Reflections from our CEO  

Over the course of the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure of attending various conferences and conventions centered around uniting and enriching JCCs across the country. I’ve met countless individuals deeply involved in their own JCC, and I’ve learned so much about what it means to be a part of this kind of community. It’s got me thinking – why are JCCs, and ours in particular, so special?

As I walk the halls of our Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center, I notice the tiny moments that punctuate a day with joy. I see the toddler running across the lobby, to the chagrin of his father but the delight of everyone else. I see the multi-generational dedication to physical health and wellness, be it in the weight room, spin room, or pool lanes. I can sing along with ELS students for Shabbat Sing on Friday mornings in the lobby, then walk down to the Phillips Social Hall where our seniors are being served delicious Kosher-style lunches, and recognize enjoyment on all faces – from age two, to ninety-two. And I know, this is the heart of community, and the reason why this JCC, our JCC, is very special indeed.

From the outside, this organization may appear to be just a fitness center, or just the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, or just JCC Camp Shai or Ranch Camp. But I know this is not true. What makes our community center so special is its position as the convergence of all these seemingly unrelated offerings; where wellness, culture, art, education, and Jewish tradition intersect. And what do I see and hear at this intersection?

Joy. Each and every day, joy.