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
Since the start of the school year, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island has served hundreds of children and their families as a Learning Bridges provider for the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD).
Learning Bridges is a free program designed to support children on their remote schooling days. On days when children are scheduled for remote schooling under the city’s blended learning model, students enrolled in Learning Bridges report to their designated site. The JCC operates five of these locations for Staten Island, including sites at their Bernikow and Avis buildings, as well as their three Cornerstone Community Centers.
Each day, JCC Learning Bridges staff members help students log into their remote learning sessions and guide them through the classwork assigned by their teachers, offering academic support to supplement missed classroom time. Students also enjoy recreational and creative activities, such as sports, time outside, and arts and crafts. The pandemic has changed what childhood looks like in many ways, but Learning Bridges gives students back opportunities to be around other children, express themselves, and engage in important social-emotional development.
When offered the opportunity to become a Learning Bridges provider in the fall, the JCC was eager to use its expertise in youth programming to offer a safe and enriching program for children that would also benefit their parents. For many working parents who cannot stay home on remote schooling days, Learning Bridges is an essential childcare service.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Very early on in the pandemic, we recognized that families were going to struggle long term. The ability to have their children come to the JCC, where we can provide a safe environment, was something we knew we had an expertise in doing and we wanted to help families navigate this really uncharted timeframe.”
As New York City begins its transition to post-pandemic life, the JCC remains committed to serving the changing needs of Staten Island children and their families. With schools likely to return to full-time in-person learning in the fall, the JCC will once again offer its afterschool program, Explorers. Explorers, which runs at the JCC’s Bernikow building, aims to expand children’s minds with academic support and STEAM activities, nourish their bodies with sports and recreation, and promote mindfulness with social-emotional learning activities.
The JCC will host open houses for Explorers on June 15 and June 23 from 4pm-8pm, by appointment only. Families interested in learning more about the program can sign up for an appointment 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.
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.
We are so excited to announce our new Core 24 Summer Basketball Camp, under the direction of Mike Reape, our Director of Sports & Recreation!
Core 24 Basketball Camp will help kids become well-rounded basketball players through drills that develop game IQ and skills like ball handling and shooting. Our program includes activities tailored to every child’s age and skill level. When they’re not practicing or having friendly competitions, campers will have fun playing board games and swimming! Learn more HERE!
Due to COVID-19-related closures, our spring programs are currently on hold.
Stay tuned for future programs!
With a wide array of sports, aquatics, music, and other youth programs, there’s something for everyone at the JCC! Try something new this spring or stick with your favorite activity!
We offer programs in a variety of sports, each intended to promote physical wellness, skill-building, good sportsmanship, and most of all, fun!
Our new program is led by seasoned coach Terence Simpson, who has 15 years of experience. He currently coaches Varsity Volleyball at Bay Ridge Preparatory School, and he’s excited to get Volleyball at the J underway! All classes will take place at the Bernikow building.
Thursdays, 10 weeks, April 16 - June 25
Since joining us in the winter, Head Coach Alejandro Jimenez has led our soccer program to new successes! With classes for players at all levels, this program will help your child develop skills and passion for the game. All classes will take place at the Bernikow building.
*Note: There will be no classes on May 24 and May 25.
Mike Reape's Core 24 Basketball Academy, under the leadership of Sports and Recreation Director Mike Reape and Associate Director Bloochy Magloire, is a new program designed to help your child build skills and character on and off the court. Classes will take place at the Bernikow and Avis buildings.
*Note: There will be no classes on May 24 and May 25.
Our W20 Quick Start Tennis Youth program is ready to serve up a great season for kids at all ages and levels. Classes will take place at the Bernikow JCC and Staten Island Academy.
*Note: There will be no classes on May 24
Sundays, 10 weeks, April 19 – June 28
Get more information and sign up here
Spring swimming lessons are a great option for swimmers at every skill level! If your child is new to the pool, you can be sure that they’ll learn the skills they need to have a safe and fun summer. And more advanced swimmers can continue having fun in the pool year-round! All classes will take place at the Bernikow JCC.
We also offer private swim lessons. Click here for more information, including details on class requirements and curriculum, and to register.
For 50 years, the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute at the JCC has offered instruction to students at every level and interest. We have classes for parents and children to enjoy together, along with classes specializing in different instruments and music styles.
Join us for a special Songwriting Workshop--one session only--Sunday, March 15, 4pm – 5pm
This year, we’re celebrating the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island’s 90th birthday. As the JCC turns 90, we reflect back on the milestones the organization has achieved over the years.
February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month, a worldwide effort to raise awareness and advocate for people with disabilities. At the JCC, we believe that providing services to people with disabilities is a core component to everything we do, and we have a long history of creating programs to support their needs.
We continued to expand our offerings for people with disabilities to help during at all stages of life. In 1989, under the direction of Early Childhood Education Director Beth Howard, the JCC developed the First Foot Forward Program, an educational program for young children with speech delays, sensory needs, and motor issues. The program started out small and continued to grow under the guidance of Jayne Smith, our Chief Program Director for Early Childhood and Disability Services. The current program, which is offered at three sites, includes individualized instruction with different types of therapy for children’s various needs.
In the summers, children of all abilities are able to create wonderful memories and make new friends at summer camp. Marvin’s Camp for Children with Special Needs, named in memory of Marvin Weissglass, is a unique recreational summer program customized for children with disabilities. Campers are able to enjoy the great outdoors, go on trips, and socialize in a safe and inclusive environment.
We engage our participants in opportunities to be healthy, social, and active members of the community with a maximum degree of independence.
Watch this video from UJA Federation of New York of our Day Hab participants enjoying their music class.
Acceptance and inclusion are key components to all of our programming at the JCC. We offer inclusion opportunities in many of our traditional programs, including sports, camp, and after school programs, so that children and young adults with disabilities are able to take part in a wide array of activities.
In every one of our sites, we emphasize the importance of creating a space where everyone feels welcome. The JCC is proud to be a place where people of all abilities can feel safe and included, and most importantly, where they can learn and have fun.
When we think of summer camp, we tend to think about our experiences as younger children. However, at the JCC, we know that positive, safe summer camp experiences are just as important to older kids as they are to little ones. This is why we offer Camp Nesiyah, better known as Teen Travel, for kids entering 8th and 9th grade.
Recognizing that teens’ interests differ from our younger campers’, we tailor our Teen Travel program to include trips teens will enjoy most, while remaining true to the core principles of JCC Camp—friendship, discovery, and fun. Teen Travelers have the opportunity to adventure and try new things every day, while also building strong friendships with their fellow campers.
Each day of camp, Teen Travelers will visit favorite summer locations and discover new ones. Trips in the past have included water parks, amusement parks, Broadway shows, sporting events, museums, boardwalks, hands-on activities, rock climbing, laser tag, and much more! Campers will also enjoy overnight trips, including a 3 day trip to Busch Gardens and Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia! As we gear up for Summer 2020, our camp staff is hard at work to plan even more awesome excursions for this year!
Does your teen want to spend their summer going on fun adventures with their friends? Be sure to sign up for Teen Travel camp at camp.sijcc.org!
In September, we launched our reimagined after school program, Explorers: Kids Building Our World, which was designed to promote holistic development for children in our community. Every day after school gets out, kids come here to the J to participate in activities that stimulate their minds, bodies, and spirits.
When the kids arrive, they have a healthy snack before settling in to do their homework. DOE-certified teachers are on hand to ensure that everyone gets the academic support they may need. Next, the kids participate in scheduled activities based on their age group. With a wide variety of activities, there’s sure to be something enriching and enjoyable for every child!
Our program is centered on three core ideas: Expand Your Mind, Nourish the Body, and Mindfulness. To expand their minds, our Explorers take music lessons at the Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute, play chess and other games, and take part in STEAM activities and arts and crafts. To nourish their bodies, they play sports and Gaga, do fitness activities like Kidzercise, Yoga, Zumba, and Jiu Jitsu, and participate in cooking projects that teach them to make healthy nutrition choices. The kids also practice mindfulness, a key part of mental and spiritual development, by participating in meditation circles and social-emotional learning activities, and by learning about Jewish values.
The Explorers program is a great opportunity for kids to spend a few hours working on homework, learning new things, and socializing with their friends. It’s also a great option for parents who work late. They can feel confident that their children are in an environment that is safe, nurturing, enriching, and, of course, fun!
To learn more or sign up for Explorers, contact Lisa Quinn at LQuinn@sijcc.com.
One thing that makes the JCC’s Camp special is that we offer year-round programming so that the fun doesn’t have to stop when summer ends! This month, our campers had so many opportunities to hang out with their friends from camp!
Campers started off the new year together at the 13th annual Camp Reunion on January 5. They were treated to a fun afternoon complete with bouncy inflatables, entertainment by Jester Jim, and a build-your-own sundae bar! The kids loved seeing all of their friends and counselors from camp! Check out some great photos from the event here:
Next up were Camp 365 and Middle School Madness, two monthly programs that allow campers to enjoy a variety of camp-like activities while their parents enjoy some quiet time on a Saturday night. Noting the chilly January weather, the kids made cute penguin crafts and some tasty penguin treats!
On January 19, the campers got together again for a Frozen-themed Sunday Funday. After watching the film, the kids were inspired by the catchy tune, “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?” so everyone built their own edible snowman out of donuts!
No matter what your kid loves, we have a program for them! Check out our winter schedule, and click on each class to get more information on how to sign up!
Our winter soccer program, led by our new Head Coach Alejandro Jimenez, includes classes for players at all levels. The session runs from January 5 - April 10. There will be no programs the week of February 16 - 21. All classes take place at the Bernikow Building.
Our winter basketball program includes introductory classes for players of various ages, as well as advanced training opportunities. The session runs from January 5 - April 11. There will be no classes February 17 - 21. We offer classes at both the Avis building and the Bernikow Building.
Our winter tennis program runs on Sundays from January 5 - April 5. There will be no classes on February 16. Lessons take place at the Bernikow Building or Staten Island Academy (715 Todt Hill Road). Private lessons are also available.
Get more information and sign up here
Winter swimming lessons are a great option for swimmers at every skill level! If your child is new to the pool, you can be sure that they’ll learn the skills they need to have a safe and fun summer in a few months. And more advanced swimmers can continue having fun in the pool year-round!
There will be 6 classes during the winter swim session, with one make-up class offered. Classes begin the week of January 5. All classes take place at the Bernikow Building.
Get more information and sign up here
The winter session is a great time to introduce your child to the joys of music! We have class options for children of all ages and we also offer opportunities for parents and children to make music together!
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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
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Staten Island, NY 10314