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, October 19th, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will hold its 40th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic, presented by IDB Bank. The event, which was pushed back from its original July date, will take place at the Richmond County Country Club and adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.
Funds raised at this event allow the JCC to award scholarships to children who are desperately in need. Some of these scholarships go to children with special needs, offering them a joyous and safe summer led by highly experienced staff at no cost to their families. Scholarship recipients are the children of working mothers and fathers, including single parents, who cannot afford to send their children to camp and other JCC programs due to financial issues.
“With everything changing around us, one theme has stayed consistent—the JCC remains committed to helping children in our community,” said Orit Lender, JCC CEO. “Your support will directly impact Staten Island families who need our help the most. We hope you will join us for a fun day out on the course and courts!”
Golf and tennis players will receive a continental breakfast and lunch, along with the chance to win contests and prizes. Tennis players will have access to a clinic, hosted by a tennis pro. Following the event, the winner of a $10,000 raffle will be drawn virtually.
To learn more or register, click here!
On Friday, September 25th, staff from the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island joined with representatives from the Mayor’s Office and NYCHA to unveil a new mural at the Gerard Carter Center. The mural was created by 30 high school students from the V.I.B.E. and A.G.V.E.P. summer program, which is run through the JCC’s Cornerstone program at the Carter Center.
The students worked on the project for seven weeks and were tasked with creating a mural that represents their “ideal community.”
“We talked about advocacy and art, and how one individual can make an impact in the community,” noted Kayla McGoy, a college student who worked with the youth on the project. “This means so much to me. We worked very hard to make sure these young people can make an impact.”
The mural represents the students’ aspirations for the future of the Stapleton community. The themes represented include health, economic prosperity, family, diversity, and an end to drugs and gun violence.
“Over the past few months, we’ve experienced so much pain and tragedy. That’s why seeing a project like this come to life gives me so much hope. We often look toward our young people to lead the way, and there’s no better example of that than this mural. Seeing our kids’ aspirations for a better community is the light we need in these dark times. I am so proud of our kids for the work they’ve done and continue to do to make our community a better place for everyone,” said JCC CEO Orit Lender.
To learn more about our Cornerstone programs, click here.
On Thursday, September 24th through Sunday, September 27th, sixteen local restaurants will participate in a Dine Out For Sunrise fundraiser. The fundraiser will support the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, a free camp for children with cancer and their siblings. Patrons who dine at participating restaurants during this time can add on a donation for Sunrise to their bill.
The restaurants that will participate are Brioso, Casa Belvedere, Italianissimo, Jimmy Max Restaurant, Joyce's Tavern, La Fontana, Marina Café, O'Neill’s Irish Pub, Reggiano's (both locations), The Richmond, The Stone House, Sofia’s Taqueria, Violette’s Cellar, W's Bar and Grill, and the West Shore Inn. Dine Out For Sunrise is sponsored by A-List Janitorial Supplies.
The event is part of the Sunshine Sunday Series, a four-month long fundraising series that will take the place of the Sunshine Sunday event that is traditionally held in-person every January. Other virtual events in the series include a fall-themed kids party, a Thanksgiving cooking class, and a holiday-themed mixology class and happy hour. The events will culminate with a journal, called the Sunshine Pages, which will allow businesses to highlight their community work, new initiatives launched during the pandemic, and their involvement with Sunrise.
“This is a wonderful way to support our local restaurants, which are so important to our community, and Sunrise Day Camp at the same time,” said Orit Lender, CEO of the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island. “We hope you will enjoy a delicious meal and add on a donation to help give summer back to children with cancer and their siblings.”
Jessica Caracciolo, Event Co-Chair, noted, “I am so excited to kick off the Sunshine Sunday Series with our September Dine Out! I think our committee did an amazing job pivoting our fundraising efforts to meet the current restrictions in place. I can’t wait for the rest of the series and, as always, am so thankful to be a small part of the fundraising efforts for Sunrise Day Camp.”
Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island recently celebrated its fifth year, concluding its virtual camp season in August. Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Sunrise Day Camp and its year-round and in-hospital programs are offered completely free of charge to all children being treated for cancer and their siblings, on a non-sectarian basis.
A member of the Sunrise Association, Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is one of several camps in a growing network dedicated to providing safe, fun summer camp experiences for children with cancer and their siblings. Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is the only day camp for children with cancer in New York City and serves families from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey. The JCC raises funds for the camp through donations and community events, including the annual SunriseWALKS.
For more information on the Sunshine Sunday Series or to donate to the fundraiser, click here.
We are proud to annouce that we will host Sunrise Circle of Friends, a virtual interactive show for kids, on Wednesday, July 29th from 5-6 pm. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp Staten Island, a free camp for children with cancer and their siblings.
The event will feature performances and demonstrations by Brian Wild & His Interactive Animals, Steve the Magician, Tiger Schulmann's Martial Arts, and Music with Patrick. The event is being produced in collaboration with JMT Media and is chaired by Ilana French.
As a special treat, the Staten Island Wine Fairies will deliver a wine basket for mom and dad to enjoy during the show for an additional fee. Basket deliveries are open to Staten Island residents only, and sign-ups for the wine deliveries close Wednesday, July 22.
“The JCC is thrilled to be able to provide virtual entertainment for families while also raising much needed funds for Sunrise Day Camp,” said Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC. “We are so grateful to our volunteers and performers who are donating their time and talents to put this special afternoon together.”
Recognizing the extraordinary financial demands that a child’s chronic illness can have on a family, Sunrise Day Camp and its year-round and in-hospital programs are offered completely free of charge to all children being treated for cancer and their siblings, on a non-sectarian basis. The camp, which is celebrating its fifth year of service to children with cancer and their siblings, has been running virtually this year due to the campers’ health concerns.
Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is the only day camp for children with cancer in New York City and serves families from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey. The JCC raises funds for the camp through donations and community events, including the annual SunriseWALKS.
A member of the Sunrise Association, Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island is one of several camps in a growing network dedicated to providing safe, fun summer camp experiences for children with cancer and their siblings.
The virtual event costs $10 per household, with the option to add on a $25 wine delivery. Tickets and wine deliveries can be reserved here. For more information, contact Evett Shulman at email@example.com or 718.475.5256.
On Monday, May 4th and Tuesday, May 5th, Sweetest Smiles Photography will host a porch photography fundraiser benefitting the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC’s Families in Need, a special COVID-19 emergency fund. The fundraiser, which takes place in conjunction with Giving Tuesday Now, a national campaign to raise emergency funds for non-profit organizations, will support the JCC’s social service programs.
Any Staten Islander who signs up and donates to the JCC will receive a brief family photography session on their front porch. Time slots in the afternoons of Monday and Tuesday are available to book here.
Sweetest Smiles Photography has already raised over $1,000 for the JCC over the past few weeks through their front porch photography campaign.
“We are incredibly grateful to Sweetest Smiles Photography and all of the families who participated in this fundraiser so far,” noted JCC CEO David Sorkin. “This is a great way to get a beautiful family photo taken while also helping families in need across our community.”
Since the coronavirus crisis began, the Joan and Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island has stepped up to ensure that Staten Islanders in need had resources and support during this difficult time.
The Nancy Avis L’Dor V’Dor Awards, which are held every spring, are taking a different form this year to help those negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis on Staten Island.
This year, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island is turning the event virtual to raise funds for its Families in Need campaign, a COVID-19 emergency fund. Rather than an in-person event, funds will be raised by mail, online, and via text to help those affected by the loss of wages, food insecurity, and isolation. Individuals are encouraged to express their sentiments to the honorees by placing an ad in the digital journal, which will be posted on the JCC website for the duration of 2020.
The event, which is held annually and usually takes the form of a brunch, honors extraordinary women who have worked to improve the Staten Island community. This year, the honorees are:
Marcia Klein – First Generation Award
Yolanda Rudich – First Generation Award
Jennifer Straniere – First Generation Award
Flair Shalem – Next Generation Award
Dr. Gracelyn Santos – Bridge to the Community Award
The event is named in memory of Nancy Avis, the JCC’s first woman President of the Board of Trustees. Avis had a hand in many philanthropic causes that improved the quality of life on Staten Island.
“This is such a fitting tribute to Nancy’s legacy,” said Event Chair Kim Avis. “If she was still here, she would have been leading this campaign.”
“We’re all looking for ways to make a difference in our community. We appreciate that in honor of our five honorees who have done so much for our community, and in honor of our mom, we hope you’ll participate and help Families in Need,” said Dr. Victor Avis.
Families in Need supports the JCC’s social services, which have not stopped running since the crisis began. Staff have been distributing thousands of meals to seniors, as well as helping others who suffer from food insecurity through the JCC’s Kosher Food Pantry. JCC social services have gone completely virtual, with staff members providing access to health insurance navigation, mental health services, legal support resources, and other COVID-19 resources over the phone and email.
“Every year, the JCC serves over 6,000 people in crisis. This year, that number will grow as Staten Islanders experience hardships related to COVID-19. Without the help of the JCC, many people would not have food, legal services, health insurance, mental health services, and other critical services. With your support of our virtual L’Dor V’Dor campaign, together we can help Families in Need in our own Staten Island community,” said JCC CEO David Sorkin.
To learn more and support the event, click here.
Our members and staff recently celebrated Purim at several fun events!
First was the Café Europa Purim Celebration for Holocaust survivors. Children from the JCC’s after school program performed Purim songs and made baskets for the survivors. Everyone also celebrated Rabbi Romi Cohn’s 94th birthday! It was a touching event dedicated to keeping the light glowing.
On March 8, we had our Under-the-Sea-themed Purim Carnival. Kids had a fin-tastic time dressing as their favorite sea creatures, doing arts & crafts, making hamentaschen and more! Check out some pictures from our shell-ebration!
Last Tuesday, JCC staff members dressed to impress with their Purim costumes! The costume contest winners were the ECE staff, who dressed as “Tired Workers in PJ’s,” and the Marketing department, who sported their best country-western wear!
We hope you had a happy Purim!
We've got several great upcoming events in January and February!
First is Sunshine Sunday, our annual event benefitting Lucille and Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp! This year, we are proud to recognize Marie DiTommaso; Rosemarie Stazzone, RN, MS, CNE; and our Sunrise Walk Basket & Event Committee: Dawn Petermann, Debbie Monello, Andria O’Leary, and Joanne Vitale. The event will take place on Sunday, January 26th at the Old Bermuda Inn from 1-5pm.
Learn more and buy tickets here
We will also host the #RememberMe Brunch on Sunday, February 23rd from 10am-1pm at the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC. At the event, which benefits the JCC’s Family Solutions to Memory Loss, we will honor Cherine Hanna, Adele McMahon, LCSW-R, Jackie Reiter, LMSW, and Rabbi Stephen Stern, PhD.
Learn more and buy tickets here
We hope to see you at our events this winter!
On Sunday, November 17th, we joined with several community and faith-based organizations to hold a memorial ceremony honoring the lives of those we lost in the shootings in Pittsburgh and Poway. We are especially grateful to Rabbi Chuck Diamond, the former rabbi from Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, who spoke about his former congregants who were killed just over a year ago.
We will never forget their memories and continue to honor them by fighting against Anti-Semitism and hate of any kind.
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