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
With the recent uptick in violent incidents, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island has begun offering Krav Maga classes to help Staten Islanders protect themselves from harm.
Developed for the Israeli Defense Forces, Krav Maga is a self-defense system that focuses on instincts and practical techniques for hand-to-hand combat. Unlike many other martial arts, which focus on form, Krav Maga emphasizes real-world, situational preparedness.
The JCC’s Krav Maga classes will teach participants fighting stances, attacks, and defenses. The program will also equip learners with techniques to defend themselves when confronted with weapons such as knives, bats, and close-range guns, as well as threats from multiple attackers.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “While the recent rise of violent incidents against Jews is heartbreaking, we know that there is work we can do to help make our community a safer place for all. That includes not only speaking out against hatred, but empowering people to protect themselves.”
While the JCC was prompted to offer Krav Maga classes in response to violence against Jews across the city and nation, these classes are open to everyone interested in learning self-defense techniques. Krav Maga also benefits stability, flexibility, coordination, cardiovascular health, and mental well-being.
The JCC currently offers 8-week Krav Maga classes, as well as drop-in options, at its Bernikow building on Manor Road. Female-only and male-only classes are also available. The classes are open to learners of all ages. Discounts are available when registering multiple family members.
To learn more and register for Krav Maga classes, click here.
Between the stresses of keeping up with 2020’s news cycle and spending so much more time at home as the pandemic continues to disrupt daily routines, it’s only natural that many of us have put on some extra weight over the last few months. Losing weight is already something that so many of us struggle with but, in 2021, it can be even more difficult—and more urgent—than ever before.
According to the CDC and recent scientific studies, overweight COVID-19 patients are twice as likely to be admitted to the hospital for care. Health professionals suggest that in addition to taking preventative measures like wearing a mask and social distancing, one of the best things you can do to protect yourself during the pandemic is to lose a few pounds if you are overweight. While losing weight won’t stop you from being infected, it can help you avoid a more difficult, or even fatal, battle with the virus.
The good news is that it’s not too late to make changes—like eating right and exercising—that can help you be your healthiest when it matters most and get you out of the “quarantine slump” you might be experiencing.
COVID-19 transmission in gyms in New York has been incredibly low, prompting the Governor to keep gyms open despite closing other indoor spaces. The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island's fitness center was given the green light to reopen in September and has quickly adjusted to operating in the “new normal” we are living in. In addition to the Fitness Center and Indoor Pool, the JCC is also offering outdoor and virtual classes for those at higher risk.
Membership has continued to grow despite the pandemic. Jill Gottlieb, Chief Program Director of Membership & Wellness Services at the JCC, believes people are joining because of all the benefits exercise can have, especially during these difficult times. Gottlieb explained, “Our members are thinking about their health and trying to position themselves to be in better shape to fight off COVID-19 in the future.”
New gym-goers are also enjoying the mental health benefits of exercise. While exercise alone can’t treat depression and anxiety, research has shown that it can reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life for individuals dealing with these issues. During the pandemic, this takes on new importance as health experts have expressed concern over a widespread mental health crisis that has emerged from the coronavirus pandemic.
Gottlieb believes mental health has been a big factor in JCC members’ decision to visit the fitness center, “People have been cooped up at home for months. Going to the gym provides the routine and the change of scenery that they’re craving.” She added an important caveat—the need to follow safety protocols while getting out of the house. “Our members come to the gym to improve their health, not to put it at risk. Our number one priority will always be your well-being, which is why we’re following all of the CDC guidelines on wearing masks, social distancing, limiting capacity, and increasing cleaning.”
The JCC’s Fitness Center is currently operating at 25% capacity and requires members to make reservations in advance on the JCC website, over the phone, or by email. Members must wear masks at all times. The gym schedules 15-minute cleaning breaks every hour to ensure that all equipment and high touch points are sanitized. Staff members have also cordoned off every other machine to promote adequate social distancing within the facility.
One JCC member remarked, “The staff is doing a great job keeping me safe. Plus, with all the distance between me and the other members, I feel like I’m at my own private gym!”
In these unpredictable times, many gym-goers find that they want flexible membership options. The JCC is making it easy for new members to take control of their health with their Wellness membership special. Wellness members can access the fitness center, indoor pool, and outdoor group exercise classes with monthly membership renewals and no enrollment fee. With no contract commitment required, new members can join the gym on their own schedule without worrying about what the future will bring.
For more information on JCC memberships, click here, call 718.475.5223, or email email@example.com.
Introducing Our NEW Fitness App
Here at the JCC, we believe in promoting wellness. We want all of our members to get the most out of our facilities and achieve their goals. This is why we’re launching our official fitness app!
With our app, you can set goals, challenge yourself, and record all of your workout data to track your progress. On this user-friendly mobile platform, you can access specials, see our fitness schedules and add classes to your calendar, and more! It is also integrated with wearable technology—like that Fitbit you might have received for the holidays—and other fitness apps you may be using. And, because every goal is so much more attainable when we have support from others, you can even virtually cheer on all of your friends at the J!
We’re so excited about how this app can improve your experience at the JCC and hope that you’ll take advantage of all it has to offer. It is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store—just search for “JCC of Staten Island.” You can also visit https://qrco.de/bbMVKI to download the app.
This firsthand account was written by Allison Cohen, Director of Marketing & Communications at the JCC.
Barre class is one of the hot new millennial fitness trends, with studios dedicated to it popping up all around the country. But on Staten Island, barre is incredibly hard to find. That’s why I was so excited when—partially based on my urging—the JCC’s Fitness Department started offering classes this October.
I felt like I had to try it, not just because I’m a millennial and wanted to look as cool as the influencers I follow on Instagram, but because it looked like a fun workout. I’m no fitness newbie, but I usually stick to spin class or yoga, with an occasional weight-lifting session thrown in. Still, I was scared, because from everything I had heard, barre is hard.
Unsure of whether or not to brave barre, I took an Instagram poll to see what my friends thought. The results were overwhelmingly positive, with many friends and followers DM-ing me to tell me how much they loved barre. One friend who messaged me happens to work out at the JCC regularly and offered to take the class with me. We made plans to meet up that Tuesday after work.
Tuesday night rolled around, and despite the fact that I wanted to chicken out, knowing that my friend was coming forced me to take the class. Our instructor, Teri, asked everyone in the class if we had taken barre before, and it turned out we were all fist timers. Thankfully, Teri went slowly and gave modifications for anyone who needed them (aka me).
Here are a few things I learned from class:
Overall, I had a great time in class. It was tons of fun, and I felt great afterwards, despite the burning sensation in my legs. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you’re interested in trying barre as a first timer, since it’s an uncompetitive and accommodating class. And if you see me in the back of the class, come say hi!
Pictured: Me right after barre class, in all my sweaty glory
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