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 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
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.
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, April 3rd at 10am, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host the 13th Annual Nancy Avis L’Dor V’Dor Awards. The virtual event will honor seven local women for their accomplishments within the JCC as well as in the Staten Island community. The award is named in memory of Nancy Avis, the first female president of the JCC’s Board of Directors.
At the event, Allison Romeo and Stephanie Mizrahi will receive the First Generation Award. 8-year-old Maddie French will receive the Next Generation Award. Dr. Ginny Mantello will receive the Bridge to the Community Award. Sydney, Samantha, and Morgan Avis will be receiving the Nancy Avis Legacy Award.
“My mother-in-law, Nancy Avis, changed my world and the world of those around her. We are so proud to honor Nancy’s memory by celebrating these amazing women,” said Kim Avis, Event Chair.
“We are proud to be able to honor the memory of Nancy Avis, who paved the way for so many women in our community,” noted JCC CEO Orit Lender. “Our seven distinguished honorees truly represent the best of Staten Island through their tireless work serving the community. We are especially excited to honor several young community leaders, including Nancy’s granddaughters, who are continuing her legacy in our community. We look forward to celebrating all our honorees at our L’Dor V’Dor event!”
Funds raised at the event will benefit the JCC’s programs and services. Tickets are complimentary, but preregistration is required.
Learn more about the event and register here.
On Thursday, November 18 at 7:00pm, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host An Evening of Celebration + Inspiration to dedicate its new Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture. This virtual event will celebrate the future of cultural arts at the JCC, while raising funds to enable the center to continue offering exceptional adult education programs.
During the program, the JCC will honor two community leaders for their contributions to Staten Island’s cultural landscape. The inaugural event’s honorees are Amy Posner, Executive Director of Hillel at CSI, and Henry A. Salmon, President of Equity Valuation Associates Inc., Real Estate Appraisers and Consultants.
The JCC is pleased to feature special guest speaker Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief of The Forward. Rudoren spent more than two decades as a reporter and editor at The New York Times, where she also served as Jerusalem bureau chief. She will present a lecture, “Zero-Sum Empathy,” which discusses how polarization threatens both Jewish communities and our democracy.
Rudoren’s lecture offers attendees a taste of the program quality they can continue to expect from the Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture. Inspired by its namesake’s dedication and lifelong love of learning, the center will present lectures, performances, and seminars led by world-class speakers and entertainers across a variety of subject areas.
JCC board member and cultural arts committee member Jerome Grushkin is chairing this event in honor of his late wife. He said, “Esther dedicated her adult life to education and was an extraordinary teacher and scholar. The Dr. Esther Grushkin Center for Arts + Culture is dedicated to Esther’s memory to continue and expand access to exceptional quality programming in adult Jewish learning, performing arts, and global connections as well as connect with our participants in all ways possible.”
Since its launch in September, the center has already begun producing engaging cultural programs for participants in Staten Island and beyond. Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “We are proud to honor Dr. Grushkin’s legacy with this new center that will enrich so many people’s lives for generations to come. We hope you will join us virtually on November 18 as we look ahead to the exciting future of cultural arts at the JCC!”
Registration is required for this virtual event. To register or place a message in the digital event journal, please visit https://www.sijcc.org/grushkin.
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island hosted Kids Front and Center, a virtual event, on Sunday, October 24 at 10am. The livestream supported JCC programs that help kids find new beginnings academically, socially, and emotionally during and after the pandemic.
At the event, the JCC recognized three outstanding community leaders, Lt. Rafet Awad, Rose Kerr, and Miriam Prat-Jerez, for their work benefiting children.
“I’d like to acknowledge and thank our honorees, Lt. Rafet Awad, Rose Kerr, and Miriam Prat-Jerez, for their tireless work serving children in our community. We are proud of your work and thank you for everything you’ve done to improve life for our children,” noted Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC.
Recognizing the toll the pandemic has put on children and families, the JCC has created programs to help children struggling with schoolwork and social interactions. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, the JCC hosted five Learning Bridges sites to provide in-person support for families during remote school days. These programs mirrored a normal school day by offering academics, socialization, and recreation, allowing children to thrive as if they were in a normal school setting. The organization also provided in-person after school programs, camp, sports, and music classes throughout the past year.
Lender continued, “The funds raised this morning will support the JCC’s kids programs. Over the past year and a half, these programs have provided a lifeline to so many families on Staten Island. We’ve served thousands of children during the pandemic, providing in-person opportunities for education and recreation through a variety of programs, including Early Childhood Education, camp, Learning Bridges, sports, and music. With your help, we can continue to help kids find new beginnings through the next stage of the pandemic and beyond.”
Jozette Carter Williams, Bryn Biren, and Linda Brill were the event co-chairs.
For more information or to view the live stream, click here!
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host its inaugural bocce tournament on Monday, September 13. All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island and the JCC’s Kosher Food Pantry. The event will honor Mannix Family ShopRites for their dedication to both causes.
The Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, run by the JCC, is a free summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings. 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 to campers’ families. Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island proudly serves children with cancer and their siblings from Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and nearby New Jersey on a non-sectarian basis.
The JCC’s Kosher Food Pantry serves thousands of Staten Islanders facing food insecurity. Through confidential, one-on-one appointments with caring staff, individuals and families in need from all walks of life can access a reliable source of healthy nutrition.
As we continue to navigate these challenging times, financial support for both causes has become more necessary than ever. With so many Staten Islanders facing hardships like illness and loss of income, the need for the food pantry has quintupled since the start of the pandemic.
Sunrise Day Camp, which resumed in-person camping this summer, brings back the joys of childhood to children with cancer. The pandemic has shown us all a fraction of the loneliness and isolation these children experience due to their illness, reminding us how important Sunrise is to campers and their families.
The JCC relies on the generosity of supporters like Mannix Family ShopRites to sustain these vital services. Mannix Family ShopRites, owned and operated by Kevin and Timothy Mannix, include three store locations on Staten Island. The stores regularly donate food and funds to JCC causes, along with hosting fundraisers for the agency.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC said, “The Mannix family sets a great example of community leadership through their stores’ support for both of these wonderful causes. As we kick off a new tradition with our first-ever bocce tournament, we are proud to honor Mannix Family ShopRites in gratitude for all they do.”
The event is being co-chaired by Solomon Chemo, Cory Schifter, and Bob Cutrona.
The bocce tournament will take place on the lawn at the Bernikow JCC, located at 1466 Manor Road. Players are asked to check in at 11am, before the tournament begins at noon.
To purchase tickets, click here.
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will host a job fair to help connect Staten Islanders with employment opportunities at the JCC as well as professional development resources. The job fair is the JCC’s latest effort to help members of the local community rebound in the aftermath of the pandemic.
The fair will take place on Wednesday, August 18 at the JCC’s Bernikow building, located at 1466 Manor Road, between 10am and 2pm. JCC staff members will be available to network with job seekers about opportunities in a variety of areas, including marketing, education, fundraising, HR, administration, sports, fitness, and more.
During the fair, individuals can also sign up for free training programs for OSHA, green energy systems, IT support, and Microsoft Office. Other job readiness workshops available include resume writing, interview skills, and application assistance.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been there every step of the way to help members of our community get back on their feet. As we enter this new phase of recovery, we are committed to connecting Staten Islanders with the resources they need to succeed and find meaningful employment.”
The job fair is part of the agency’s broader commitment to pandemic recovery. While networking and learning about job opportunities, visitors can also consult with JCC staff about social services they may need, such as the food pantry, legal and financial counseling, and benefits assistance.
The fair is free and open to all. Masks are required and visitors will complete a brief health screening upon arrival. The attire is business casual. Resumes are required. Walk-ins are welcome.
For more information about the job fair, please contact Kathi Indelicato at KIndelicato@SIJCC.com
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island partnered with Borough President James Oddo’s office to vaccinate hundreds of seniors and Holocaust survivors against COVID-19 over the past two weeks.
Through this partnership, the JCC hosted a pop-up vaccination clinic at the Bernikow JCC March 2nd & 3rd with VitaCare Pharmacy. During the two-day clinic, VitaCare distributed over 650 vaccines to Staten Island seniors.
Additionally, the Borough President’s office helped the JCC get vaccination appointments for 80 Holocaust Survivors and frail seniors at other vaccination sites in the borough.
“We are beyond grateful to our friends at the Borough President’s office and VitaCare Pharmacy for all their work on this issue,” noted JCC CEO Orit Lender. “For our seniors and Holocaust survivors, who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, this vaccine could mean the difference between life and death. We are so thankful to Borough President Oddo, Dr. Ginny Mantello, and Boris Natenzon of VitaCare Pharmacy for recognizing this and helping us meet the needs of our most fragile community members.”
"Over the last few days, over 650 people were vaccinated at the JCC. This would not have been possible without the cooperation of the city and state in terms of supply, and without the leadership and goodwill of our friends at the JCC and Boris Natenzon of VitaCare Pharmacy who, with his staff, administered the vaccines. Thank you to all of the good people who made this happen," said Borough President Oddo.
The clinic was part of a larger effort on the JCC’s part to help spread awareness about vaccine safety and get vulnerable members of the Staten Island community vaccinated.
“Helping our community members in times of crisis is what we do best. It is a privilege for us to play a part in bringing an end to the pandemic,” Lender added.
In addition to the clinic, the JCC hosted a COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall with Richmond University Medical Center Thursday night. At the virtual event, Dr. Philip Otterbeck answered questions from the audience about vaccine safety and efficacy.
To see the recording of the RUMC Town Hall event or to sign up for more information on upcoming vaccine clinics, click here.
On March 4th at 7pm, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will partner with Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) to present a virtual COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall. Dr. Philip Otterbeck, Chair of Medicine and Endocrinology at RUMC, will talk about vaccine safety, side effects, and efficacy. He will also answer questions submitted from the public.
This town hall is part of a larger effort on the JCC’s part to help spread awareness about vaccine safety and get vulnerable members of the Staten Island community vaccinated. The event is free and open to all in the community.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said “At the JCC, we have been working hard to both educate and help secure vaccine appointments for Staten Islanders. We feel it is incredibly important to make sure our community is educated about the safety of the vaccine. Thank you to RUMC and our community partners for joining us in this initiative.”
Since December, COVID-19 vaccinations have been taking place across the borough for eligible individuals. Vaccines have been distributed at RUMC and during pop-up clinics at JCC facilities.
Dr. Otterbeck noted, “I hope the Town Hall will provide the members of our community the opportunity to ask questions they have on their minds related to COVID-19 based on the latest evidence in the medical and scientific literature.”
In addition to the JCC and RUMC, the event is presented by the COVID-19 Connect to Recovery initiative. Partner organizations include Arden Heights Boulevard Jewish Center, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Congregation Temple Emanu-El, Council of Jewish Organizations of Staten Island (COJO-SI), The Jewish Board, Jewish Russian Learning Center of South Beach, Met Council, Project Hospitality, Staten Island COAD, and UJA-Federation of New York.
To register for the free event, visit sijcc.org/vaccine
To submit questions in advance, email email@example.com
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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