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
Summer is always a magical time at the JCC, but this year, we are having even more fun. With over two thousand campers enrolled in all our programs, it is also a very busy time of year for us!
This year, we were able to do something special to over a dozen Ukrainian refugee families. For those in need, we were able to offer full scholarships to our day camp—which has allowed children who have been through extreme trauma to embrace the joys of childhood again. We are grateful to the Butler Foundation, A Chance In Life Foundation, and UJA-Federation of New York for allowing us to expand our camp scholarship program and support Ukrainian families in our community.
You may have heard the story of Maria, one of our Ukrainian campers. On her first day of camp she was extremely shy and spoke no English. Thankfully, we had Russian-speaking staff who were able to translate for her. Within a week, Maria was named “Friend of the Week” by her fellow campers—which was truly remarkable, but not out of the ordinary for our camp.
Photos courtesy of the Staten Island Advance
Last year, we saw a similar story play out when we offered scholarships to two foster children from Colombia. They had a blast at camp—making friends even though they did not speak English and were not familiar with American customs. It turns out that summer camp fun is the universal language! This story also has a happy ending, as we recently learned that the children were adopted by their host parent.
Last week, I visited one of our community-based camps at the Gerard Carter Center when we were visited by the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD). Commissioner Howard and I were so excited to see the kids engaged in STEM activities, dance, and sports—and the commissioner even took part in a game and bowled a spare!
Camp at the Carter Center is one of many summer programs we have throughout the community, including our Cornerstones, Beacons, and Summer Rising sites. In addition to these, we are also running basketball, soccer, and aquatics camps at the Bernikow Building.
Our newest mini-camp is called Summer Strings @ the J, an intensive program for intermediate and advanced young musicians. Our faculty member, Yvette Washington-Wheatley, has a special connection to us, as she was a scholarship recipient at the JCC’s own music school many years ago. We are very happy to welcome her back and to see how much the children are enjoying the program!
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of our Dorothy Delson Kuhn Music Institute later this year, it is inspiring to see the tradition of excellence continuing on.
No matter which camp program, our children go home at the end of the day with smiles on their faces—and that’s what’s most important to us. It truly warms my heart and reminds me why we do what we do. We know these kids will always remember the wonderful summers they spent with us and the friends they made along the way. The JCC is proud to be a place where magic happens every day!
-Orit Lender, CEO
The Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island is gearing up for another great season for its Core 24 Basketball Academy.
Core 24, the JCC’s new-and-improved basketball academy, offers youth training programs at all skill levels, from beginner recreational players to advanced competitors. Good sportsmanship and character, along with athletic excellence and skill, are at the heart of these programs.
After a soft launch in spring of 2020, Core 24 offered its first program—a summer camp—last year. Building on this success, the academy has continued to offer a wide range of basketball training programs, including camps, clinics, and lessons, ever since.
Mike Reape, Director of Core 24, said, “Once we were allowed to open and run our camp last year, we never looked back. Kids really responded to playing basketball and having fun together after spending so much time at home.”
Core 24 kicks off its fall programming in September with a series of “tune-up” clinics to help players brush up on their skills before the season starts. The fall training session runs from October 5 through December 23, and is followed by a holiday training clinic.
“We have an exciting lineup of programs for the fall. We can’t wait to welcome back our players and see some new faces in the gym,” said Reape.
In addition to these seasonal programs, Core 24 also offers year-round training for players at all levels, including CYO training and scrimmages.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC said, “We’ve always been proud to provide excellent sports and recreation programs for island youth, but it takes on special significance after the year and a half we’ve all been through. We know these programs are making a difference in kids’ lives by helping them stay active, make new friends, and be involved with something positive.”
Click here to learn more about Core 24 Basketball Academy programs and sign up for the fall season.
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.
In addition to its traditional summer camp offerings, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island will offer sports camp experiences, including basketball, soccer, gymnastics, and swimming, along with a performing arts camp.
Specialized sports programs will include Core 24 Basketball Academy Camp, JCC Soccer Academy Camp, USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Training Camp, and Trident Aquatics Camp. These camps offer instruction tailored for children at every skill level, from beginners to more advanced competitors. Beyond building athletic skills, campers will learn positive values like good sportsmanship while also having fun and making new friends.
Basketball, soccer, and gymnastics camps will take place from June 28 to August 20, with options to register for up to 8 weeks. Aquatics camp will take place from June 28 to July 30, with options to register for up to 5 weeks. Sibling discounts are available for all sports camps.
The JCC will also offer a performing arts camp, run by IlluminArt Productions. Now in its second year, the program gives children a taste of all aspects of theater, including improvisation, acting, dance, and music. At the end of the program, campers will perform an original play to showcase all that they learned.
Parents can choose one of two weeks for performing arts camp, which will take place the week of July 12 and the week of August 2. The JCC is offering a discount when registered performing arts campers refer a friend.
Last summer, the JCC implemented COVID-19 safety protocols and dedicated itself to giving children across the island as normal a summer as possible.
Orit Lender, CEO of the JCC, said, “Whether your child is returning to camp, joining us after missing last summer, or signing up for a JCC program for the very first time, know that our campers’ safety is our top priority. Our specialty camps are a great opportunity for kids to do the things they love or discover a new passion, stay active, and socialize. We know how important these programs are to so many children because of how much they’ve missed in this past year.”
The JCC’s specialty camps are part of a robust menu of camp offerings, including traditional day camp, Marvin’s Camp for Children with Special Needs, Lucille & Jay Chazanoff Sunrise Day Camp-Staten Island, and free community camp programs at sites across the Island. Last year, these programs served over 700 campers at 9 locations, with no positive COVID tests at any point during the summer.
You can learn more about the JCC’s specialty camps and register here.
As part of its COVID-19 Connect to Recovery program, the Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC of Staten Island is providing weekly donations of food to over 100 people who are affiliated with its soccer program.
After hearing from JCC Head Soccer Coach Alejandro Jimenez about how families in program were struggling due to the pandemic, JCC Director of Sports & Recreation Mike Reape knew he had to do something.
“Hearing the stories of what happened to our soccer families was heartbreaking,” said Reape. “Several of our kids lost parents. Other families have been out of work and are unable to afford basic necessities, like food. And many of these families have multi-generational households, so they are even more at risk of being negatively affected by this pandemic.”
Reape reached out to his coworkers in the JCC’s Social Services Department to arrange a donation to these families. Packages from the JCC’s Kosher Food Pantry—enough to feed each family for a week—now go out to these families once a week. Jimenez and other volunteers from the program deliver the food to 19 families across the Island.
“It’s part of our values at the JCC to help the community, and that starts with being there for our own participants and members when they need us. I’m so glad we are able to help these families,” Reape noted.
This donation is just part of the JCC’s overall response to the pandemic. Last month, we launched COVID-19 Connect to Recovery. The program allows Staten Islanders to access social services to help them recover from the effects of the crisis. All participants in the program have an initial comprehensive intake and assessment to see what services they are eligible to receive.
For more information on COVID-19 Connect to Recovery services, contact Carolyn Magliolo at COVID19@sijcc.com or 718.475.5264.
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
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
2221 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island, NY 10314