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
The Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Staten Island is proud to announce the launch of a pilot cybersecurity program made possible by AT&T support. For the first time, Staten Island residents will have access to free virtual cybersecurity training and certification from the highly reputed Per Scholas curriculum and job training program. The program is targeted to underrepresented residents and individuals who would not otherwise have access to the digital literacy training required for the growing sector of cybersecurity jobs. Participants will receive an industry recognized certification, hands on experience, workplace exposure, workforce coaching and connections to employment opportunities.
AT&T’s support for this program is part of the company’s $2 billion nationwide commitment to help bridge the digital divide, while advancing digital equity and universal connectivity for all New York City. Collaborating on this program builds on AT&T’s continued support of narrowing digital divide in New York City, working in all five boroughs to ensure all New Yorkers have access to the digital tools and skills needed for today’s world.
The unique program, which launched on November 28th, is being hosted virtually by the JCC while Per Scholas is providing accepted participants with the technology. The cohort runs for 15 weeks fulltime, Monday-Friday 9 am- 4pm, and learners will work to obtain the CompTIA CySA+ certification, while learning Linux, network administration, behavioral analytics, security monitoring, threat management, cyber incident response and more. Participants will also receive comprehensive professional development, engage with industry professionals and support to obtain employment in entry level cyber security roles. After completion, the participants will be equipped with the experience to fulfill a wide variety of entry level positions such as cybersecurity analyst, junior desktop technician and tech support engineer.
AT&T’s contribution will support this first cohort and lay a foundation for Per Scholas and the JCC to partner to deliver in-person and a scaled cybersecurity training program on Staten Island in 2023. The contribution also covers tuition, materials and digital hardware for all participants.
Orit Lender, JCC CEO, said, “We are thrilled to expand our partnership with Per Scholas and AT&T to bring this new training to Staten Island. Our approach to career training is a holistic one that links our career instruction with our social services offerings. Not only does every person who comes through the doors of this program access the training they need to take their career to the next level, but we also help them overcome any barriers they may have to finding success in their careers. Whether that’s learning soft skills or finding health insurance, our one-stop shop method helps meet a wide variety of needs. We are so excited to add this cybersecurity training to our JCC Career Connections offerings. Thank you to AT&T for making this programming possible for Staten Islanders.”
"The cybersecurity sector is growing and provides many opportunities for successful careers. This new program will help connect Staten Islanders to those jobs and provide a foundation for job training to help unemployed/underemployed individuals for years to come. We are honored to work with the JCC of Staten Island and Per Scholas to help change the career trajectory for Staten Island residents,” said Robin White, Director, AT&T External Affairs. “AT&T is also proud to help local residents impacted by the digital divide obtain the digital literacy skills needed to excel in the cybersecurity sector.”
Digital fluency programs like this one for underrepresented community members are important because the global cybersecurity is rapidly growing industry where available jobs far outnumber qualified candidates. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of cybersecurity jobs is expected to increase by 35 percent by 2031, which underscores the dire need for more cybersecurity trained Americans.
This new cybersecurity training program expands on the JCC’s capacity to assist unemployed/underemployed individuals acquire the tools and skills to secure viable, well-paid employment and has been designed to provide a continuum of concrete critical support to assist participants overcome obstacles to employment. The cybersecurity field involves protecting computer networks and data from unauthorized access, use, or destruction. There are many different types of cybersecurity professionals with various skill levels. AT&T’s contribution comes at a critical time to address unemployment rates on Staten Island and the need for cybersecurity job opportunities are at an all-time high.
On Tuesday, November 22nd, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for afterschool students and their families at the Gerard Carter Center.
Families got to enjoy a free soul food-inspired Thanksgiving meal provided by local restaurant Shaw-naé’s House. In addition to turkey, families enjoyed mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, mac & cheese, and sweet potatoes. For dessert, attendees were treated to sweet flavors of cornbread, including chocolate chip and blueberry.
Volunteers and staff helped serve the meals, including notable faces like JCC CEO Orit Lender and Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks.
“This was a great evening full of fun, food, and family time,” Lender noted. “This party was a fantastic way to kick off Thanksgiving week. Seeing all of our participants smiling and enjoying time with their families warmed my heart. This is what the JCC is all about, bringing families together.”
The event took place in partnership with The Gerard Carter Foundation, Richmond County Black & Minority Chamber of Commerce, and Literacy INC.
The Gerard Carter Center, which is operated by the JCC, provides free year-round out of school time activities for youth ages 5-21 as well as adult programming. The Carter Center is part of the Cornerstone Community Center program, which is funded by the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD). For more information on the JCC’s Cornerstone programs, click here
As we approach Thanksgiving, it is a time to show gratitude. The Jewish value of gratitude, or hakarat hatov, instructs us not only to be grateful for what we have, but also to see and acknowledge the good all around us.
It is in this spirit that we celebrate National Family Caregivers Month. This month, we honor and recognize the hard work that people do to take care of their loved ones. Caregiving can be extremely exhausting, stressful, and expensive. Caregivers often don’t have time to take care of themselves, and caring for someone else often takes a physical toll on the caregiver.
For those in need, the JCC provides care for both the caregiver and the care receiver at no cost to families. Our memory loss programming provides stimulating, specialized day programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease/dementia. Knowing that their loved ones are safe and cared for during the day allows caregivers to have time for themselves and gives them peace of mind.
One of our caregivers noted, “It is a comfort to know that my mother is not home alone all day and is actively participating in activities like games and dancing. The JCC’s memory loss programs fill a void in the Staten Island community for caregivers and their loved ones.”
Additionally, our Caregiver Support Center offers services to help caregivers access benefits, coordinate home health assistance and long-term care, and get supplies. The Caregiver Support Center also provides emotional support for caregivers to help them through these difficult times. Our joint enrichment programs for caregivers and care receivers allow them to relax and have fun together.
Earlier this month, we held our Falling into Fun carnival at our Avis/South Shore location. Grandparents, parents, and children got to participate in carnival games, face painting, Zumba, chair yoga, line dancing, sittercise, and quilling together. It was heartwarming to see these families get to shake off their everyday stresses and just have some fun!
We are grateful to all who joined us, as well as our Carnival Sponsor, Enexia Specialty Pharmacy, for their support. We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our donors and funders, who allow us to provide these free programs for members of our community with memory loss. We are able to serve Staten Islanders in need through the generous support of NYC Aging, Northfield Bank Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation, and Michael Manzulli.
Knowing the demand for these programs is far greater than our current capacity, and our desire is to continue expanding these services, we need your help. This Giving Tuesday, please consider supporting our memory loss programs. Your support is important to us. Together, I know we can help those with memory loss and their families. You can learn more and donate here.
Thank you for being an instrumental part of our JCC and this great Staten Island community. Without your continued commitment, we would not be able to provide these vital services. I want to personally thank you for always being there for us, and please know that we are here if you ever need us.
On behalf of our JCC family, I wish you and your families a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
-Orit Lender, JCC CEO
On Saturday, November 19, over 150 guests joined the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island for a celebration of the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute’s Golden Anniversary.
Recognizing the need for a high-quality music school in the Staten Island community, the JCC’s Music Institute was founded in 1970. Since its inception, the Music Institute has offered private and group lessons taught by exceptional faculty members to students of all ages. Many of the Institute’s graduates, such as Emmy-nominated musician Ingrid Michaelson, have gone on to pursue music professionally.
Saturday’s Golden Anniversary celebration, long delayed due to the pandemic, was a special moment to honor more than half a century’s impact and the two women who made it possible, founders Bertha R. Mandel and the late Dorothy Delson Kuhn.
During the program, guests were treated to performances by current Music Institute students and alumni, as well as Viva Voce Winds, featuring Nicole Auriti, Dorothy Darlington, Dan Kelley, Barry Nudelman, and Carolyn Clark, and the Community Jazz Ensemble under the leadership of Ray Scro.
The event also served as a fundraiser for the Foundation for the Music Institute, which helps ensure that promising students continue to pursue their passion for music, regardless of financial hardship.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Music is a gift that touches so many lives and we’ve seen that firsthand here at the JCC’s Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute. We are so proud to celebrate the history of our music school, which has given that gift to hundreds of talented students, and we look forward to a bright future ahead.”
Watch the video history of the Music Institute here.
As we know, Anti-Semitism sadly continues to be on the rise across the country. If you’ve watched the news recently, you’ve seen stories about bigoted signs, hateful statements on social media, and threats to local synagogues. All of these stories are extremely hurtful.
In response to this rise in Anti-Semitism, we are continuing to take precautions to ensure the safety of our members, participants, and staff. We are following our security protocols, which include working with NYPD, UJA, and JCRC’s Community Security Initiative, which connects us to many law enforcement agencies. We are in constant contact with these partners, who have been monitoring the situation and are keeping us updated on what has been happening locally and abroad.
While we’ve heard a lot about celebrities and Anti-Semitism lately, I want to focus on one celebrity in particular. Tyler Perry, the actor and filmmaker best known for the “Madea” movies, recently posted this photo of his late mother on Instagram. Willie Maxine Perry spent most of her career as a preschool teacher at the JCC in New Orleans. According to her son, the Anti-Semitism she experienced while working there impacted her deeply.
The post read, “I remember her coming home from work one day devastated because there was a bomb threat and my mother was horrified that there were people who wanted to blow up a building full of children because they were Jewish…It brought her back to that pain of having to live through the bombing of a church in Alabama where three little black girls died. My mother made sure that I knew the commonality of what black people and Jewish people have endured - she not only taught me about slavery but she also taught me about the Holocaust. But in teaching me about all our common pains she also taught me about the allies that Jewish people have been for black people.”
Perry’s post underscores the importance of standing strong together against hatred of any kind. Our shared struggles highlight the similarities between the Black and Jewish communities. We also know that there are Black Jews who are impacted by both racism and Anti-Semitism. All communities that face discrimination need to stand together as one against hatred and bigotry.
Perry ended his post perfectly by saying, “No one makes it alone. Refuse hate!!”
At the JCC, we have always stood with our neighbors in solidarity against racism and bigotry every time we see it. We are fortunate to have a community that supports us calls out Anti-Semitism when hateful incidents occur.
We are united in one message—we are one JCC family, and hate will not be tolerated in our community. I am grateful for Tyler Perry and others who have stood up and loudly voiced their opposition to Anti-Semitism. I encourage all of us to use our voices to fight back against hate.
The answer to hate is love!
-Orit Lender, CEO
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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