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
On Monday, July 24th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host its 43rd Annual Golf & Tennis Classic at the Richmond County Country Club. At the event, the Amerosi Family, Rocco Berardi, Rev. Dr. Demetrius Carolina, Sr., and Laura and Mark Lauria will be recognized for their work in the Staten Island community.
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. This summer and last, many of the scholarships benefitted Ukrainian refugees.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Thanks to the generosity of those attending our Golf & Tennis Outing, we were able to provide several full scholarships to Ukrainian campers to allow them to attend camp free of charge. Our programs offer children nurturing environments in which to grow and play—something that truly benefits our Ukrainian campers who have been through so much. We could see how much they changed throughout the summer and acclimated to living in America. We hope the camp experience has helped them on their journeys, and we will continue to be there for them to provide support year-round.”
This year, the number of Ukrainian campers has increased so greatly that the JCC hired a Ukrainian music specialist at camp.
Lender noted, “We are grateful for the support of our golfers and tennis players that helps us send children to camp every summer. We look forward to another great event honoring several remarkable community leaders.”
The Golf and Tennis Classic, presented by longtime sponsor IDB Bank, will also include dinner, a live auction, and a raffle drawing for a $10,000 prize.
To purchase tickets, sponsorships, and journal ads, please visit https://www.sijcc.org/golf.
This June, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host the Beatrice Victor Senior Olympics (BVSO).
The annual event, which brings together hundreds of Staten Island seniors, will take place from June 11 through June 15 at various locations across the borough.
In addition to traditional Senior Olympics events like pickleball, Predict-A-Pace, basketball shooting competitions, tennis, swimming, bowling, cornhole, horseshoes, and croquet, the BVSO also features unique events designed to appeal to a wide array of seniors. These events include challenges like darts, canasta, Mah-Jongg, pinochle, pocket pool, and more. The JCC is also excited to add new events to the lineup, such as ballroom dancing.
The BVSO will conclude with a closing ceremony and brunch on June 16 at 11am at the Bernikow JCC, located at 1466 Manor Road.
After taking place virtually during the height of the pandemic, the BVSO resumed in-person operations last year.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “One of our priorities here at the JCC is empowering seniors to stay active and engaged—physically, mentally, and socially. The Senior Olympics is one of our favorite traditions because it gives us a special opportunity carry on Bea Victor’s legacy by celebrating our older adults.”
The BVSO is named for Beatrice Victor, a community leader who founded the Senior Olympics in 1987. Victor continued to direct the program for 20 years and was involved with the event until her passing.
On Sunday, June 4, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted its annual SunriseWALKS fundraiser benefiting the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, a free camp for children with cancer and their siblings.
SunriseWALKS took place at Staten Island University Hospital “Community Park,” home of the Staten Island FerryHawks.
Before walking the bases in support of Sunrise campers, families enjoyed a fun-filled morning with carnival games, face painting, music, and more.
There were special performances by LA Dance, the SI Dance and Arts Center, and the JCC’s Cornerstone Hip Hop Crew and Royal Rebels step team. Students from Staten Island Academy, Susan E. Wagner High School, and Tottenville High School also participated.
SunriseWALKS is the JCC’s largest fundraiser for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island. The walk is the culmination of a months-long fundraising campaign that also includes community outreach and several “Li’l SunriseWALKS” conducted at schools including the JCC’s preschool locations and Staten Island Hebrew Public Charter School.
Operated by the JCC, Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is the only day camp of its kind in New York City. The camp welcomes over 140 children from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and nearby New Jersey to its location on the campus of Staten Island Academy each summer.
Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is a proud member of the Sunrise Association, whose mission is to bring back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings worldwide.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Our Sunrise campers have been through so much, but from the moment they step off the bus at Sunrise Day Camp, they are smiling, laughing, playing games, and singing songs together. When you walk with us at SunriseWALKS, you are making an incredible impact on the lives of children with cancer and their families right here in our community.”
Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Sunrise Day Camp is offered completely free of charge.
On Sunday, May 7, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted its second THRIVE Expo: Women Empowered event.
The free women’s professional development expo aims to empower women along their career trajectories, while also providing a forum to connect local businesses with prospective employees and clients.
Attendees chose one of two dynamic information sessions:
“Starting and Growing Your Business” featured keynote speaker Darlene Blanco, Head of Workforce & Talent Development at the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. A panel discussion featured Tatiana Arguello (Nonprofit Staten Island), Bridget Lorenzo (Bee Forever Events), Jaclyn Tacoronte (JMT Media), and Lauren Giordanella (NYC Business Solutions).
“Starting and Advancing in Your Career” featured keynote speaker Kristine Garlisi, Chief Operating Officer at The Nicotra Group, and panelists Aarti Ivanic (Wagner College, Nicolais School of Business), Pam Kulnis (Bottomless Closet), Amelia Winter (JCC of Staten Island), and Patricia Walton (Metro Plus Health).
Following the breakout sessions, participants attended a networking expo where they had the opportunity to meet prospective employers and learn about services designed to uplift women in the workforce.
During the expo, attendees were also able to take free professional headshots and enter to win a laptop. Swag bags and refreshments were provided.
Recognizing the importance of supporting working mothers, the JCC was pleased to offer free childcare during the expo.
Orit Lender, the JCC’s first female CEO, said, “Our THRIVE Expo is an amazing opportunity for female professionals, whether they’re just starting out in their careers or looking to make a change. We’re excited for a day of mentorship and building meaningful connections between women in our community.”
Last fall, the JCC hosted its first THRIVE Expo, which was hailed by one attendee as “the most productive day I've had in the many months of my employment search.” Another attendee remarked, “What I learned gave me the encouragement to move forward and be confident in myself!"
On Thursday, April 27, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted a free family festival to celebrate Israel’s 75th anniversary.
The festival featured performances by the Israeli Dance Institute and by students from local schools including Staten Island Hebrew Public Charter School and Staten Island Hebrew Academy. Families had the opportunity to participate in interactive Krav Maga, Hebrew calligraphy, and crafts workshops.
The JCC also brought a taste of Israel to Staten Island as it transformed its social hall into a shuk, or food market, where families sampled Israeli cuisine.
The festival was co-sponsored by Hillel of CSI, Staten Island Hebrew Public Charter School, and Temple Israel Reform Congregation of Staten Island.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We’re excited to celebrate this special milestone not only for Israel, but for the global Jewish community, by bringing Israeli culture to the forefront. Whether you have a connection to Israel, or just want to learn more about the culture, we hope to see you at our family festival!”
The festival was just one part of the agency’s yearlong celebration of Israel’s anniversary. The celebration also includes a comedy show, live music performances, film screenings, and art exhibits, with more to come throughout the year.
Coinciding with Israel’s 75th anniversary, the JCC of Staten Island is proud to announce new global partnerships with Jewish community centers in Moldova and Binyamina, Israel. During the festival, the JCC of Staten Island community was greeted with special video messages from their counterparts abroad.
On May 9, the JCC also presented "Am Israel Chai”: A Celebration of Israel in Song. This National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene performance featured Israeli-American singer Magda Fishman and Greek-born legend Avram Pengas, led by Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotek.
This summer, the JCC will send a delegation of high school students for a trip to Israel, where they will immerse themselves in the country’s history and culture.
On Thursday, March 23, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host Women Front and Center at Li Greci’s Staaten. This new event celebrates female empowerment and raises funds for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island.
The JCC’s Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is a free summer camp that brings back the joys of childhood to children with cancer and their siblings. Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is a proud member of the Sunrise Association and is located on the campus of Staten Island Academy. Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Sunrise Day Camp is provided completely free of charge, on a non-sectarian basis.
Women Front and Center will highlight women in business, public service, and healthcare. The event will also spotlight women-owned businesses, whose generous contributions will make it a memorable evening for all who attend.
During the program, the JCC will honor three incredible women for their leadership and support for Sunrise Day Camp. The honorees are Gabriella DiMaggio, the Honorable Edwina Martin, and Ann Marie Quinn, LCSW.
Orit Lender, the first female CEO of the JCC, said, “As women, it is so important to uplift other women and celebrate all that we can accomplish by working together. We are proud to honor these women who truly make a difference in our Staten Island community.”
Women Front and Center, which is presented by TD Bank, will take place from 6:30pm to 9pm and will feature dinner, wine and beer, raffles, music, and dancing. Tickets for a special raffle prize—an Yves Saint Laurent pouch—can be purchased online in advance. Winner need not be present.
Event tickets, raffles, and sponsorships can be purchased online at https://www.sijcc.org/wfc.
This spring, Israel will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Yom Ha’atzmaut, Israeli Independence Day. In the months leading up to the milestone occasion, Jewish communities around the world will celebrate with special events and programs.
The Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture, housed at the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island, has planned a months-long celebration with fun and enriching activities for folks of all ages.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We’re so excited to highlight Israeli culture and honor this important milestone for the global Jewish community! From art, music, and dance, to film, sports, and family activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this special celebration!”
The center kicked off the festivities on March 11th at the Bernikow JCC with a Comedy Night. Over 200 people attended the night of laughs with a Jewish flair, which featured up-and-coming NYC comedians.
The second event, “Language of the Soul,” took place on March 12th and featured Yonatan Grinberg performing classical violin works by Bach, Ysaye, and original works based on Jewish tunes.
On March 26, the JCC will present a free children’s music show, Timbalooloo, at the Arden Heights Boulevard Jewish Center. The show features internationally renowned composer and musician Oren Etkin, who guides children to express themselves musically across cultures.
The JCC will also host the Richmond County Orchestra on March 26 at the Bernikow JCC. The orchestra will perform its “Musical Miracles” symphony.
On April 23 at the Bernikow JCC, sports fans will enjoy an afternoon with Jewish baseball legend Art “The Smasher” Shamsky. Shamsky, who helped bring the Miracle Mets to the World Series Championship in 1969, will share stories and sign copies of his New York Times bestselling memoir, After the Miracle.
The Bernikow JCC will bring a taste of Israel to Staten Island on April 27 with a free festival for families with children of all ages. Guests will enjoy music and dance performances, interactive Krav Maga and Hebrew calligraphy workshops, arts and crafts, giveaways, and more. The JCC’s social hall will be transformed into a shuk, or food market, where families can sample Israeli cuisine.
Broadway and film fans can look forward to a documentary screening of Fiddler’s Journey to the Big Screen on April 30 at the Bernikow JCC. Following the screening, audience members can participate in a Q&A by actress Neva Small, best known for her portrayal of Chava in the 1971 film adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof.
Photography can immerse us in the lives and cultures unfamiliar to our own. The Bernikow JCC is excited to host an exhibition, Humans of Tel Aviv, by street photographer Erez Kaganovitz, whose work highlights the diversity and rich complexity of Israeli stories.
On May 1, guests are invited to a gallery viewing and Israeli wine tasting. On May 2, the JCC will also host a meet and greet with the photographer. The exhibit runs from April 26 to May 9.
On May 9, the Bernikow JCC will present “Am Israel Chai”: A Celebration of Israel in Song. The special performance by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene will feature Israeli-American singer Magda Fishman, Greek-born legend Avram Pengas, led by Artistic Director Zalmen Mlotkek.
To buy tickets and learn about additional events celebrating Israel at 75, visit https://www.sijcc.org/israel75.
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island is celebrating Black History Month with special community events and learning opportunities.
On Wednesday, February 22, from 4 to 7pm, the JCC will partner with New York State Senator Jessica Scarcella-Spanton and the Richmond County Black and Minority Chamber of Commerce to host a Black Business Expo at the Gerard Carter Center. The expo will feature vendors and networking opportunities, as well as entertainment and an awards presentation.
To register for the expo, visit https://tinyurl.com/bhmbbe-rsvp or contact MCampbel@NYSenate.gov for more information.
During the Central Family Life Center’s 18th Annual Staten Island Black History Town Hall on Saturday, February 25, the JCC will receive the Nelson Mandela Award for its work serving Staten Island youth through its Cornerstone afterschool programs at the Gerard Carter Center.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We are proud of the important work we do at the Gerard Carter Center to uplift youth in the North Shore community.”
On Tuesday, February 28, the JCC’s Beacon program at I.S. 49 will present Black History Through Time & Sound, which celebrates the journey of Black history from Africa to the Americas through music, dance, and film. During the event, attendees will enjoy dance and step performances by the Beacon program’s dance team, as well as a percussion performance by students in the JCC’s SONYC program at Eagle Academy. The program will also feature music by DJ General Tactics, live jazz instrumentals, a spoken word performance, African drumming, and a marketplace showcasing Black and Brown entrepreneurs.
The JCC’s Beacon program, which is funded by the Department of Youth & Community Development, is pleased to partner with Roc-a-Natural Cultural Foundation, Inc., the JCC Beacon Advisory Board, the YMCA, the Central Family Life Center, and other North Shore community-based organizations.
Black History Through Time & Sound will be held at I.S. 49, located at 101 Warren Street, from 6pm to 9pm. The event is free and open to individuals of all ages. For more information, please contact Desiree Scott at DScott@SIJCC.com.
Lender said, “We’re excited to work with our partners to bring together Staten Island youth and their families for this special celebration of Black History Month.”
Throughout February, students in the JCC’s afterschool programs across the island will also participate in learning opportunities for Black History Month.
Students in the JCC’s COMPASS program at P.S. 65 researched prominent African American figures—such as Thurgood Marshall, Ruby Bridges, Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, and more—before collaborating on a mural to adorn their hallway.
Students in the JCC’s Explorers program at the Bernikow JCC also studied important cultural contributions made by African Americans and completed art projects inspired by the Harlem Renaissance and paintings by Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Dedicated to serving and encouraging harmony throughout the Staten Island community, the JCC is committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across its programs. The JCC recently added Chief Experience Officer Daisy Olivencia, whose work supports the agency’s efforts in this arena.
Olivencia said, “Part of my role is empowering staff and the communities we serve across the island to bring together their unique experiences, talents, insecurities, hopes, fears—all the things that make us who we are. I’m proud to be part of this important work to create a space where we all belong.”
She added, “This Black History Month, we’re honored to bring Black stories to the forefront for our youth and community to learn from and celebrate.”
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host community service, youth engagement, and learning opportunities.
On Monday, January 16, the JCC’s Beacon program at I.S. 49 will collaborate with community partners to present a Day of Service and Education for students and their families. The program will feature workshops, including an interactive opportunity to honor Martin Luther King Jr. through hip-hop and poetry, as well as a school improvement project. Students can receive community service hours by participating in at least one workshop or the service project. There will also be a basketball tournament featuring teams from Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Harlem.
The JCC’s Beacon program, which is funded by the Department of Youth & Community Development, is pleased to partner with the Central Family Life Center, CSI LPP, YMCA, Staten Island HBCU Experience, Staten Island NAACP Youth Council, and Staten Island MBK to make this event possible.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We’re so proud to work with other community organizations to uplift Staten Island youth and their families through meaningful school-based programs like this.”
The Day of Service and Education will take place at I.S. 49 Berta A. Dreyfus, located at 101 Warren Street from 9am to 3pm. Breakfast and lunch will be served. For more information, please contact Desiree Scott at DScott@SIJCC.com.
On January 16, the JCC will also host a free talk by the Honorable Ronald A. Gregg. Judge Gregg will speak about the significance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, offering valuable perspective from his distinguished background and experiences as the first African American judge appointed on Staten Island.
The lecture will take place at the Bernikow JCC, located at 1466 Manor Road, at 2pm. All are welcome to attend.
The JCC’s Richmond Terrace Cornerstone Community Center at 71 Jersey Street will host a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk on Tuesday, January 17th at 3:30pm.
To honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service, the JCC will offer special volunteer opportunities in its Kosher Food Pantry, also located at 1466 Manor Road, from January 16 through January 27. Individuals ages 18 and up can help Staten Islanders in need by stocking the food pantry shelves and assisting clients during their visits. Teens ages 16 and 17 may also volunteer with an adult chaperone. Flexible time slots are available.
As a way of saying “thank you” to volunteers for being generous with their time, the JCC is pleased to offer volunteers a free day-pass to enjoy the Bernikow building’s fitness center and indoor pool. Community service letters are also available for students upon request.
Lender said, “Building community through acts of service and kindness is at the heart of so much of what we do here at the JCC. We’re excited to launch this special initiative in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and welcome volunteers who are eager to make a difference.”
To sign up, visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0c45aaa62ba4ffc70-martin#/ or contact David Lutzker, Volunteer Coordinator, at DLutzker@SIJCC.com for more information.
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
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