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
For Harold and Joan Schwartz
In memory of Sharon Mansfield Weinstein:
-Dennis & Janet Shane
Our deepest sympathy and love.
-Roslyn & Murray Brenner
Between the stresses of keeping up with 2020’s news cycle and spending so much more time at home as the pandemic continues to disrupt daily routines, it’s only natural that many of us have put on some extra weight over the last few months. Losing weight is already something that so many of us struggle with but, in 2021, it can be even more difficult—and more urgent—than ever before.
According to the CDC and recent scientific studies, overweight COVID-19 patients are twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital for care. Health professionals suggest that in addition to taking preventative measures like wearing a mask and social distancing, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself during the pandemic is to lose a few pounds if you are overweight. While losing weight won’t stop you from being infected, it can help you avoid a more difficult, or even fatal, battle with the virus.
The good news is that it’s not too late to make changes—like eating right and exercising—that can help you be your healthiest when it matters most and get you out of the “quarantine slump” you might be experiencing.
COVID-19 transmission in gyms in New York has been incredibly low, prompting the Governor to keep gyms open despite closing other indoor spaces. The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island's fitness center was given the green light to reopen in September and has quickly adjusted to operating in the “new normal” we are living in. In addition to the Fitness Center and Indoor Pool, the JCC is also offering outdoor and virtual classes for those at higher risk.
Membership has continued to grow despite the pandemic. Jill Gottlieb, Chief Program Director of Membership & Wellness Services at the JCC, believes people are joining because of all the benefits exercise can have, especially during these difficult times. Gottlieb explained, “Our members are thinking about their health and trying to position themselves to be in better shape to fight off COVID-19 in the future.”
New gym-goers are also enjoying the mental health benefits of exercise. While exercise alone can’t treat depression and anxiety, research has shown that it can reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals dealing with these issues. During the pandemic, this takes on new importance as health experts have expressed concern over a widespread mental health crisis that has emerged from the coronavirus pandemic.
Gottlieb believes mental health has been a big factor in JCC members’ decision to visit the fitness center, “People have been cooped up at home for months. Going to the gym provides the routine and the change of scenery that they’re craving.” She added an important caveat—the need to follow safety protocols while getting out of the house. “Our members come to the gym to improve their health, not to put it at risk. Our number one priority will always be your well-being, which is why we’re following all of the CDC guidelines on wearing masks, social distancing, limiting capacity, and increasing cleaning.”
The JCC’s Fitness Center is currently operating at 25% capacity and requires members to make reservations in advance on the JCC website, over the phone, or by email. Members must wear masks at all times. The gym schedules 15-minute cleaning breaks every hour to ensure that all equipment and high touch points are sanitized. Staff members have also cordoned off every other machine to promote adequate social distancing within the facility.
One JCC member remarked, “The staff is doing a great job keeping me safe. Plus, with all the distance between me and the other members, I feel like I’m at my own private gym!”
In these unpredictable times, many gym-goers find that they want flexible membership options. The JCC is making it easy for new members to take control of their health with their Wellness membership special. Wellness members can access the fitness center, indoor pool, and outdoor group exercise classes with monthly membership renewals and no enrollment fee. With no contract commitment required, new members can join the gym on their own schedule without worrying about what the future will bring.
For more information on JCC memberships, click here, call 718.475.5223, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As 2020 comes to an end, I am writing to wish each of you a happy and safe holiday season and to express my gratitude for all that you have done in this most difficult time.
Though this year has been one of great pain and loss, I’m so proud of the work we’ve done to come together as a community. We had to change the way we operated, with protocols taking over our lives—from social distancing to contactless pickups to new reservation systems. For many of us, we got more acquainted with technology and learned the most important lesson of 2020: how to hit the mute button on Zoom. We wore masks, washed our hands, and navigated ever-changing rules. But through it all, we’ve been able to persevere. We’ve worked hard to continue to provide our community with vital services, meaningful connections, and heartfelt care. This is, truly, something to be thankful for this holiday season.
I ask that, as we continue celebrating joyous moments over the holiday season, you continue to do your part to stop the spread of COVID-19. We know that small gatherings have been a major source of transmission, and we are seeing higher rates on Staten Island than in the rest of the City. In order to help keep our JCC family safe, please do not enter any of our facilities if you’re not feeling well, have been exposed, or are living with someone who is experiencing symptoms. Though we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, until the vaccine is readily available, we still need to be vigilant about protecting our community.
We are grateful for your continued care and patience as we continue to navigate the next phase of this crisis. Thank you to all our donors, members, participants, volunteers, and partner organizations for sticking with us throughout the past year. We were only able to succeed because of your unending support, and that is a tribute to how much it means to have you as part of our JCC family.
I wish you and your loved ones a happy and peaceful holiday, as well as a healthy and joyous new year!
As the holidays and New Year approach, we reflect back on the unprecedented events of this year. There is no doubt that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be etched into our collective memories forever. Through it all, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC has been here for our community, through our in-person and virtual programs, as well as through our work helping those hit hardest by the pandemic.
While we know that this has been a hard year for everyone, for seniors who have been isolated for months, it has been even harder. We were proud to be able to bring back grab and go meals to help seniors access healthy food options in a safe way.
Thanks to the generous donations we received from our Virtual Food Drive, we will be able to provide these meals through the holiday season, and we hope to secure enough funding to continue them throughout the winter. Learn more about our Virtual Food Drive here.
We’ve also hosted virtual social events for Holocaust survivors through our Café Europa social club. In the fall, we held a Sukkot celebration where we celebrated the 100th birthday of one of our survivors, Margot Capell. Her family and friends from all over the country were able to join us virtually for this special evening.
To celebrate Chanukah, we’re hosting another special event for our Holocaust Survivors this Monday at 6:30pm. The event will include a candle lighting ceremony, music, art, and more. All are invited to join us at this Zoom celebration.
This Chanukah, we compelled more than ever to do good for others as we face these tough times. This week, on our social media accounts, we will be highlighting eight values for each night of Chanukah. Though these values are based in Jewish tradition, they are universal to the human experience:
This year, more than ever, we can see the importance of these values in everything we do, from wearing masks to protect those around us to checking in on those who are isolated. We at the JCC will continue to follow these values as part of our core mission, and I hope you will continue to include them in your own daily life.
While this season naturally leads us to care for others, I also want to remind everyone that, now more than ever, it’s important to take a moment for self-care. Whether it takes the form of meditation, exercise, watching a movie, or even just taking a long breath at the end of the day, it’s crucial to take some time for yourself this holiday season. For me, spending time with my husband and kids reenergizes and rejuvenates me on my days off. I hope you can experience the same joyful time with family, either in-person or virtually, this holiday season.
On behalf of the JCC family, I wish you a happy and safe holiday season.
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