand the importance of expanding our senior services programming to fit the ever-changing needs of seniors in our community,” said David Sorkin, CEO of the JCC of Staten Island. “Seaview Senior Housing is a wonderful example of a special partnership that helps meet a need, which was inspired by the Borough President’s vision of a vibrant community for seniors. It is fantastic to see so many seniors thriving in this environment. As projects like this grow, we look forward to continuing to serve even more seniors on Staten Island.”
For more information on the JCC’s senior services, visit sijcc.org or call Amelia Winter at 718.475.5238.
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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