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Mentoring Millennials How to keep the next generation of JCC professionals engaged


SUMMER 2013 5773 whe JCCA.ORG

inside SUMMER 2013




Generation EXIT How do we mentor the next generation of leaders when they keep leaving?


Playing it Safe How to secure our JCCs through awareness, training, and empowerment

10 14

Jews of the Round Table The importance of face-to-face relationships Introducing Day Camp Directors to Israel A pilot initiative brings 10 day camp directors to the Jewish Agency’s shlichim training seminar

18 23

Competing with Free JCCs address new challenges in the early childhood marketplace


Lessons on Fundraising from JCC Benchmarking Add it Up: JCCs with dedicated fundraising staff raise more money


Reaching out to Jewish Teens JCC Maccabi Games® and ArtsFest® connect with teens through activities they love—sports and arts

What is Sheva? Seven is the magic number for the JCC Movement’s new early learning framework

For address correction or Information about JCC Circle contact or call (212) 532-4949. ©2013 Jewish Community Centers Association of North America. All rights reserved. 520 Eighth Avenue | New York, NY 10018 Phone: 212-532-4949 | Fax: 212-481-4174 | e-mail: | web: JCC Association of North America is the leadership network of, and central agency for, 350 Jewish Community Centers, YM-YWHAs and camps in the United States and Canada, that annually serve more than two million users. JCC Association offers a wide range of services and resources to enable its affiliates to provide educational, cultural and recreational programs to enhance the lives of North American Jewry. JCC Association is also a U.S. government-accredited agency for serving the religious and social needs of Jewish military personnel, their families and patients in VA hospitals through the JWB Jewish Chaplains Council. JCC Association receives support from the JFNA National Federation/Agency Alliance, local federations and Jewish Community Centers. ISSN 1065-1551

BY AND ABOUT... ANDY PALLER Andy develops and coordinates JCC Excellence: Benchmarking for JCC Association’s Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management. Before joining JCC Association, he worked as director of consulting for the Jewish Federations of North America, providing service to 157 member federations.

HAYDN SHAW Haydn is a leading expert on the multiple generations in the workplace, leadership, change, and turning around negative work environments. Haydn has worked with more than 1,000 businesses, not-for-profit, and governmental organizations. Hailed as a “leadership guru” by the Washington Post, Haydn has worked with FranklinCovey for 21 years as a senior consultant.

JODI SPERLING Jodi is director of camping and the Merrin Center for Teen Engagement at JCC Association. She oversees all initiatives in the areas of camping and teen services, including the Merrin Fellowship for Teen Professionals as well as providing consultation, support and resources to JCCs and affiliated day and resident camps. Before joining JCC Association, Jodi was the director of Camp Wise at the Mandel JCC of Cleveland.

RON WOLFSON Ron is currently the Fingerhut Professor of Education at the American Jewish University (formerly the University of Judaism) in Los Angeles where he has been a member of the faculty since 1975. He has also served as dean of the Fingerhut School of Education, vice president and founding director of the Whizin Center for the Jewish Future and the Whizin Institute for Jewish Family Life.

jcc circle: Sr. Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer Robin Ballin Creative Director Peter Shevenell Communications Manager, JCC Circle Editor Miriam Rinn Design Peter Shevenell Lisa Kaplan Jeremy Kortes Online Chris Strom Alexandra White

Chair Paula L. Sidman Honorary Chairs Edward H. Kaplan Ann P. Kaufman Jerome B. Makowsky Morton L. Mandel Lester Pollack Daniel Rose Alan P. Solow

Vice-Chairs Donald Brodsky Ruth Fletcher Brian Kriftcher J. Victor Samuels Philip Schatten Stephen Seiden

Secretary David Wax Associate Secretaries Robin Frederick Linda Russin President & CEO Allan Finkelstein



NEXT How do we mentor the next generation of leaders when they keep leaving? By Haydn Shaw


fter one of my presentations on generational differences, a board member for a nonprofit organization asked me, “What can we do to mentor the next generation of leaders? Many of our Millennial staff see this as a good job, but not as a career. How do we help them become the leaders we need for the future?” This board member was expressing an important generational sticking point. The view of the Traditionalists (people born 1901–1943) was that if you were loyal to your organization, your organization would be loyal to you. But that is no longer the way most people relate to the workplace. Sixty-six percent of Millennials (1981–2001) and 55 percent of Generation Xers (1965–1980) expect to switch careers several times during their working lives1. That makes mentoring much more complicated. It was easier when people stayed in the same organizations for their entire careers, but since that’s no longer the case, how do we adjust our expectations and our mentoring approaches so they are most effective with our younger staff?


Mentor for them, not for the organization Traditionalists and Baby Boomers (1944–1964) will mentor the next generation more effectively if they understand that loyalty has morphed as the world has changed. Two changes have had the biggest impact on reducing the likelihood that you’ll stay with the same organization your whole career: 1. We live longer and will need to work longer. Having the same career or employer for 55 years feels like playing the same video game for the rest of your life. Whereas Baby Boomers left a job when it got bad, Millennials leave a job when it gets boring. 2. Organizations can’t promise lifetime employment. The farm provided lifetime employment as did the government and many industries after World War II, but who dares promise that today—or wants to? When the board member asked me how her organization could help young staff see her association as a place to build their careers, she was still thinking of the need to find some loyal employees and mentor them throughout their careers. The traditional approach to leadership development and mentoring treated employees like stocks; pick the right three and you can retire well. You will mentor younger employees more effectively when you recognize and accept that they will leave. This realization will push you to prepare them to lead in life rather than in your organization. Ironically, the more we make mentoring about them, the more interested Millennials often become in our organization. Even more importantly, your organization will get the reputation as a great place to work, so you will attract the leaders of tomorrow even while you prepare your staff of today to lead in other organizations. Today, developing leaders is much more like a mutual fund— we must mentor multiple people, many of whom will come and go. One other thing Baby Boomers need to understand to mentor more effectively: you were not as loyal as you remember. The younger half of the Baby Boom generation held an average of 11.3 jobs between the ages of 18 and 44 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Boomers, you will be more effective mentors if you remember that. It’s simple—focus on them and not on the organization and you’ll mentor the next generation of leaders.

Baby Boomers left a job when it got bad... Millennials leave a job when it gets boring.


Three mentoring tips: Three additional ideas for mentoring younger generations effectively:


They will stay as long as their roles are interesting and make sense to them.


As people live longer and education takes longer, each new generation requires more time to settle into a specialization. They may start as day camp directors and then move into wellness and later arts and culture. Effective mentors for Millennials make sure they understand the options.


Millennials want mentoring, but not the one-way mentoring Boomers received. Millennials know that they don’t know everything and mentoring is one of the top four things they want in an employer. But they want a dialogue rather than a lecture. Millennials were raised by Boomer parents with listening, praise, and problem-solving. Jonathan Zwickel, a Millennial music critic, gives insight into how to mentor Millennials when he explains why Bob Dylan gets better with age: “The older Dylan gets, the more we trust his ever-folksier koans. Modern Times is the product of age, hindsight, and intuition. But rather than cranky oldmanisms, the album twinkles with a knowing wink, a graceful boogie, with blue collar poetry and a ballroom waltz.”2 If managers can keep that “twinkle,” Millennials will value their “hindsight and intuition.”

1 Pew Research Center, Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next (February 24, 2010), 46–47. 2 Zwickel, Jonathan. Modern Times Review. Sony BMG Music. 19 Apr. 2008 <>.

Haydn Shaw is the author of Sticking Points: How to Get 4 Generations Working Together in the 12 Places They Come Apart available August 1. He also wrote FranklinCovey’s best-selling workshop Leading Across Generations. For more information visit


Playing it Safe How to secure our JCCs through awareness, training, and empowerment By Patrick Daly and Paul Goldenberg Secure Community Network



ewish Community Centers are vibrant hubs of activity, education, and recreation, welcoming all people to enter. Open and welcoming does not need to mean unsecure, however. By building a “culture of security” through awareness, training and empowerment, JCC staff and volunteers can contribute to their own safety and security and that of the facility and the people it serves. You can establish and implement a balanced approach to security, maintaining and preserving that vital, open and friendly environment visitors and guests deserve and expect. Security need not only be about CCTV cameras and access guards. Frontline staff and personnel, receptionists, greeters, security officers and other staff and volunteers are the true “gatekeepers” at your JCC and the first responders in times of crisis and disaster. A well thought out and balanced security program focuses on the human factor, giving frontline staff and personnel the knowledge and confidence to know what to do and how to respond to a range of scenarios—everything from a hostile visitor to a full evacuation or lockdown of the building.


A few simple, cost-effective security considerations can contribute to a measurable increase in the safety, security and overall operations of your facility.

1. 2.

3. 4. 8

Maintain Situational Awareness Be aware of your surroundings and remain alert for anything that seems out of the ordinary, out of place, or suspicious. Staying on top of an increase in crime in the area or threats to other Jewish community organizations or facilities will strengthen your security awareness and the overall security of your facility. In addition, keeping informed of current events and global geopolitical issues that might portend security implications for your community or facility will better inform your decision making.

Focus on Access Control Access control is arguably one of the most important components of securing your JCC. Being able to control access to your facility and knowing who is coming through the front (and back) door, is critical. Consider the following when instituting access control procedures: •

Monitor and control who is entering the facility: members, visitors, current employees, former employees and commercial delivery and service personnel.

Greet visitors and guests: “challenge” and question unknown persons in a friendly and engaging manner to determine their reason for visiting.

Keep access points to a minimum, preferably single entry/ egress points when practical.

Subject to emergency safety requirements, lock all exterior doors and/or prohibit doors from being propped open.

Close security doors behind you; be aware of unknown individuals “piggy-backing” through security doors.

Utilize access cards/ID cards for staff and personnel.

Enforce 100% ID policy for guests and visitors: consider escorting all visitors to their destinations.

Training, Training and More Training Trained staff is your first best line of defense. Knowing what to look for and how to respond can both prevent an incident in the first place or mitigate and reduce the impact of an event that may be unavoidable. Ensure frontline staff is trained in a variety of scenarios, from handling bomb-threat phone calls, mail handling and screening, hostile individuals, active shooter response, lockdown and other emergencies.

Testing Plans through Tabletop Exercises A tabletop exercise is a facilitated activity that places participants in a simulated situation requiring them to function in the capacity


they would fill responding to a real-world event. Tabletops provide a non-threatening way to work through all of the considerations of managing an incident. They raise the level of awareness as to the actual state of preparedness without the cost and disruption of a full scale live exercise while empowering all participants to become informed, active contributors to the safety, security, and resiliency of their organization. A tabletop exercise is the most cost-effective way to check the JCC’s readiness for an incident. JCC leadership should conduct tabletop exercises to test security plans and ensure frontline staff and personnel know and understand their roles and responsibilities during a crisis or emergency situation. Refresher training programs should be offered on an ongoing basis, and new staff and volunteers should receive training as they come on board.

“If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” The advent and expansion of the “If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” campaign has become one of the single most important programs to engage the public in crime prevention and homeland security. The campaign underscores that homeland security begins with “hometown security.” It lets people know that individuals contribute to the safety and security of their facilities and communities. Knowing what to look for and how to report something suspicious establishes a forcemultiplier effect, assisting law enforcement and our homeland security professionals. Over the coming months, JCC Association in partnership with Secure Community Network and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will begin rolling out “If You See Something, Say SomethingTM” posters in select cities, emphasizing the role we all can play in keeping our JCCs safe.

While we must remain vigilant and maintain our level of alert, we must also broadcast loud and clear that we are open for business as usual and that we want people to think of the JCC as a safe, enjoyable, and welcoming part of their lives. Security is a responsibility we all share. The frontline staff and volunteers are “The Gatekeepers” of this effort, but we must ensure they are provided with the knowledge, training and support to succeed in this mission of creating safer, more secure facilities where we work, congregate and play. Paul Goldenberg is national director of the Secure Community Network. Patrick Daly is the deputy director of the Secure Community Network, the national homeland security initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.










he guys at the Omaha JCC called it the “Round Table.” After working out every day at the health club, after their shvitz in the steam room, after their whirlpools and their showers, 12 men gathered around a table in the foyer above the indoor swimming pool to have coffee and shmooze. They chatted about their workouts, their businesses, their families, their lives. My father-in-law, Abe Kukawka (may he rest in peace), was a member of the Round Table. My wife Susie and I had given him a JCC membership when he retired, and he took to the health club like a duck to water. A Holocaust survivor with only a few friends among the small immigrant community in Omaha, Abe built relationships with his friends of the Round Table, relationships that gave him a sense of belonging that sustained him for 35 years.

It’s all about relationships The heart of the JCC Movement is the word “community” and the heart of a community is a network of relationships that give each member much more than nice facilities and a calendar of programs. People may join a JCC for the excellent programming, but they will stay for the deep and caring relationships they create with other human beings. JCCs, like all Jewish institutions, are facing many challenges. In most communities, there are multiple options for acquiring the services that JCCs provide. Need a preschool? In my town, there are plenty of excellent choices. A health club? I can join an extraordinarily equipped fitness center that is open 24/7 year round. A Judaica library? Who needs a library when I can access almost any book or resource for “doing Jewish” online. Even Jewish cultural programming can be found at our local universities, synagogues and other Jewish organizations. Moreover, if the relationship between the individual and the institution is transactional – “I pay you membership dues and you give me access to programs and facilities” – what happens when I don’t need the programs or facilities any longer? If all I have is a fee-for-service relationship, I drop out, I move on.

Relational Judaism What, then, is the value-added of membership in a JCC? It must be the relationships we build among the members and with the staff, relationships with others who care about each other and for each other. This is the goal of what I have called a “Relational Judaism.” To create a relational community in all of our Jewish institutions will require a huge paradigm shift in our approach to engaging people with the Jewish experience. We will need to put people first, before


programming. We will People may join a JCC for need to improve how we the excellent programming, recruit new members and participants. We but they will stay for will need to train our the deep and caring frontline staff and lay leadership in the art relationships they create of welcoming. We will with other human beings. need to focus more on hearing their stories than on telling ours. We will need to ensure that every member has built a relationship with a key staff member…and with other members. In my new book, Relational Judaism: Using the Power of Relationships to Transform the Jewish Community (Jewish Lights Publishing), I present six case studies of organizations on the cutting-edge of this relational tipping point and 12 principles of relational engagement that can guide our work moving forward. Among the 150 interviews conducted during my research, my good friend Allan Finkelstein, president & CEO of JCC Association, weighs in on how the JCC Movement is already encouraging this approach and Andy Paller, director of Benchmarking: JCC Excellence, reports on the Benchmarking results of progress in engaging members in a deeper way. A number of JCC professionals and lay leadership boards are using the book as a resource and I look forward to sharing these principles and strategies at the upcoming JCCs of North America Biennial Convention in San Diego. Our task: to build more “Round Tables” in every JCC, for young and old, for families and singles, for anyone seeking a face-to-face community of relationships that gives life meaning and purpose, belonging and blessing.

DR. RON WOLFSON will be a keynote speaker at the 2014 JCCs of North America Biennial Convention speaking on how to transform the model of twentieth-century Jewish institutions into twenty-first-century relational communities offering meaning and purpose, belonging and blessing.



DAY CAMP DIRECTORS, MEET ISRAEL! By Jodi Sperling Vice-President | Director of Camping & the Merrin Center for Teen Engagement, JCC Association



ECENTLY, A JCC DAY CAMP DIRECTOR CALLED OUT, “I SAID A BOOM-CHICKA-BOOM!” and 400 plus Israeli shlichim (representatives) thundered back in unison, “I said a boomchicka-boom!” The director was modeling a morning flagpole routine as part of the Jewish Agency for Israel’s (JAFI) shlichim training seminar, a required program for all shlichim working in camps this summer. Even though it was her first seminar, the camp director was an integral member of the training team. She was there as part of Israel Up Close! JCC Association’s pilot initiative­—funded by the Mandel Center for Jewish Education—to enhance Israel programming in JCC day camps. JCC Association funded ten day camp directors to attend the training and participate in an extra pre- and post-training educational seminar. Those directors (along with 14 of their overnight camp colleagues) spent five days preparing Israeli shlichim to integrate into JCC camps across North America.


It’s about relationships Bringing shlichim to U.S. camps is an expensive proposition and JCC camps do it because they know it’s critical to create personal relationships between Jews in North America and Jews in Israel. Those relationships give American Jews a reason to care about Israel and what happens there­—their friends and camp counselors live there. Investing in shlichim only makes sense if you can prepare them properly. That requires both an understanding of Israel as well as being in Israel for the training seminar. That’s why Israel Up Close! not only brought the day camp directors to the JAFI training seminar, but also provided an introduction to Israel education in JCCs, as well as an educational touring itinerary in Israel. 

A gateway to the JCC The directors began thinking about how the day camp can serve as a gateway to the JCC itself, and how shlichim can help JCCs create a vibrant and authentic Israel presence across all the program departments. Between sessions, there were conversations between groups of camp directors ranging from staff training ideas to camper behavior management philosophies. The opportunity to share with colleagues and build a network of other camp professionals was a valuable take-away from the experience, and the communication between participants has continued as the directors returned home and jumped back into summer planning.

Largest-ever day camp contingent The directors’ presence was valuable not only for their own camps, but for the JCC Movement. The ten directors represented the JCC field, answering questions and modeling camp routines and programs such as bus time, flagpole, and welcoming Shabbat. The presence of the day camp directors (the largest in the history of the seminar) meant the shlichim had access to more information about camp, their roles, and how to be successful on the ground. It also showed the shlichim that day camp directors care about their success and value Israel education—a case that was not as easy to make in previous years with only one or two day camp directors present, overshadowed by the majority of overnight camp directors who attend. According to JAFI’s leadership, the presence of the day camp directors transformed the training for shlichim, and JCC Association is optimistic that the day camp shlichim will be better prepared for the coming summer as a result. For the JCC field, the opportunity for our day and overnight camp directors to share this experience was invaluable. As one long-time overnight camp director said on the last day, “Day camp directors rock!”


DISPATCHES FROM ISRAEL Beth Richman is the JFRC/JCC director of programs & marketing at The Jewish Federation of Raleigh-Cary. She shared her experiences at Israel Up Close! with her community. » It is 1:00 a.m. in Israel and I just finished a great day of training with 400 shlichim who will be coming to North America this summer to work in Jewish day and overnight camps. It was an amazing day filled with learning, laughter and fun. The shlichim are riding a rollercoaster of emotions. Today the Israeli Minister of Education addressed the group. He talked about how his experiences as a shaliach shaped his life, and then he broke out a guitar for a Camp JCC favorite, “Havenu Shalom Aleichem.” I feel so lucky to be here and share these five days of training with our shlichim, Noy and Maayan. » Shabbat Shalom from Kibbutz Shefayim in Israel. We have had two wonderful days of training since I last wrote. Our days have begun with Boker Tov at the flagpole where we have sung, danced and introduced them to all of our American day-camp morning traditions, including the Hebrew word of the day. As I prepare to spend my first Shabbat in Israel, I am amazed by the spirit and passion of these young Israelis. Their excitement for Jewish day camp is growing with every session. » Today was the final day of the summer shlichim training seminar and in many ways I felt much like I do on the last day of camp, both happy and sad. I came to the seminar to help our shlichim, Maayan and Noy, be better prepared for Camp JCC this summer. I wanted to teach them about our camp culture and American culture. I wanted to help ease their anxiety about traveling alone to the U.S. and living with strangers for nine weeks. I wanted them to feel like part of the Camp JCC family before their plane arrives in June.



Maayan Ziv

Noy Oded Ramat-Gan

loves to specialist), Noy vity re tu ul (c t oo acti Our Tarb re her favorite he w h, ac be e is. Noy go to th similar to tenn e m ga a g, on is ting-t rces (IDF) for el Defense Fo ra Is e th in tester and served —a software A Q a as s ar Birthright two ye ked with Taglit or w e Sh r. pe working develo is excited to be d an ps ou gr merican Jews. Israel more North A h it w er m m her Israeli this su ard to sharing rw fo g in ok lo pers) and She is anichim (cam ch r ou h it w e on to Israel. cultur lop a connecti ve de em th g helpin


Our Rikud (Israeli da nce specialist), Maay an loves Rikud Am, Israe li folk dancing, jazz and salsa. She will be en tering university next year to study either occupational therap y or physiotherapy. Sh e served in the IDF an d during her army tim e, she spent ten days with a group from Taglit Bir thright to develop an understanding of Je wish Israeli culture and a connection betwee n Israelis and their peers in the Diaspora . Maayan is looking forward to continuing this type of work with our chanichim.




JCCs address new challenges in the early childhood marketplace By Miriam Rinn


© Donna Harlev, Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License


hen in his State of the Union address, President Obama called to make “high-quality preschool available to every child in America,” he echoed the opinions of many child-development experts. The world is finally recognizing the value of a developmentally appropriate early childhood education. More state and local governments are offering free half and full-day pre-K for four year olds


to ensure they are ready to learn when they enroll in school (28 percent of all four year olds attend state-financed ECE programs). Synagogues and day schools are expanding their preschool programs, adding hours and accepting younger children. Chabad has an extensive system of lowcost preschools that are easy to access. And then there is the world of for-profit preschool and daycare centers, which benefit from economies of scale and large advertising budgets. While JCC early childhood programs have long enjoyed a reputation for excellence in their communities, with some running wait lists, how are they reacting to these challenges? “It’s impossible to compete with free,” says Mark Horowitz, JCC Association’s director of early childhood education and family engagement, but JCC early childhood centers are positioning themselves to remain the providers of choice of the best early childhood education. JCCs have the facilities—pool, gym, playground, classes—to create a community hub and build lasting relationships. “It’s an opportunity for families to play together,” Horowitz says. “People who make friends in pre-K stay friends.”

Preparing for Public Pre-K Ora Cohen Rosenfeld, early childhood director at the JCC of Greater Washington in Rockville, Maryland, was nervous about the prospect of government-funded ECE, but her anxiety lessened as she realized that the JCC could be part of whatever happened in the field. She is making sure that their licensing is in line, Cohen Rosenfeld says, so the JCCGW school will be able to provide universal pre-K, when and if that day comes. They don’t take advantage of a religious exemption, for instance, so they will be in a better position to accept government funding. “We


© Jonathan Bell, Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

are living in a more affluent area,” Cohen Rosenfeld notes, and she believes that public pre-K will be means-tested. “If it does happen,” she acknowledges, “it will have a tremendous impact on our program” but the JCC could expand its infant-care offerings, which are in high demand at many JCCs.

Offering an Extended Day Although many states offer free pre-K, Florida is the one state without religious restrictions on providers, so it acts as a test case in some respects. In Florida, all JCCs get government funding for voluntary two and a half hour pre-K. Since almost no one comes for only two and a half hours anymore, the JCCs offer wrap-around programs to make up an extended day. In Akron, Ohio, the Shaw JCC does much the same, according to Lori Bernstein, The best early childhood director of early childhood and school age services. education appreciates the They serve all the school child’s natural development districts in the area and coordinate with the state and creates learning developmental disabilities programs that respect those program. “We offer services prior or afterwards,” developmental stages. Bernstein says, including a before and after-school program for children from pre-K through ninth grade. Seventy-five percent of her 181 students are at the JCC more than five hours per day.

The Appeal of Jewish Values... and Quality Many of the families at the Akron JCC preschool are not Jewish, but “we have a very Jewish-values mission,” Bernstein says. “We want children and families to grow up in the JCC.” To accomplish that, she schedules lots of family programming when parents are available—Sundays and evenings—and ties food into everything. The JCC and the school celebrate the Jewish holidays, and while the early learning center acknowledges what is going on in the lives of the children at Christmas or Halloween, Bernstein grounds these events in universal values. “We are very fortunate in our community positioning and our member support,” Bernstein says. The ECE center at the Aaron Family JCC of Dallas is welcoming more non-Jewish families as well. “Non-Jewish families are choosing us because of our quality and hours,” says director Tara Ohayon, and she finds that they are enthusiastic about participating in Shabbat and holiday celebrations. Unlike most JCC schools, Dallas is seeing demand for three and even two-day offerings. Ohayon finds that the number of stay-at-home parents is increasing in her area, but she doesn’t see any relation to unemployment. The major competitive pressure Ohayon is feeling is from prep-style


preschools, which appeal to parents trying to get their children into elite private schools. Such preparatory ECE centers focus on rote skills and memorization. Ohayon believes that urging three and four year olds to memorize letters and sums is developmentally inappropriate. When parents come to tour the JCC school, she does a lot of educating, citing the latest research about child development. “Mark [Horowitz] has been very helpful to me,” she says, adding that she learned at the JCCs of North America Professional Conference that this is something everyone is dealing with. “Our kids who are in a developmentally appropriate program are getting into those elite schools,” she adds.

An Early Learning Framework Exclusive to JCCs Ohayon was introduced to Sheva—JCC Association’s new paradigm for early childhood education—at the Professional Conference. Eighty-four ECE professionals, representing half the JCCs with early childhood programs, attended the Conference and focused on Sheva. Almost all of them are participating in the ongoing learning groups that are at the heart of the new approach. According to Horowitz, just as An Ethical Start® did, Sheva integrates Jewish ethics and values into early childhood education. Sheva enables teachers to communicate the latest research on child development to families, as well as incorporating a real connection to Israel. Other Jewish schools don’t have as rich a network, says Horowtiz, citing the professional development at the program’s core. “We have ongoing study and learning groups that will have an impact down the road.” Rosenfeld agrees. “We’re exploring how to use Sheva to get out to the community what our core values are and how our program supports them.” Lori Bernstein feels that Sheva is a natural part of their philosophy at the Shaw JCC. “We’re unfolding Sheva for the staff and working to pull pieces apart,” she says. They will take next year to look at individual elements “and we’ll personalize it for our JCC in Akron.” According to Horowitz, the best early childhood education appreciates the child’s natural development and creates learning programs that respect those developmental stages. Sheva is “a comprehensive, holistic way of looking at children and their families,” he says. It’s also a powerful way for JCCs to distinguish their ECE centers in an increasingly competitive environment.

For more information please contact Mark Horowitz, vice-president, Early Childhood Education and Family Engagement at or (212) 786-5098.


What is Sheva? Sheva means seven in Hebrew. The number seven has deep roots in Jewish tradition. Sheva is also the JCC Movement’s new early learning framework. Its seven core elements are firmly rooted in the latest research on child development. THE




1. Children as Constructivist Learners


2. Early Childhood Directors as Visionaries 3. Early Childhood Educators as Professionals 4. Families as Engaged Partners 5. Environments as Inspiration for Inquiry

The success of early childhood education depends not only on the educator, but on the combined efforts of everyone involved in the program, including the children, families, and Sheva’s goal is to the program raise the level of directors. excellence in the

6. Discover CATCH as Sh’mirat HaGuf (taking care of our bodies) 7. Israel as the Story of the Jewish People

* The land of Israel is described as a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.

— Deuteronomy 8.8

ECE programs offered by JCCs.


Learning from JCC Benchmarking:

Add it up The numbers are in: JCCs with dedicated fundraising staff raise significantly more money. Period.



hile still a relatively small percent of total operating revenues, financial resource development (FRD) or fundraising is growing in importance to JCCs. What are the lessons in this area from JCC Excellence: Benchmarking? BY THE NUMBERS First, a few numbers to frame the discussion. The 41 JCCs submitting fundraising data in the 2012â&#x20AC;&#x201C;13 round of Benchmarking generated a total of $34 million for operations from contributions, government funding, JCC endowment proceeds and United Way. This excludes an additional $15 million in restricted contributions. On average, FRD represented 11% of total operating revenues. However, there was great variation from JCC to JCC: among the smallest JCCs, FRD represented between 7% and 19% of total operating revenue, with these JCCs




The most successful fundraising JCCs raised four times the dollars through FRD as did the lowest producing JCCs in their budget size. The difference? Full-time FRD staff.






$793,000 $3,200,000


FUNDRAISING raising between $155,000 and $625,000 in 2012. The story was the same among the largest JCCs (and every group in between), with FRD ranging from 5% – 17% of total revenue and from $793,000 – $3,200,000. Looking only at contributed income from individuals, corporations and foundations, which totaled $22.5 million for these JCCs, we found in 2012 that, on average, JCCs with at least one dedicated fundraising full-time equivalent staff person (FTE) raised more than double what JCCs without fundraising staff raised (on both a gross and net basis). For the first time, the difference this year was statistically significant. JCCs with staff members who focused on raising money raised more of it. This finding suggests that the focused energy of skilled fundraising professionals can dramatically increase the total dollars raised. Yet even among Large (operating budgets of $6.5 – 11 million) and Very Large ($11 – 25 million) JCCs, one in five fell below this one FTE threshold. WHAT FRD CAN DO FOR YOUR JCC These FRD professionals can help design and drive fundraising strategies, from broad-based campaigns to targeted fundraising for specific capital and programmatic initiatives. We know from studying nonprofit fundraising that strong results flow from a thoughtful blend of: 1. Events such as dinners, auctions or golf tournaments, which can generate engagement and sponsorships but with considerable expense 2. General appeals supported by effective messaging 3. Carefully tailored individual solicitations that may require long periods of relationship building and cultivation FRD professionals can help identify and bridge donor passions and JCC needs, with the active assistance of senior professional and JCC board members.

There is a direct association between active fundraising by nonprofit board members and the organization meeting its fundraising goals.


The involvement of board members in fundraising, while not specifically studied in JCC Association’s Benchmarking work, can dramatically improve results. For example, in research conducted last year by the Nonprofit Research Collaborative (NRC), a survey of more than 1,600 U.S. nonprofit organizations found a direct association between active fundraising by nonprofit board members and the organization meeting its fundraising goals. The survey looked at 11 different board member engagement methods, which ranged from relatively easy steps such as thanking donors without asking for another gift or sharing a mailing list,



What is JCC Benchmarking? JCC Excellence: Benchmarking is an initiative from JCC Association’s Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership & Management that helps JCCs improve their services and operations by tracking measurable indicators of excellence in financial sustainability, Jewish impact, member/user engagement, staff engagement and program performance. Our Benchmarking services will provide your JCC with three types of information: • the JCC field at large • your individual JCC compared to other JCCs of a similar budget size • your JCC compared to your own JCC year-over-year To date 73 JCCs throughout North America have participated in the Benchmarking process.

to having face-to-face meetings with donors or making personal introductions. On average, organizations with active fundraising boards used between six and seven of the different methods studied. Some of the methods were associated, with statistical significance, with a greater probability of meeting fundraising goals.1 Benchmarking has also identified a number of JCC activities or metrics that, year after year, are associated with greater past and future JCC contributions. Some of these measures are programmatic, including the breadth of JCC participation (number of programs used) and the level of user–staff interaction as measured by the frequency of informal conversations. Other factors are more mission-driven, including perceptions of the JCC as an important community institution, the breadth of reported Jewish impact, and effectiveness fostering a greater understanding of Israel. Our research shows an association between dedicated FRD professionals and an increase in fundraising, and we will continue to explore and expand these insights into improving fundraising effectiveness through Benchmarking and our ongoing work with JCCs.

For more information please contact Andy Paller, director, JCC Excellence: Benchmarking at or (212) 710-6432.

1. “Engaging Board Members in Fundraising,” Nonprofit Research Collaborative, September, 2012.



By Anna Khomina

Studies show an alarming drop in participation in organized Jewish activities by teens after they are bar or bat mitzvahed. JCC Maccabi Games® and ArtsFest® buck the trend, by reaching out to teens with activities they love — sports and arts — and delivering them with a good dose of fun, all in a Jewish context. 28

Juggling friends, homework, Facebook updates, college applications, the latest on their Twitter feeds, plus extracurricular activities that make their college essays noteworthy does not leave much time for

Jewish teens to reflect on their connections to Jewish life and their own Jewish identities. The disturbing truth is that after the bar and bat mitzvah are over, many Jewish teens sever their links to the Jewish communityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; with their parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; acquiescence


or approval. When a 2011 study conducted by Brandeis University looked at how to better engage Jewish teens and make them more invested in discovering their cultural and religious heritage, the researchers found when polling teens in the New York metro area that almost all (97 percent) were involved in extracurricular activities—with the highest numbers taking part in sports (42 percent) and the arts (20 percent)—but only seven percent participated in explicitly Jewish activities. Those few teens who did connect to the Jewish community, however, seemed to find it not only a good chance to reflect on their rich

Only seven percent of Jewish teens participate in explicitly Jewish activities.

heritage, but enjoyed hanging out with other Jewish teens their age. One eleventh grader in the study


described the importance of Jewish organizations as being “places where Jewish teens can just be Jewish teens.” The study advised that the most engaging Jewish-oriented activities “will have to stimulate interest among those who do not place Jewish life high on their list of priorities… [and] will need to impress teens from across the spectrum.” The researchers recommended Jewish activities that do not focus solely on Judaism and religion, but offer something fun to do. Using these criteria, the JCC Maccabi Games® and JCC Maccabi ArtsFest® are ideal teen-engagement programs: five-day summer experiences that focus on fun in Jewish environments. The programs offer Jewish teenagers the chance to play sports they enjoy and create art in intense workshop settings with other Jewish teens, while infusing their program time with Jewish ambience and values. In fact, The Jim Joseph Foundation included the JCC Maccabi Games and JCC Maccabi ArtsFest among

21 programs that successfully bring teens together in their 2013 report, Effective Strategies for Engaging and Educating Jewish Teens. Since 1982, the JCC Maccabi Games have welcomed Jewish teen athletes to gather in host communities and compete in team and individual sports. For teens from areas with small Jewish populations, the experience of being with as many as one thousand other Jews can be astounding. Many young athletes comment that they never realized there were this many Jewish teens who played sports. In 2006, as a way to invite creative teens to share a similar summer immersive adventure, JCC Maccabi ArtsFest was launched as a partner program to the Games. As Randy Ellen Lutterman, consultant for arts and culture, and director of JCC Maccabi ArtsFest, explains, the program’s goal is to unite people who are passionate about the arts in a variety of ways, “from creative kids who have long been involved in the arts, to the teens just discovering

their artistic spark. ArtsFest is full of teens artistically exploring and learning how to express their different ways of looking at the world.” ArtsFest’s unique blend of Judaism and the arts is what got Sari Rose Brown from Raleigh, North Carolina to participate four times. “Being with this many Jewish kids at the same time is something I never

For teens from areas with small Jewish populations, the experience of being with as many as one thousand other Jews can be astounding.

experienced before JCC Maccabi,” she says. For Brown, the chance to come together in the spirit of Jewish “culture and community” is “something I really value about Judaism.” The structure of ArtsFest, which provides teens with the


opportunity to work in groups by specialty track, provides a great opportunity to socialize and form connections with fellow teenage artists, according to Brown. “You’re working with these kids for hours each day,” she explains. Alexandra White of Brooklyn, New York, attended ArtsFest two years in a row. She still keeps in touch with many of the teens she met there eight years ago. It is “very special and very powerful to be surrounded by Jews…while doing something you’re passionate about,” White says. White’s experience at ArtsFest informed her ultimate decision to pursue a career in the Jewish world. Each ArtsFest specialty track is led by an artist-in-residence who encourages the group to express their creativity, deepen their artistic experience, and introduces certain Jewish themes that are an integrated part of the Games and ArtsFest each year. This Jewish education and exploration piece manifests in different ways each summer: teens might sing traditional or original Jewish songs in the vocal music track, or paint a Jewish-values inspired mural on the wall of their

host JCC. As Lutterman describes it, no matter the specialty, the artist-in-residence “invites the teens to think about how their Jewish identity impacts their work and their art, and encourages them to take an individual and unique artistic journey.” Remember that Brandeis University study about engaging teens in their Jewish heritage through innovative programming? In its exploration of how teens chose to spend their extracurricular time teens designated “fun” as the number one reason they chose activities—above resume-building experiences and even above spending time with friends. For Lutterman, that’s exactly what ArtsFest and the Games truly boil down to: “It is just fun. It’s fun to make art on a beautiful campus, it’s fun to compete in your favorite sport, and it’s fun to meet kids from places you’ve never heard of, who share similar passions.” _______________________________________________

Anna Khomina is an intern at JCC Association. She is studying history at Brandeis University.

JCC Maccabi Games: Austin, TX July 28 – August 2, 2013

JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest: Orange County, CA August 3 – 9, 2013


Connect with yourself. Connect with your purpose. Connect with Judaism. Connect with our future. Connect with each other.

JCCs of North America Biennial Where the JCC Movement comes together!

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JCC Association Circle - Summer 2013  

JCC Association magazine

JCC Association Circle - Summer 2013  

JCC Association magazine