Updated May 14, 1:00 pm

Dear JCC Community,

As you know, Mayor Hancock has extended Denver’s “Safer At Home” initiative through May 26 and is urging everyone to continue to stay at home unless absolutely necessary to ensure the health and safety of our community. Meanwhile, our JCC Reopen Team and Medical Task Force have been working diligently to map out plans for the reopen of the JCC facility over the next weeks and months and I would like to take the opportunity to share that information with you. Please remember that our plans are subject to change at any point in time.

PHASE 1 (STARTING JUNE 1): 

  • Fitness Center opens for personal training only
  • Tennis Center opens for private lessons only

Information on how to sign up for personal training sessions and tennis lessons soon to come. Personal training sessions and tennis lessons will be made available to everyone – no membership will be required.

PHASE 2 (STARTING JUNE 29): 

  • Camp Shai Pod Camp begins June 29
  • Early Learning School opens June 29
  • Family Camp sessions begin July 1
  • WTA sessions begins July 6

The Early Learning School is scheduled to reopen Monday, June 29. Camp Shai is currently scheduled to begin session one of Pod Camp on June 29, with Virtual Camp beginning June 1. Session one of Ranch Camp’s Family Camp is currently scheduled to begin July 1. The Wolf Theatre Academy is currently scheduled to begin session one of their camp on Monday, July 6. Registration for Family Camp is now open. The application process for Camp Shai and WTA is currently in progress. Formal registration for both Camp Shai and WTA is forthcoming as well as information surrounding priority registration as we await formal CDC and state guidelines. We have been in close communication with our camp families throughout the process. If you are interested in our summer 2020 camp offerings and not receiving these updates but would like to, please email us at info@jccdenver.org.

PHASE 3 (START DATE TBD)
•    Pools open in some capacity
•    Fitness and Tennis expand program offerings
•    Family and adult programs begin to occur in-person

The effective date for Phase 3 is yet to be determined. We will be reviewing the guidelines in place from the CDC, national, state, and local officials to determine when it’s safe to begin Phase 3 and ensure that the best practices are in place. There is a chance that these program areas could reopen in a different phase. We are waiting until the appropriate guidelines are made available and protocols are properly in place. As we get closer to this milestone, we will inform you of how this impacts your membership and the priority it will afford you.

We understand that many of you are anxious to return to our beloved JCC. Please know that our priority (as always) is to plan for the safest reopen of the J as is possible. The necessary protocols and supplies needed to make this happen are challenging but we have some of the most qualified people at the helm. We are grateful to all of you for your continued support and we will be in touch as formal protocols to ensure are safe reopening are put in place and our overall plans move forward.

Stay healthy and safe and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

UPDATED MAY 11, 4:00 PM

Dear JCC Community,

Typically, April represents a wonderful time of hope for us here in Denver. It introduces springtime, although there is always a late spring storm. It brings the joy of the Passover and Easter holidays, celebrations of life and renewal with our families and friends and a return to outdoor activities. At the JCC, our halls are usually buzzing with even more activity as we get ready for our summer programming and the launch of our summer pool season.

April 2020 could not have been more different. Last month was marked by hardship and uncertainty. For 50 days, 1200 hours, 72,000 minutes, and 4,320,000 seconds (but who was counting?), the doors to our beloved JCC remained closed.

I am writing today to update you on the next steps on the path ahead of us. While uncertainty continues to be a defining characteristic of the period in which we are living, it has become clear that we will be dealing with COVID-19 for some time to come. Teams of people across the JCC have been working to anticipate and plan for the next set of actions that will be needed in numerous areas of our JCC’s life as we navigate the evolving situation.

As we approach the next phase of “safer-at-home”, we know that many people in our community are eager for a sense of what the re-start of our operations will look like. As much as we all yearn to get back to normal, our consultations with public health experts tell us that it is imperative for our eventual re-start of JCC operations to occur in a phased, measured, careful manner.

We do not intend to have everyone return physically to the JCC all at once and are working on a phased re-opening approach that will ensure the health and safety of the JCC’s staff, families, visitors, and the broader community.

This being said, we will be communicating regularly over the next few weeks as we develop our reopening plan in more detail.

With May’s arrival, we see the return of sunshine, flowers, and a fresh start. For the JCC, this fresh start means recommitting to living our purpose of Kehila (Community) and Osher (Wellbeing).

Have a safe and healthy weekend.

Shabbat Shalom,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

 

UPDATED MAY 3, 8:00 AM

Dear JCC Denver Camp Families,

Each year, hundreds of families entrust the JCC with their beloved children during the summer months. It is a remarkable responsibility and one that we not only treasure, but take very seriously. Our camp teams work year-round to build the physical community that campers and staff are a part of each summer. Whether you spend your summer months at the JCC, at Graland Country Day School, in Elbert, CO, on the tennis courts, or lighting up the stage in the Elaine Wolf Theatre, we are all one amazing community.

As the health and safety of our community remains our number one priority, it has become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that we cannot guarantee the safety and well-being of our camp community running camps in the way we all know and love. After careful consideration and countless hours of planning, we have decided to make some drastic changes to our 2020 camp season. These changes, outlined below, were developed with a singular goal in mind: to continue the tradition of summers at the J while making certain that campers and staff can have a safe summer experience.

GENERAL CAMP UPDATES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  1. All JCC summer camp programs scheduled to run in-person, in June, have been cancelled. Please continue reading for the options available to you regarding your registration fees.
  2. JCC Ranch Camp is getting a completely new look, launching a summer of JCC Family Camp open to in-state families. This option is designed to keep everyone involved safe and allow those able to not miss a summer at the Ranch. Please continue reading for more information about this program.
  3. At this time, we plan to start Camp Shai on Monday, June 29 and Wolf Theatre Academy on Monday, July 6. Please continue reading for more information about the shape in which these programs will take when they start back up. Spoiler alert, it’s very different, but will still be amazing!
  4. Serve, Snack, and Splash has been cancelled for the summer. Please continue reading for the options available to you regarding your registration fees.

SUMMER 2020 PROGRAM OFFERINGS

Ranch Camp
Sadly, we have made the heartbreaking decision to cancel Ranch Camp as you know it for the entire 2020 season. The Ranch Camp experience is based on campers and staff being together – living in cabins, participating in activities, gathering around the campfire, and eating together in the dining hall. The CDC guidelines and the local Health Department requirements make this experience nearly impossible.

However, our Ranch Camp team has developed an exciting Family Camp offering that you may want to consider. It allows families to enjoy the beauty and solitude of Ranch Camp as a family unit.

Learn more about Family Camp >

Camp Shai
With the realities of COVID-19, Camp Shai has developed two models of camps this summer: Pod Camp (in-person camp) and Virtual Specialty Camps. These programs were designed using guidelines from the CDC and the American Camping Association and the Colorado Department of Health and Human Services, as well as with input from other local day camps.

Learn more about Camp Shai’s programs >

Wolf Theatre Academy
The 2020 Wolf Theatre Academy summer will be comprised of three sessions – each two weeks long – offering specialized, intensive-style performing arts classes in “class pods” of 10 students or less. We will offer four unique classes/productions each session in four separate spaces. We will be providing all currently registered students with a survey to gauge interest in specific content for the summer, and will use this information to create specific class offerings tailored to the interests of our student population. Options might include classes in musical theatre, dance and acting as well as some selected, abbreviated non-musical productions. We may also offer an introductory class in theatre for younger/beginner students as well as an improvisation class. Course tuition can be transferred from Mainstage Production Classes directly to individual session courses.

Learn more about WTA’s potential offerings >
Already registered for WTA? Take our program interest survey >

FINANCIAL OPTIONS – WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH MY REGISTRATION FEES

The financial implications of delaying our day camps and closing Ranch Camp are serious and we continue to make crucial financial choices to stabilize our finances that include cutting expenses wherever possible and pursuing CARES Act/SBA loan and grant programs. That said, the key drivers of the JCC’s financial model are registration fees and philanthropy. The loss of our registration fees means that we must depend more heavily on the generosity of people who love camp and value our place in the Jewish world and our future.

Options for Ranch Camp Families, if your child(ren) are registered for Ranch Camp:

  • We will provide full refunds for camp registration fees paid to date. Please anticipate 45 days to receive your refund via your original method of payment. If this timeline poses hardship for your family, please reach out to us directly.
  • You may choose to donate a portion or all fees paid to date to Ranch Camp. Any donation made to the JCC is tax-deductible, qualifies for the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit (if resident of CO) and will be matched dollar for dollar by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.
  • You may use the fees as a credit to another JCC Denver program, 2020 Ranch Camp Family Camp, or roll the fees into registration for the 2021 Summer season at the Summer of 2020 rate.

Statements will be emailed to all families this week. If you would like to access your current statement before then, please log into your CampInTouch Account. Scroll down to “Your Family” and click “Financial Management.” On this page you will see an overview of your payments and balance. On the bottom left you can select “View Statement” to see your statement in more detail. If you need support accessing your statement, please email Allison Marshall at amarshall@jccdenver.org.

If you already know which option you intend to choose please fill out this financial intent form. Otherwise, please wait to hear from us for more detail before making your selection. If a choice is not received by May 15, your fees will automatically convert to JCC program credits that expire August 31, 2021.

Options for Camp Shai, Wolf Theatre Academy, and Tennis Camps Families:

  • We will provide full refunds for camp registration fees paid to date. Please anticipate 45 days to receive your refund via your original method of payment. If this timeline poses hardship for your family, please reach out to us directly.
  • You may choose to donate a portion or all fees paid to date to Camp Shai, Wolf Theatre Academy or Tennis Camps. Any donation made to the JCC is tax-deductible, qualifies for the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit and will be matched dollar for dollar with a generous gift by JEWISHcolorado.
  • You may use the fees as a credit to another JCC Denver program or roll the fees into registration for the 2021 Summer season at the 2020 Summer prices. This credit will expire August 31, 2021.

Statements will be emailed to all families this week. If you would like to access your current statement before then, please log into your CampInTouch Account. Scroll down to “Your Family” and click “Financial Management.” On this page you will see an overview of your payments and balance. On the bottom left you can select “View Statement” to see your statement in more detail. If you need support accessing your statement, please email Allison Marshall at amarshall@jccdenver.org.

If you already know which option you intend to choose please fill out this financial intent form. Otherwise, please wait to hear from us for more detail before making your selection. If a choice is not received by May 15, your fees will automatically convert to JCC program credits that expire August 31, 2021.

WE ARE HERE TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS

Following this email, you will be receiving an email later today or tomorrow from each Camp Director based on the program(s) you are currently registered for. This email will provide additional detail about each camp offering and hopefully answer some of the initial questions you have.

We have also scheduled Virtual (Zoom) Town Halls for Ranch Camp and Camp Shai that will provide a chance for you to hear directly from each camp team and receive answers to all of your questions. Following are the days and times for these meetings:

Ranch Camp Town Hall: Monday, 5.4, 6:00 – 7:00 pm (click here to join via Zoom)
Camp Shai Town Hall: Tuesday, 5.5, 4:30 – 5:30 pm (click here to join via Zoom)

Our JCC Staff and Camp Teams will be calling each family starting this week to answer questions about our summer program options and to assist you in filling out your financial intent form. Please be patient as we make calls, we have many families to call and want to give each of you the time you need.

THANK YOU

We are so grateful for your generosity and for helping us to continue to build the kind of community we all so desperately need right now.

I would also like to give one final thank you to JEWISHcolorado and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation for their generous support during this time by matching any dollar donated from your camp registration fees.

In the meantime, we send good thoughts to everyone in our camp family and wishes for healing and wholeness to those who have been personally affected by this virus.

Stay healthy, stay safe, stay strong.

Sincerely,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

UPDATED APRIL 29, 5:30 PM

Dear JCC camp families,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Many of you have asked about our plans for this summer’s program offerings and we understand the need to make your summer plans.

Our camp teams are working diligently preparing for this summer in hopes that we are able to run our programs. With safety being our foremost priority, we are awaiting the CDC guidelines for summer camps that are due to be made public later this week to make sure what we are planning is in alignment with these guidelines. We know that if we are able to run camps this summer it will not look like summers that have come before. Having these guidelines in hand will allow our camp teams to finalize their summer program offerings and ensure that we are providing the safest possible environment for our campers, their families, and our staff. We will share these plans for each of our summer camps, and provide answers to your financial questions by Sunday, May 3.

As we continue our “safer at home” status, we hope that you will continue to take advantage of our virtual programming being offered to keep us all connected while we are unable to be with each other in person.

Thank you for you continued patience and understanding as we absorb all the available information.

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

UPDATED APRIL 24, 3:00 PM

Dear JCC Family,

The coronavirus has quickly changed our reality, and we have adjusted to new norms in both our personal and professional lives. When news surfaced of the coronavirus in China last January, we considered the potential impact on our J and our programs. Eight weeks ago, we closed the Center, as coronavirus storm clouds gathered over Europe. Four weeks ago our virtual platform took shape and launched. Each represents a pivotal moment in an unanticipated and rapidly changing environment.

In the face of these challenges, my instinct tells me to draw inspiration and guidance from history. During a recent phone call with one of my mentors, he recalled his generation’s response to the polio virus. “Time takes time,” he told me – a reminder that we cannot make the clock move faster.

Our community values provide us with a bedrock of hope and encouragement. The relationships that tie us together have served us well as we connect online. Every day, I hear stories of kindness and support from staff and community members. I see the positive spirit and teamwork on our Zoom screens. Transformative connection continues – I know each one of us is growing in ways we had never imagined.

The strength of the JCC  has become even more evident over the past few weeks. Creativity, flexibility, and dedication has enabled the JCC staff to quickly pivot our priorities. I am amazed at their ability to quickly adapt to the task of creating remote community building experiences. Humble determination and hard work has been evident across all areas of the JCC as everyone pitches in to solve problems and take care of each other while keeping our community as the focal point of our work.

Strategic planning has also been a hallmark of the JCC community over the past year and the months ahead call for our best thinking as we use our ability to adapt and change course as this unpredictable situation evolves. To that end, we have formed JCC Response Teams with the intention to create a comprehensive operational plan that is aligned with health officials’ guidance for the phased re-opening of our Center and the eventual return to a more normal life.

The health and safety of JCC staff, families, members, visitors, and the broader community is paramount to this work. Our goal is a return to programming as we implement significant modifications of the Center environment, daily operations, and personal practices.

The Response Teams have begun the task at hand and we will begin announcing our plans, (including summer programs) next week. We would like to gather your thoughts as our plans take shape. Watch for surveys that will provide you with the opportunity to contribute your thoughts. Though we will be grateful and relieved to come back together, it will not be life as we knew it. We will need to learn new ways of interacting with one another so we can control and eventually eradicate the threat of COVID-19.

I think of you often and the challenges you are facing and am so grateful for your commitment to advancing the JCC’s mission during this difficult time. While so many things associated with this threat have been beyond our control, I am confident we will emerge from this experience stronger, wiser, and with a greater appreciation for the values and strengths that make the JCC Denver a remarkable community.

With best wishes for your health and in gratitude for your contributions to our community,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

UPDATED APRIL 17, 5:00 PM

Effective April 20, the JCC Denver is thrilled to bring staff back from furlough to assist with our virtual programming efforts and to plan ways to bring the J back even bigger and stronger than it was before COVID-19 entered our lives. Here is a list of who to contact within the organization during this time.

DepartmentContactTitleEmail
Senior Leadership TeamLara KnuettelChief Executive OfficerEmail
Kent RiceInterim Chief Operating OfficerEmail
Adam ZandmanChief Marketing OfficerEmail
Ceren JohnsonExecutive Director, ELSEmail
RegistrarAllison MarshallRegistrarEmail
 
Fitness CenterJudy SweseyMembership ManagerEmail
 Yuri TavbinMembership DirectorEmail
 Mac WestInterim Aquatics ManagerEmail
 Graeme SchulzCommunications LiaisonEmail
 Ysidro GardeaMembers Services ManagerEmail
 Chris KadingPersonal TrainerEmail
 Vered KoslowPilates InstructorEmail
 Kristina LutzYoga TeacherEmail
 
Tennis CenterMarshall CarpenterDirector of TennisEmail
 
Engagement TeamShana JacobsDirector of Engagement and Jewish LearningEmail
 Rachel WoolEmail
 Elissa ModoniaEmail
 
Mizel Arts & Culture CenterKent RiceInterim Chief Operating OfficerEmail
 Amy Weiner WeissDirector of FestivalsEmail
 Dan RibProduction ManagerEmail
 
DevelopmentCyndi SheehanDirector of DevelopmentEmail
 Louanne Saraga WaltersEmail
 Jodi AsarchEmail
 Roxanne KahnAnnual Fund ManagerEmail
 
Ranch CampNoah GallagherDirector of Ranch CampEmail
 Ryan BocchinoAssociate Director of Ranch CampEmail
 Carly CoonsAssistant Director of Ranch CampEmail
 
Camp ShaiCourtney JacobsonDirector of Camp Shai and Youth ProgramsEmail
 Daniel SiegelAssociate Director of Camp Shai and Youth ProgramsEmail
 Molly CohnAssistant Director of Youth ServicesEmail
 
Rentals /RetreatsSteve GosleeDirector of OperationsEmail
 
Early Learning SchoolCeren JohnsonExecutive Director, ELSEmail
 Simone CoutinhoAssistant Director of Operations, ELSEmail
 Sarah RobertsAssistant Director of Education, ELSEmail
 Lauren SteeleAdministrative Assistant, ELSEmail
 All teachers will remain on staff
 
Human ResourcesMelissa HoeseSr. Human Resources GeneralistEmail
 
MarketingShani LeeadMarketing CoordinatorEmail
 Lexie RobbinsContent SpecialistEmail
UPDATED APRIL 12, 9:00 AM

Dear JCC Family,

With our daily lives completely upended over the last few weeks, it’s hard to believe Passover is upon us. This year it takes on an even greater meaning. It serves as a timely reminder that the Jewish people have overcome the worst of circumstances many times before, and just as we have then, we will now.

Passover is a community driven holiday. Typically, that means people gathering around Seder tables. This year was different than other years but that does not mean the spirit of community is not present. One of the things that inspires me in this work is that when our community is hurting, everyone steps up to lend a hand. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on our community. Last week alone our local Jewish agencies saw a significant increase in requests from community members who are in desperate need of food and medical assistance.

Today I am asking all of you to support our local agencies to help in their efforts to marshal resources for our community to respond not only to the health crisis but to the economic crisis as well.

Below are just a few of the organizations in need of immediate assistance:

Jewish Family Service (JFS) is providing pre-packed boxes of food to anyone in the community experiencing food insecurity. In order to serve more people in our community they need donations of shelf-stable food, toilet paper, diapers, and wipes. You may purchase from their Amazon Wish List.

Kavod Senior Life is in need of a handful of donation items for their residents. Click here to view the list and ways to donate.

JEWISHcolorado has committed $100,000 to meet the most critical and immediate needs of our Jewish community. Learn more about this fund and how to support it.

Our beloved JCC continues to experience financial hardship as well. As you know, we are reliant on the revenue that we receive for our camps, programs, fitness, and the ELS. Without that revenue, we are challenged to take care of our facility as well as our staff. If you are able to make a donation, thank you! Your generosity, as always, is so very much appreciated. Donate to the J.

Just as our ancestors weathered hardships and strife, so shall we. I have seen the generosity of our community come together in good times and in bad and I am confident that we will all come through this as one.

From our JCC family to yours, Chag Peseach Sameach!

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

UPDATED APRIL 3, 3:00 PM

Kibbiz Corner with Lara Knuettel

Dear JCC Family,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well. Though we cannot physically be with you, we are thinking about all of you each day.

This email is part of a new communication series we are calling Kibbitz Corner with me, Lara Knuettel, CEO of the Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center. Every Friday, I will be sending an email with highlights of the past week’s activities, a glance into future programs and events that I am excited about, and a personal story or two. This is all in an effort for us to stay connected and keep you updated about the day-to-day happenings at the J.

Before I share some of the amazing ways our community has stayed in touch since our closure, I want to inform you that the J will be closed through at least April 30. This includes the Early Learning School. We continue to monitor the situation and will update you on our plans to reopen as more information is made available.

Let me start by saying that over the past three weeks we have been amazed with how our community has rallied together and stayed connected during this time of isolation and uncertainty. That unwavering support motivates us to provide the quality experience and programming you expect from us despite not being able to connect in person. This is the reason our staff is continuously hard at work focusing to improve and build out our virtual opportunities for everyone who is a part of our community. We are grateful to those of you who have let us know how much this means to you and to your families.

Here is a glimpse into the amazing things we have accomplished together in a small amount of time:

  • We have ended each week with a wonderful Virtual Shabbat Sing led by the ELS’s Stephanie Leen, as well as Ranch Camp and Camp Shai’s Ryan Bocchino, Carly Coons, Daniel Siegel, and Molly Cohn. Each Shabbat Sing has had over 100 attendees, which speaks volumes to the ELS community and the community at large. The more the merrier, so please join us each Friday at 9:00 am if you are in the mood for some Shabbat fun!
  • Each day our ELS teachers “meet” their students in Zoom virtual classrooms. Words cannot express how grateful I am for our ELS teachers who are coming up with new ways to keep our future generation engaged and connected. They are doing their very best to create a sense of normalcy during this time.
  • Our JCC Facebook page has added over 100 new followers! Please make sure to like our page so you can read some of the amazing stories from our staff, watch fun videos (like a Ranch Camp virtual hike), and have a laugh with some much needed comedy relief during a not so fun moment in time.
  • Our Fitness & Wellness Center’s Facebook Group following has increased by 21%. Within this group you will find daily virtual workout suggestions, tips on how to stay take care of yourself during quarantine, and special announcements like the birth of our Personal Trainer Camilla’s baby girl on March 31.
  • Almost 300 people took the time to fill out our virtual programming survey to let us know how we are doing. Thank you! We will use this information to continue to provide virtual programming in ways that mean most to you and understand how to better inform you of these programs. This includes increasing our frequency of emails about upcoming programming and creating a page on our website that outlines all of the programming for you in one spot. If you haven’t yet completed the survey and would like to do so, click here.
  • Our amazing teen board has made phone calls to our more vulnerable fitness members to ensure they are safe and have everything they need during this time. Truly L’Dor V’Dor.

Looking ahead, questions about membership and program enrollment are bound to enter your mind. We appreciate your patience as we work to address your questions and concerns. As we get closer to discovering when we will be able to reopen, we will be able to provide you with more information on credits and refunds. This period of closure is financially challenging, as we rely heavily on funding from membership dues and tuition, neither of which we are collecting right now. We are actively working to pursue measures to help us meet the financial challenges we face which includes applying for SBA loans under the CARES Act, requesting assistance from local agencies, and seeking individual donations.

Difficult times require tremendous efforts. As we continue to move our community to a virtual platform, we need your support. Please consider a donation to the J to ensure that we can continue to serve our community during the days ahead. My heartfelt thanks to those of you who have already made a donation to support our staff and virtual community.

It is hard to imagine what the weeks ahead will feel like but I ended this week with absolute awe coupled with a tremendous sense of gratitude for our staff and Board of Directors. We have quickly broadened our understanding of what community can look like, and the many ways in which we can make it happen through strength and resilience.

Shabbat Shalom,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

 

UPDATED MARCH 30, 2:00 PM

Effective April 1, the JCC Denver is instituting an agency-wide series of staff furloughs, wage reductions, benefits adjustments, and other cost saving measures. Here is a list of who to contact within the organization during this time.

DepartmentContactTitleEmail
Senior Leadership TeamLara KnuettelChief Executive OfficerEmail
Kent RiceInterim Chief Operating OfficerEmail
Adam ZandmanChief Marketing OfficerEmail
Ceren JohnsonExecutive Director, ELSEmail
RegistrarAllison MarshallRegistrarEmail
 
Fitness CenterJudy SweseyMembership ManagerEmail
 Mac WestInterim Aquatics ManagerEmail
 Graeme SchulzCommunications LiaisonEmail
 
Tennis CenterMarshall CarpenterDirector of TennisEmail
 
Engagement TeamShana JacobsDirector of Engagement and Jewish LearningEmail
 
Mizel Arts & Culture CenterKent RiceInterim Chief Operating OfficerEmail
 Amy Weiner WeissDirector of FestivalsEmail
 
DevelopmentCyndi SheehanDirector of DevelopmentEmail
 
Ranch CampNoah GallagherDirector of Ranch CampEmail
 Ryan BocchinoAssociate Director of Ranch CampEmail
 Carly CoonsAssistant Director of Ranch CampEmail
 
Camp ShaiCourtney JacobsonDirector of Camp Shai and Youth ProgramsEmail
 Daniel SiegelAssociate Director of Camp Shai and Youth ProgramsEmail
 Molly CohnAssistant Director of Youth ServicesEmail
 
Rentals /RetreatsSteve GosleeDirector of OperationsEmail
 
Early Learning SchoolCeren JohnsonExecutive Director, ELSEmail
 Simone CoutinhoAssistant Director of Operations, ELSEmail
 Sarah RobertsAssistant Director of Education, ELSEmail
 Lauren SteeleAdministrative Assistant, ELSEmail
 All teachers will remain on staff
 
Human ResourcesMelissa HoeseSr. Human Resources GeneralistEmail
UPDATED MARCH 20, 4:45 PM

Dear JCC Camp & Maccabi Families,

Whether it is your first year with us or have been attending a JCC Camp or the Maccabi Games & ArtsFest for one, two, or over five years, you are an integral part of our JCC family and we are grateful to each one of you for choosing to be a part of our community.

Last week, we made the difficult decision to close the entire JCC facility as part of our efforts to contribute to slowing the spread of disease. We recognize the added disruption and challenge this has caused for our preschool families, fitness members, tennis members, School’s Out participants, and more and are grateful to you for your patience and flexibility during this challenging time. We are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all of our families and that remains our highest priority in our decision-making and action.

Even though summer is still months away, we would like to take the opportunity to share some information and updates with you. Please know that we will continue to keep you up to date as we learn more.

As of this moment, we plan to fully operate Camp Shai, Ranch Camp, Tennis Camp, and the Wolf Theatre Academy this summer. The JCC Association of North America is determining any possible changes to the Maccabi Games & ArtsFest and we will pass along any decisions that are made.

Many of you are cautiously optimistic about the summer and uncertain about how COVID-19 will affect your summer plans. If circumstances change regarding COVID-19, and we are not able to operate our camps or Maccabi this summer because of the virus, we intend to provide refunds for those programs.

As this situation develops, please know that we are committed to making decisions with the best interest of our campers, families, employees, and greater community as our highest priority. We are deeply proud and appreciative that you have chosen to spend your summer with us at the JCC and we eagerly anticipate the start of the summer season at the J.

Our love for you, your family, and your children, is sustaining us through this. We are one community and together, we will uplift one another and get through this difficult time.

Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible in the coming week.

With gratitude,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

Ed Nekritz
Board Chair

Jodi Asarch
Maccabi Delegation Head

Marshall Carpenter
Tennis Director

Noah Gallagher
Ranch Camp Director

Courtney Jacobson
Camp Shai Director

Steve Wilson
Wolf Theatre Academy Director

REMINDER: Don’t forget to join us for Live Streamed Virtual Campfires with Camp Shai and Ranch Camp every Tuesday at 3:30 pm MST.

UPDATED MARCH 19, 10:00 AM

Dear JCC Fitness Community,

We are grateful to each one of our members for choosing to be a part of our community. Whether you have been a member for one year, five years, or more than twenty years, you are an integral part of our JCC family.

Last week, we made the very difficult decision to close the entire JCC facility as part of our effort to contribute to slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and we are keenly aware of the disruption and challenge this causes our members. While the situation remains fluid, we are following Governor Polis’s order from March 16 to close all gyms for 30 days. We will update you as we get closer to the end of this mandated closure regarding our reopen date. As you well know, we are dealing with a constantly changing situation and the health, safety, and well-being of our community members remains our highest priority as we make decisions.

As a result of our state mandated closure, we will not be charging dues for the month of April. In absent of dues, you can choose to make a donation to support the critical work, inclusive mission, and staff of the JCC during this time. The full amount of your donation may be eligible for the Colorado Child Care Tax Credit. Every dollar helps support our staff and is appreciated. You can donate online or contact Cyndi Sheehan, Director of Development, at csheehan@jccdenver.org for more information.

You have told us, with your voices and actions, that the JCC is more than just a workout facility. We believe that our community is about the connection to one another, a shared vision for the future, and an investment in the values we share. During this interruption, we have worked tirelessly to better understand the financial implications of our community’s response to COVID-19. We recognize this is a challenging time, complicated by the pace of change and new information, while balancing the needs of a community and service to our mission.

We wish your family continued health through this time and look forward to seeing you when we can open our doors again.

B’Shalom,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

Ed Nekritz
Board Chair

Don Kortz
Immediate Past Board Chair

UPDATED MARCH 17, 1:00 PM

Dear JCC Community,

As you know, the health, safety, and well-being of our children, members, staff, and community is of the utmost importance to us always. Your support of the JCC has been nothing short of awe-inspiring since we made the difficult decision to close our facility through the end of March. We are committed wholly and uncompromisingly to community health, and to deploying our resources to supporting the community in emerging ways. We are grateful to you for the time and space to make the right choices, communicate accurately and efficiently, and build a strong foundation for continued service.

Thank you for your investment in the JCC – we do not take our partnership for granted. We also value our partnership with our incredible trainers, teachers, program directors, swim instructors, tennis coaches, and countless other staff that are the lifeblood of the JCC.

During this time of uncertainty, we have decided to act on our values of Gemilut Hassadim (Acts of Kindness) and Kehila (Community) and have committed to pay our staff during this two-week shutdown period. In order to accomplish this, we will not be issuing refunds for March. It is our hope that you will join in expressing your support for these incredible individuals during this unprecedented situation. The Staenberg-Loup Jewish Community Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and, as a result, any dues and tuition for which no services are rendered may be considered a tax-deductible donation.

With the support of the JCC Board of Directors, we have established the following guiding principles for membership dues, enrollment fees, and program expenses through the end of March:

Membership Dues and Early Learning School Tuition
Our JCC provides a diverse and engaging experience; even with our building closed. We are continuing to explore ways to serve the community, engage our members, and deliver a unique experience for all. That said, we will not be issuing refunds for March on dues or tuition. However, dues and tuition for which no services are rendered may be considered a tax-deductible donation. We will provide you with a donation letter for tax deduction purposes upon request, specifying the amount you have paid for which no services were received. Your donation amount will be based on the length of time the JCC is closed.

  • Membership Dues: If you would like a donation letter, please email Judy Swesey, our Membership Manager, at jswesey@jccdenver.org and she will coordinate with our development office. Additional information about April dues will be sent directly to members next week.
  • Early Learning School (ELS) Tuition: If you would like a donation letter, please email Allison Marshall, our Registrar, at amarshall@jccdenver.org and she will coordinate with our development office. Additional communication on these options will be sent directly to impacted families in the coming days.

Program Registration Fees (classes, events, training sessions, etc.)
Any current program fees (where the identified program will not be rescheduled, or otherwise delivered online or in a virtual environment) that have already been collected will be credited to your account for future use. Please contact Shana Jacobs at sjacobs@jccdenver.org with questions.

We want to thank our members, partners, and leaders who have already demonstrated their strong commitment to our mission and staff. We are blessed to partner with a community that recognizes that our staff family delivers exceptional service with a tremendous amount of heart and expertise and who will enthusiastically support our decision to compensate our staff through the end of March.

In the days ahead, the JCC team will be ramping up our online resources, content, and engagement opportunities that are available to our community. If you have an idea, want to connect with community members, or otherwise want to explore ways to demonstrate our values and celebrate our community (in the most social-distancing-sensitive way!) please reach out to Shana Jacobs, Director of Engagement and Jewish Learning, at sjacobs@jccdenver.org. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for daily information and resources on ways to keep you and your family active during this time.

We continue to monitor the situation on a day-by-day basis and will contact you regarding any updates or changes over the coming weeks, specifically around programs that are impacted beyond the end of March.

We are resilient and we will get through this together.

B’Shalom,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

Ed Nekritz
Board Chair

Don Kortz
Immediate Past Board Chair

 

UPDATED MARCH 13, 6:00 PM

Dear JCC Denver Community,

We are so proud of the community we have built at the JCC. Every day, we see a diverse group of people walk through our doors – infants, young children, teens, and older adults. Our people are the heart and soul of our JCC – and that is why we are so strongly committed to keeping everyone safe and healthy.

Our mission at the JCC Denver is to serve, strengthen, and inspire community guided by timeless Jewish values and in times like this, it is important to hold fast to our mission. In light of our priority being the wellbeing (Osher) of our children, members, and staff, our JCC Leadership Team and JCC Board of Directors have made the difficult decision to close our entire facility beginning Saturday, March 14 for a minimum of two weeks. Our current plan is to reopen on Wednesday, April 1. Thankfully, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at our JCC. The JCC Early Learning School is scheduled to reopen Monday, April 6. These dates are subject to change as the situation around the coronavirus unfolds and we will keep you updated over the coming weeks.

During this time, the JCC will be cleaned and sanitized to ensure the building is ready for everyone to return. The cleaning products that we are using meet guidelines specified by the Colorado Department of Public Health. JCC Administrative and Program staff will be working remotely during this closure and are here to support you during this unprecedented time. Should you have any general questions, please email info@jccdenver.org and we will respond as soon as possible.

In the spirit of the Jewish value of Kehlia (Community), we are working to bring opportunities online to bring our community together during this isolating time. More specific information about these virtual opportunities will be communicated directly to participants as they are developed. Updates are available on our Facebook page as well as in our email newsletter. You are able to sign up to receive our email newsletter at the bottom of our website.

At this time, our summer programming and camps have not been impacted from the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation on an hour-by-hour basis and will contact you regarding any updates or changes over the coming weeks.

Thank you for your cooperation, support, and flexibility during these challenging and unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

UPDATED MARCH 11, 3:30 pM

Dear JCC Denver,

The JCC is working closely with the JCC Association and JEWISHcolorado to continually monitor and react to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As you know, our highest priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our ELS children, members, and staff and we are confident in the partnership we have with these organizations. They are in constant touch with the CDC, health providers, and state representatives and are able to share factual and up to date information as this situation unfolds.

We are currently open with all of our programs running as scheduled, except for the following:

Open Mic Night – March 19
Mahj and Mimosas – March 22
I Am Denver Storytelling Lab – March 23
Jamie Bernstein – April 14 (working to postpone to later date)
El-Salomen’s Comedy Show – May 21 (working to postpone to later date)

Due to the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you view our event calendar on the website to confirm the class/program you are planning to attend is proceeding as planned. If for any reason a class/program is cancelled, our event calendar will be immediately updated and an email will be sent to all registered participants.

The CDC has recommended that large gatherings be limited. With that in mind, we will not hold any major JCC-sponsored events with over 50 attendees for the next 30 days. This is a precaution we must take in order to lessen the risk of spreading of the virus.

Should we be made aware of a case of coronavirus at the J, the information will be made public and we will make plans to close the building for a deep cleaning per the designated time as outlined by the state of Colorado; however, we feel that with the precautions and preventative steps from both our staff and community, we can avoid this action:

  • Please do not enter the JCC if you are showing any flu-like symptoms.
  • All staff members will stay home should they feel sick.
  • We have hired additional housekeeping staff to assist with constant cleaning of the ELS and Fitness Center.
  • Additional hand sanitizers have been placed around the building.
  • Our housekeeping team is wiping down all door handles and other high trafficked items frequently throughout the day and evening.
  • Signage has been placed throughout the facility, and all fitness equipment, reminding everyone to wash their hands and wipe down equipment after use.
  • If a member of our staff and/or security team observes you exhibiting symptoms, we reserve the right to kindly ask to leave.

We sincerely appreciate your understanding and compliance during this uncertain time. Please take care of yourself, wash your hands, and stay indoors if you are feeling ill.

Thank you for your cooperation and support,

Lara Knuettel
Chief Executive Officer

 

UPDATED MARCH 3, 11:15 AM

Dear JCC Denver Community,

JCC Denver has been diligently monitoring the worldwide outbreak and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The healthy and safety of our children, members, staff, and community is our top priority and we want to share information, resources, and proactive steps we’re taking to help keep our community safe.

What is JCC Denver doing to proactively keep our community as healthy as possible?

  • Making sure hand sanitizer is always available, especially in public areas (i.e. main lobby, ELS, fitness lobby, tennis courts, etc.)
  • Signage reminding members to wipe down gym equipment before and after use
  • Signage reminding staff and members to wash their hands after using the restroom
  • Fitness trainers continue to clean and sanitize all fitness equipment regularly
  • Encouraging staff members to work from home if feeling ill/showing any flu-like symptoms

What can we do as a community to help prevent the spread of illnesses like flu and coronavirus?

  • Please be sure to wash or sanitize your hands regularly
  • Stay home if you are feeling ill/showing flu-like symptoms
  • Wipe down all fitness equipment before and after use

Where can I find accurate information about COVID-19?

Facts about COVID-19 from the CDC

What’s next?

As we are all aware, the status and spread of this virus is every-changing. Should we have to implement any further actions, cancel any programs or classes, or make a change to events, we will be sure to keep everyone up-to-date.

We sincerely appreciate your support and cooperation as we monitor this rapidly evolving situation. Stay safe, stay healthy, and please wash your hands!

Sincerely,
JCC Denver