A Message From the President/CEO Saul F. Levenshus

Posted by: Saul F. Levenshus, President/CEO on Monday, January 1, 2018 at 8:00:00 am

Saul F. LevenshusWelcome 2018! It’s hard to believe that it’s nearly 20 years since the JCC relocated to our current home here at the Campus back in 1999. So much has happened over that time. From the tragedy of 9-11 in 2001, to surviving a catastrophic hail storm in 2016, which threatened to shut down our building, we have sustained. In addition, consider the following:

  • An entire generation of children have graduated from our Block and Dreeben School for Young Children and have grown up stronger and wiser.
  • Our Summer Camp programs have doubled in participation and activity; and next summer, our Camp Special Needs/Inclusion program will be entering its 16th year.
  • Seventeen years ago we introduced, then expanded, and have successfully sustained an outstanding annual Jewish Film Festival.
  • We expanded the fitness center in 2004 and most recently outfitted it with new equipment in 2014.
  • We built a tennis clubhouse in 2014.
  • We resurfaced the pool…twice.
  • We upgraded our ECE playgrounds.
  • We added a new entrance and improved access controls in 2016.
  • We refurbished our locker rooms in 2017.
  • We established a teen JCC Maccabi program and then hosted the JCC Maccabi Games®…twice in both 2005 & 2009!
  • And our highly acclaimed Sheldon Vexler Theatre has been recognized for the quality of its work hundreds of times since 1999, and our youth theatre programs, NOVA and STARZ have been training children in theatre arts for 14 years.

During this amazing stretch of time, through our many accomplishments and many changes, the most enduring feature and stabilizing force has been our staff, which proclaims an average tenure of over 15 years per person. From Ingrid Eastman in our accounting department and Cindy Medina in our Marketing & Communications department, to Carrie Guzman, who meets and greets our earliest daily visitors, each has served 30+ years! And our newest additions, Laura Fuentes, our CFO, and Amy Goldstein, our Development Director, both here for two years, and everyone in between; the “J”, and I specifically, appreciate how unique it is to have such a talented, diverse, and dedicated team of professionals who show up every day to provide the requisite services our community has come to expect.  

That is just one-third of the equation explaining how we’ve arrived at the doorstep of our 20th Anniversary at the Campus. The next part of the calculation includes the hundreds of dedicated volunteers and community leaders who support the JCC with both their financial and human resources. They represent Board members, committee members, parents, and grandparents. They serve to support causes while benefitting the individuals and families most in need. They devote hours and days, weeks and months, and more often than not, years to ensure a stronger JCC and community.

The final piece of the puzzle is YOU! None of this works without you, our Members. For the hundreds of families and individuals who belong to and use the “J” and who believe that “there is something about this place®”, you make it all worthwhile.

And so, it is only fitting as we prepare to enter our 20th year that we once again look to the future to secure the present. In the coming months we expect to initiate new discussions about an expansion of facilities and services, and we are hoping we can count on you, our community. Please look for our invitations to join us for a series of focus groups designed to collect your feedback.

We frequently refer to our tag line, Community is our middle name, and I can say with all sincerity that in the middle of community is “U”. Without U, community never comes together. We will need your support and guidance and I hope we can count on your support.

Thank you for making the JCC the place to be. We’re glad you belong here.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe 2018!!

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