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 honor of Henry James (Hank) Brandt.
On Thursday, June 16th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow Jewish Community Center of Staten Island installed five new board members at the organization’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors. The newest members of the Board of Directors are Jozette Carter-Williams, Traci Frey, Isaac Gorodetski, Boris Natenzon, and Jack Stern.
JCC Orit Lender said, “I want to welcome our five new Board members, who all have a history of working with our JCC. They have so much knowledge and enthusiasm, and I am so excited to see them use their talents to help our agency grow! We are fortunate to have a supportive Board and a dedicated staff, who ensured that we got through the past few difficult years together and emerged on the other side stronger than ever. It is thanks to all of them that we can continue to serve the changing needs of our community and make a positive impact on Staten Island.”
Learn more about our new board members below!
Born in Brooklyn, Jozette Carter-Williams attended the College of Staten Island before beginning her career in the banking industry. She began her career as a teller at Staten Island Savings Bank and worked in various positions there until 2010. She subsequently worked at Empire State Bank before joining Northfield Bank this year as a Bank Manager, AVP. Jozette also owns and operates JoJo Cee Photography and has done charity photography for the American Cancer Society and Blue Lives Matter. Jozette was married to Gerard L. Carter, the namesake of the JCC’s Gerard Carter Center. Police Officer Carter was killed in the line of duty in July 1998. Jozette has become very involved in the Police Officer Gerard Carter Athletic Org., which was founded to help the children of Stapleton, the same community that Officer Carter patrolled. She continues to help children in the community and bridge the gap between our communities and the police through charitable endeavors. Jozette married Grady Williams Jr. in 2017. She has three children, Louis, Selena, and Jason, as well as two “bonus” children, Grady IV and Jenese. She is currently enrolled in the Academy of Art University pursuing a degree in Photography and the Arts.
Traci Frey previously served on the Board from 2007-2010 and was the Treasurer at the end of her service. She has been a member of both Congregation B’nai Israel and Temple Emanuel. In her professional life, she served as the Deputy Superintendent of District 31 on Staten Island from November 2019- June 2021. Prior to that, Mrs. Frey was the Principal of the Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning High School, a New York City Outward Bound School following the tenets of Expeditionary Learning, for 10 years. Prior to becoming Principal, Mrs. Frey was the Assistant Principal of the Science Department at Edward R. Murrow High School, where she began her education career as a physics teacher in 1996. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Hamilton College, Masters in Secondary Science Education from the College of Staten Island, and Administration and Supervision Certificate from the College of St. Rose. She is the proud mother of Rebecca and Katie, and loving wife of her husband of blessed memory, David.
An immigrant from Ukraine, Isaac spent most of his childhood in the Sheepshead Bay neighborhood in Brooklyn—and has resided on Staten Island since his family moved across the bridge in 1999. As a Staten Island resident, he became a professional commuter at an early age, first traveling to CUNY Baruch College to attain a Bachelor’s degree in economics and then to earn a J.D. at New York Law School. Fresh out of law school, Isaac joined the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a prominent think tank that conducts research and advances innovative ideas across a wide array of public policy issues, for five years. In 2016, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo hired Isaac to create and direct a public policy department at Borough Hall. In that capacity, Isaac and his team worked to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing Staten Island—from the opioid epidemic to mental health to workforce development. At the conclusion of Borough President Oddo’s final term, Isaac joined the Richmond County Supreme Court as principal law clerk to the Hon. Paul Marrone, Jr. Isaac is especially enjoying his new role as a dad to a little baby girl. He resides with his wife and daughter in Annadale and is excited for opportunities to serve communities across Staten Island.
Boris Natenzon is the founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Enexia Specialty, one of New York’s largest full-service independent pharmacies. Born in Tashkent, formerly USSR, Boris moved to the United States with his family at three years old and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He is a husband and a father of 3. Boris opened his first pharmacy along with his wife, Mrs. Angela Natenzon, RPh. in 2002, shortly after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from Long Island University in 1999. Enexia Specialty Pharmacy has been a tremendous initial step in reaching the vulnerable and contributing to better wellness for the communities Boris works with. Vitacare, Enexia’s long-term care division, offers specific services to senior care and non-profit agencies throughout NYC. During some of the darkest times over the last few years, Boris spearheaded the fight with NYS and the Governors’ office to get COVID-19 vaccines directly to facility patients and healthcare workers. Boris personally vaccinated thousands of people in pop-up clinics, private homes, and Enexia Pharmacy locations. In addition to his work, Boris has been a strong supporter of the Staten Island and New Jersey Chabad communities. He also serves as a board member of the (SIHC) Staten Island Holocaust Center, is vice-chair at the Northwell foundation board, and was recently awarded by Project Hospitality the Les Trautman Award for Outstanding Commitment to the People of Staten Island.
Jack Stern has been practicing law on Staten Island since 1977. A graduate of Brooklyn Law School, he has worked for the Legal Aid Society of New York before entering private practice. His areas of expertise are real estate, elder law, and business practice. He was previously a partner in O’Neill, Stern & O’Neill and is presently a partner in Stern, Stern, and Fruchtman. Additionally, Jack is an instructor at the Staten Island Board of Realtors. In his free time, Jack serves on the Board of the St. George Theatre and Hillel at the College of Staten Island. He is a Past Chairman of Eger Lutheran Home and Services as well as a Past President of Congregation Aviv Hadash. Jack is a former director of New Springville Little League. He is a member of the Richmond County Bar Association. Jack and his wife Randi recently served as Journal Chairs for our Allan Weissglass Distinguished Leadership Award.
SunriseWALKS Staten Island to take place at Staten Island University Hospital “Community Park” on June 26th
On Sunday, June 26, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host SunriseWALKS to benefit the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, a free camp for children with cancer and their siblings.
After hosting virtual “walks” the past two years due to the pandemic, the JCC is excited to bring the annual fundraiser back in-person. This year’s SunriseWALKS, presented by Home Team Mortgage, will take place at a new location—Staten Island University Hospital “Community Park,” home of the Staten Island FerryHawks.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We look forward to SunriseWALKS every year as an opportunity to raise awareness and funding for our amazing Sunrise Day Camp, and to celebrate our community’s generosity, which allows us to give so much back to children with cancer and their siblings. We’re so excited to be together again this year and we’re planning a really special day for families.”
The itinerary for the day is full of programming to be enjoyed by kids of all ages and their families, including carnival and camp-inspired games and activities such as a dunk tank, face-painting, and relay races, flag football and Krav Maga demonstrations, and running the stadium’s bases. Walkers will also enjoy music and special performances by magician Steve Rose, L.A. Dance, and more.
The walk will be emceed by Staten Island’s own Carmine Giovinazzo, best known for his role as Detective Danny Messer in the hit CBS series CSI: New York. The event will also include special messages from celebrities.
SunriseWALKS is the JCC’s largest fundraiser for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island. Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Sunrise Day Camp and its year-round programs are provided to families completely free of charge, on a non-sectarian basis.
A proud member of the Sunrise Association, Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is the only summer day camp of its kind in New York City and serves children from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and nearby New Jersey.
Sandy Haft, Director of Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, said, “Sunrise Day Camp is a special place, where we keep cancer outside the four walls of camp. Your support for SunriseWALKS means the world to us because it helps us bring some sunshine to children who need it most.”
Register for SunriseWALKS here to donate to Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island. Walkers can also register in-person on June 26 at the stadium, beginning at 10am.
In memory of Karen Saks:
To Manny Saks & family, with deepest sympathy.
In memory of Arthur Francis Olsen:
To Tom & family, with deepest sympathy.
In memory of Arthur Olsen.
-Loretta, Thomas, Nicholas, and Sandra Cerbone
In memory of Arthur F. Olsen.
Last week, we received word of the racially-motivated shooting in a Buffalo supermarket, and our hearts went out to the entire Buffalo community. Yesterday, we heard the horrific news about a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which took the lives of 19 elementary school children and two teachers. Yet again, our hearts are broken.
In the face of immense tragedy, it’s easy to feel helpless. But now is not the time to sit back in fear and sadness. Jewish teachings tell us that it is our responsibility to step in when a situation is unjust. Based on these values, we at the JCC are doing all we can to help prevent future tragedies from happening.
Last Thursday, I joined with community leaders to stand against hate in the wake of the shooting in Buffalo. At the JCC, we stand with our community in solidarity against racism and bigotry every time we see it—and our neighbors do the same for us when Anti-Semitic incidents occur. I am grateful that Staten Islanders are not willing to be silent on this issue. We will continue to join together as one community and speak out against hate of any kind.
We have also been working a new initiative called PATH, in partnership with JCRC, to help combat anti-Semitism and hate crimes. Through this initiative, which was funded by the Mayor’s office, we have been providing educational resources and strengthening relationships among diverse and interfaith communities on Staten Island. We know there is more work to be done in this area, and we are committed to engaging different communities in order to fight hate locally.
We also realize that gun violence is a major issue that needs to be tackled nationally and locally. As part of our youth programming, in partnership with UAU and Central Family Life Center, we have begun offering a program focused on gun violence prevention. The program, which is funded by the Governor’s office, supports positive youth development and provides opportunities to youth and young adults at risk of gun violence. In addition, violence prevention is included in many of our after school and weekend programs for tweens and teens.
These grassroots programs are part of a larger effort by our entire community to put an end to these tragic situations once and for all. By joining together, we can regain a sense of our shared humanity and begin to forge a new path forward.
Together, let us hold the victims of gun violence in our broken hearts and work to create a better world to honor them. May their memories be a blessing.
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host “To Life!” a concert celebrating intercultural connections, on Thursday, May 12th at 7pm. The concert, which is presented in collaboration with the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, will take place at the Bernikow JCC, 1466 Manor Road.
“To Life!” represents a celebration of life and friendship among three people brought together from different worlds by a passion for music. Zalmen Mlotek is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music as well as a leading figure in the Jewish theater and concert worlds. He will be joined by Tony Perry and Elmore James, two prominent African American singers.
Orit Lender, JCC CEO, noted, “We are so proud to showcase diverse performances through our Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture. We look forward to a wonderful evening celebrating the shared experiences of Jewish and African American communities.”
Tickets to the concert are $18 per person. For those who want to mingle with the stars afterwards, a VIP Dessert Reception costs $54, which includes a show ticket.
“As soon as we started rehearsing this show,” Tony Perry said, “We felt that love, that feeling of this being so much bigger than each of us can be separately. There’s so much power in us coming together!”
The group has performed across the globe to enthusiastic audiences. “To Life!” which celebrates life, love, and hope, was born out of the stress of the pandemic.
“Making music with Tony and Elmore has always been exciting for me,” Zalmen Mlotek said. “I can't believe, after all of our various concerts together, it has taken us this long to finally come together and put this particular program together—full of passion, gorgeous singing, and a genuine love for each other and the material.”
“We must never be afraid of going into each other’s ‘cultural neighborhoods’ and singing each other’s ‘songs!’” Elmore James said. “When we do, we sing with a common humanity. This is why I do these concerts. Through the power of music, we come together in the celebration of love, life and our hopes for a better world.”
Tickets can be purchased here.
On Sunday, May 15th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will present its highest honor, the Allan Weissglass Distinguished Leadership Award, to David Sorkin and Stephen J. Blumert. The event will begin at 6pm at the Bernikow JCC (1466 Manor Road).
The gala, which is named for the late Allan Weissglass, honors individuals who have supported the mission of the JCC and served as leaders in the Staten Island community. This year’s honorees, David Sorkin and Stephen J. Blumert, have a long history of leadership within the JCC. Sorkin is the JCC’s CEO Emeritus and Blumert is a longtime JCC board member and prominent attorney.
“We are so proud to be able to recognize David and Stephen with this prestigious award. Both of them have been instrumental to the success of the JCC over the past few decades. David and Steve far exceed the criteria for receiving this award for their dedication, leadership, and generosity to the JCC and the community-at-large. They truly exemplify Allan Weissglass’ legacy of service and are most deserving of this award,” said Orit Lender, JCC CEO.
The proceeds from the gala will support the JCC’s Memory Loss Programs—Rosemary’s Place and My Place. These programs are vital to assist those with memory loss and their families as they provide in person services for individuals in need. Both program options allow for individuals to participate in programming that best meets their needs outside of their homes and allow caregivers to receive respite in order to attend work or other activities.
“My grandfather held both David and Steve in such high regard,” noted Allison Cohen, the JCC’s Director of Marketing & Communications and Weissglass’ granddaughter. “Our family could not think of two more appropriate people to honor in his memory. We hope the community will come together to recognize these two distinguished honorees and this important cause by supporting the event.”
Watch videos below about each of our honorees:
This weekend marks an important time for people of many faiths as we celebrate Passover, Easter, and Ramadan. These are joyous holidays marked by family celebrations.
As the story of Passover tells us, even in times of great hardship, we are able to join together to overcome adversity. Our ability to be resilient has kept us going, even through the past few difficult years. Passover is a celebration of freedom that inspire us to work towards a world when every person will be free from hatred.
We are seeing resiliency in the Ukrainian refugees who have been forced to leave their homes and families behind while fleeing a war. Our hearts are with them, and the JCC stands ready to help any families who come to Staten Island. We are already providing services to help them acclimate to America and access everything they need, including benefits, health insurance, ESL classes, food, and jobs. We will be here for them as long as they need.
Jewish values tell us that it is our responsibility to help those in need—globally and at home. To help those in need in our own community, this week, we partnered with MetCouncil, the Hate Has No Home Here initiative, and the Notre Dame Club Club of Staten Island’s Bread of Life Food Drive to provide Passover meals for over 300 families at a drive through food distribution. It was heartening to be able to provide a holiday meal for those in need.
None of this would be possible without our dedicated volunteers and staff who worked in the rain to unpack boxes and distribute the food packages. Their hard work brought out the sun in the afternoon. Thank you to our community partners and our volunteers from the JCC Kosher Food Pantry, Amazon, MetroPlus Health, Wagner College, and the Pride Center of Staten Island for being generous with their time! I would also like to thank Council Member Borelli and representatives from DA McMahon and Assemblyman Tannousis' offices for supporting us during the distribution.
In times of joy and hardship, the JCC continues to serve our community. We are here for you—whether you just need a place where you feel connected, to work out and swim, or send your kids to camp and Early Childhood programs. Everyone is welcome and belongs at the JCC.
I hope you all get a chance to spend quality time with your loved ones over the holidays. On behalf of our JCC family, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.
-Orit Lender, CEO
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host an exhibition of paintings by award-winning artist Anita Cimino. The works will be on display in the Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery, located on the second floor of the Bernikow JCC at 1466 Manor Road, throughout April and May.
A retired educator, Anita Cimino is active in the Staten Island arts community. She is a member of the South Shore Artists Group, which meets to create and share their art across the island.
Cimino’s work has been featured in many solo, juried, and collective exhibitions in Staten Island and beyond. Besides the JCC, her paintings have also been displayed at other local cultural institutions including the Staten Island Museum and the Noble Maritime Museum.
Cimino is known for her vibrant, abstract paintings that reflect on themes such as aspiration, nature, and relationships. She has received several honors, including an award for her painting, Can You Imagine!, in a St. John’s University juried exhibition, as well as grants for art development from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island.
Twenty-five of Cimino’s pieces will be displayed at the JCC’s Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery during April and May.
As many of the JCC’s in-person programs have resumed, the exhibition signifies another step towards a return to normalcy for the agency. Public art displays at the gallery were put on hold at the height of the pandemic.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Our members, participants, and staff truly look forward to seeing new exhibitions by local artists at the Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery each season. We are so happy to bring this program back with an array of beautiful, thought-provoking pieces by Anita Cimino.”
The exhibition is free and open to the public from April 1 through May 30. For more information about the Murray Berman Art @ the J Gallery, please contact Ela Seeley at ESeeley@SIJCC.com.
Marvin’s Camp for Children with Special Needs is set to open for a full summer of fun in the sun! This summer, the JCC is pleased to resume two of its services for Marvin’s campers—transportation and trips—that were placed on hold during the height of the pandemic. Camp families will have the option to have their child transported to and from camp via bus for free each day.
Marvin’s Camp, located at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, provides an educational, creative, social, and safe environment for kids and teens with developmental disabilities. Led by highly experienced staff with degrees in special education, social work, and school psychology, Marvin’s campers participate in a wide array of fun and enriching activities. Campers enjoy swimming, boating, and playing sports, along with hands-on activities like crafts and woodworking. Low staff-to-camper ratios ensure that each child receives excellent care and attention.
JCC CEO Orit Lender noted, “The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island is committed to the idea that all children—regardless of ability—should have the same opportunity to have an unforgettable summer camp experience. That’s why the JCC is planning another amazing summer for campers in Marvin’s Camp for Children with Special Needs.”
Additionally, the camp will resume offering its Marvin’s M.O.R.E. division for campers ages 15 and up. Marvin’s M.O.R.E. campers will have the opportunity to go on trips to exciting destinations twice a week, with transportation provided. When they aren’t going on trips, campers will enjoy fun activities on the campgrounds.
Ms. Lender said, “We can’t wait to welcome our Marvin’s campers back for another incredible summer! We’re especially thrilled to be able to bring back trips, as we know our Marvin’s M.O.R.E. campers look forward to going on fun, enriching adventures with their friends each year.”
The JCC is currently accepting registrations for Marvin’s Camp for Children with Special Needs. You can learn more about the camp here. To register, contact Laura Irizarry at LIrizarry@SIJCC.com or 718-475-5268. The JCC also offers an inclusion program in its traditional camp for those who would benefit from it. An interview is required for all new Marvin’s and inclusion campers.
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