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
Our staff and members came together on the morning of September 11th to pay tribute to those we lost on 9/11. We appreciate all who joined us as we honored the memories of those we lost 18 years ago.
We continue to honor those we lost by collecting donations of socks and gloves for people in need this winter, to be distributed through our Food Pantry. Donations will be accepted in the Bernikow Building lobby through the end of September.
The concert is a continuation of a Polish-Jewish dialogue that focuses on nurturing heritage, religion and multiculturalism. The concert will be accompanied by Poland’s leading tango ensemble Tango Attack. The concert will take place at the Bernikow Building on Sunday, September 22nd at 3pm.
The multilingual repertoire of this project includes songs in Polish, Yiddish, and Hebrew, reflecting the distinct international expressions of interwar Warsaw. As the tango craze swept through Europe, Warsaw became the eastern European capital of tango and bore witness to the birth of the dance form’s most eclectic permutation, combining Slavic and Jewish elements with Argentinian musical influences.
It was upon her discovery of one such song, Białostocki’s “Rebecca,” that Olga first fell in love with Yiddish tango, fascinated by how the music reflects the complexity of Polish-Jewish coexistence. Raised a devout Catholic, Olga was inspired to dive deeper into Jewish culture after a life-changing interfaith visit to Auschwitz. After the visit, she began to study Yiddish and made it her mission to bring Yiddish back to the Jewish people. Today, Olga practices Orthodox Judaism and resides in Israel.
Olga’s repertoire includes a wide variety of songs from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, some of which were popular tunes in their time, and others that had been forgotten and only recently revived by Olga and her band for a contemporary audience. In the concert program, Olga shares the unique history of each melody, weaving together compelling stories of Yiddish stars from the Old World.
Last year, Olga presented Yiddish Tango from Warsaw at Toronto’s Ashkenaz Festival and presented concerts and workshops at the internationally acclaimed klezmer gathering KlezKanada. Olga’s concerts often feature special guest singers and musicians such as legendary singer Sława Przybylska, acclaimed jazz pianist from Toronto Ron Davis, and leading Israeli performers. In 2013, Olga toured North America with a project Polesye – Jewish Folksongs from Shtetl, a project inspired by the repertoire of Miriam Nirenberg, with concerts at Atrium at Lincoln Center, Chutzpah! Festival, Jewish Music Festival in Berkeley, and the JCC East Bay in Berkeley.
The concert is part of a tour that includes performances at the JCC of Manhattan and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. It is presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.
Tickets are $18 in advance and $25 at the door. The event will be followed by a dessert reception. To purchase tickets, contact Sigalit Grego at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718.475.5276.
Come meet Buzz Lightyear, Elsa, and more of your children’s favorite characters at our Character Breakfast on Sunday, September 8th at 9am at the Bernikow JCC. In addition to photo opportunities, the breakfast includes arts & crafts, kids’ activities, music, and a chance to learn more about JCC’s fall programs.
The breakfast acts as a kickoff for our fall youth programs, which begin the week of September 15th. In addition to old favorites like soccer, music, gymnastics, and basketball, this year we are offering new classes like yoga, jiu-jitsu, and gaga.
Other new youth programs include Camp 365, Middle School Madness, and Teen Travel 365 to keep the spirit of camp going throughout the year.
We hope to see you at the Character Breakfast and fall programs! For more information on fall programming, click here.
Our Annual Golf, Tennis & Bocce Classic was held on Monday, July 15, 2019 at the Richmond County Country Club. Participants enjoyed a fun and competitive day while knowing that their efforts supported a worthwhile cause – providing camp and preschool scholarships children in need.
At the event, the JCC honored individuals and businesses that have worked tirelessly to improve the lives of children on Staten Island. This year’s honorees were Catholic Charities of Staten Island, Cory Schifter, Jeanine & John Tardy Family, and the Verrazano Kiwanis Club of Staten Island.
“The JCC is incredibly grateful to our honorees for their generosity and commitment to helping Staten Island’s neediest children,” said David Sorkin, CEO of the JCC of Staten Island. “We are also thankful to our co-chairs, Alan Poritz and Lenore Schwartz, and our Bocce Chair, Bob Cutrona, for putting this wonderful day together. We all had a great time today, but at the same time every one of you made a difference in the life of a child, and that’s what’s most important.”
Over the past 39 years, the event has raised over $1,500,000 in scholarship money.
Two very special events took place this month to raise much needed funds for the Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island. The first, Sunrise Freestyle Dance Party, gave fans of freestyle music a chance to dance while raising money for a good cause. The party took place at Angelina’s Ristorante on Thursday, July 11th. At the event, we honored two Sunrise nurses, Jennifer Deddo and Nicole DePaulo, for their incredible work. The evening was capped off with a performance by special guest Cynthia, a freestyle artist.
The second event, Sunrise Night in White, took place at the Stone House on Thursday, July 18th. The elegant evening on the water honored restauranteurs Peter Botros and Phil Farinacci. Those who attended were treated to a performance by opera singer Evangelos Giamouris. The event was presented by the United Federation of Teachers.
Click here for more pictures of Sunrise Freestyle Dance party.
Click here for pictures from Sunrise Night in White.
Proceeds from the gala supported the JCC’s KIDS IN NEED programs. For thousands of Staten Island children and young adults, these programs provide a lifeline—whether it is helping them deal with disabilities, cancer, or severe economic hardship. Programs include early intervention for preschool children with developmental disabilities, afterschool activities for children and teens with development disabilities, day habilitation for young adults with developmental, cognitive and physical disabilities, a food pantry for children and families with food insecurities, and camps for children with cancer or special needs.
The evening included a special video tribute to Allan Weissglass, the namesake of the award, who passed away earlier this year.
“Our recipients this year far exceed the criteria for receiving this award for their dedication, leadership, and generosity to the JCC and the community-at-large,” said David Sorkin, CEO of the JCC. “This year’s event is especially meaningful, as we will commemorate the extraordinary life of Allan Weissglass. We are proud to see Frank Oswald and the Staten Island Advance & Staff carrying on his legacy of service and leadership. The JCC is also incredibly grateful to our Diamond Sponsors, Joan & Alan Bernikow, Lucille & Jay Chazanoff, and Dina & Frank Oswald, for their support of this event.”
“It’s about the community -- it’s a Jewish Community Center -- but it’s really about the community,” Oswald said as he accepted the award, before reading a letter he received from a young counselor at the JCC’s Sunrise Day Camp. “It’s about getting involved. I got that letter and I said, big 'C' on the community, that’s what’s important."
Caroline Harrison, publisher of the Staten Island Advance, noted the significance of the award due to her personal connection to Weissglass, “I learned so much from Allan, especially the way he treated people. He connected. Whether it was the museum director or the security guard at the door, Allan treated them with the same respect. He knew them by name, and they knew Allan. It was a basic sense of human decency. How much we can all learn from that.”
“We are honored to welcome these new board members and thank them for volunteering their time and talents to the JCC,” said CEO David Sorkin. “As we enter our 90th year, we are excited for all that lies ahead. We would not be able to continue to grow without the support of our incredible Board of Directors, so we are incredibly grateful for their service.”
At the meeting, there was a special tribute Allan Weissglass, a JCC board member for over 40 years who passed away earlier this year. A plaque dedicated in his memory will hang in the upstairs hallway of the Bernikow Building.
We also acknowledged our staff members who have over a decade of service with us. Those staff members are Andrea Culotta, Audra DiBenedetto, Marie Fago, Angela Fazio, Debra Fredrick, Enza Galestro, Brandon Lindo, Antonella Maniscalco, Shimon Nachmias, Deborah Nalitt, Iris Napolitano, Bonnie Rosner, Jessie Schwartz, Devorah Weiss, and Rebecca Zuker.
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1466 Manor Road
Staten Island, NY 10314
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BERMAN EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
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