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energy audits save $$$ | discover@the jcc |

Shalom Sesame:

A Celebration at JCCs!


winter 2011 5771 qruj


The JCC Circle Interview

inside winter 2011

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Encouraging Jewish engagement Allan Finkelstein DISCOVER @ THE JCC Transcending fitness Viva Tel Aviv! The other city that never sleeps Israel 2011: A dream come true JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest in Eretz Yisrael Five secrets to building a great board-executive relationship With Gary LIpman Nashville Journal: Floodwaters, Gordon JCC rise to the occasion It’s money in the bank Why you ought to have an energy audit now Grover: A world-traveler visits Israel The JCC Circle interview Shalom Sesame and engaging families The premiere is just the beginning Securing professional talent Who will lead your JCC in ten years?

For address correction or Information about JCC Circle contact or call (212) 532-4949. Š2010 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. governmentaccredited 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... Leah Garber Leah Garber is the director of JCC Association’s Israel office. Prior to joining JCC Association, Leah served as a community shlicha (Israeli emissary) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she provided an educational and cultural link between the local community and the people of Israel. Born in Jerusalem, Leah now lives in Modiin. Grover Grover is a gregarious blue monster who lives on Sesame Street. He is excitable, caring and compulsive. Grover is also a world traveler and recently visited Israel for the first time. He can be seen in the all new DVDs of Shalom Sesame as he travels and explores Israel, attends the bar mitzvah of his friend Mikey, and celebrates Jewish holidays with his friends at Rechov Sumsum. Barbara Lerman-Golomb Barbara Lerman-Golomb is our consultant on greening and the environment. The former executive director of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), Barbara conceived the campaign known as “How Many Jews Does It Take to Change a Light Bulb” and has been urging the Jewish community to care for the environment for more than fifteen years. Risa Olinsky Risa Olinsky, JCC Association’s consultant on wellness, has been in the field for almost thirty years. President and owner of Count on Yourself coaching programs, Risa worked as the wellness coordinator at JCC MetroWest, as well as the South Mountain YMCA.

jcccircle: Sr. Vice-President, and Chief Marketing Officer Robin Ballin

Chair Paula L. Sidman

Creative Director Peter Shevenell

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

Communications Manager, JCC Circle Editor Miriam Rinn Design Peter Shevenell Jeremy Kortes Dan Hertzberg

Vice-Chairs Lisa Brill Marvin Gelfand Gary Jacobs Virginia A. Maas Noreen Gordon Sablotsky Philip Schatten Andrew Shaevel

Secretary David Wax Associate Secretaries Dana Egert Linda Russin President Allan Finkelstein

Online Chris Strom


It’s time to start asking the right questions How can we work together to encourage Jewish engagement? In a September article in The Jewish Week, “JCC, Synagogues In Holy War in Boca,” Stewart Ain attempted to address the issue of High Holiday services at the Levis JCC in Boca Raton, Florida. When he interviewed me for the piece, I tried to help him see that the issue is not High Holiday services or after-school Hebrew classes. The issue is how we engage more Jews. Whether 12 or 15 percent of the Jews in Boca are affiliated is not the important point. Over 80 percent are not! The chances of these young families affiliating with a synagogue will increase if they have been exposed to comfortable, engaging Jewish learning and experiences. Every study validates the conclusion that multiple affiliations and engagements with Jewish life leads to more Jewish-identity activities. Yes, we need to collaborate wherever possible. Yes, the best educators, be they from JCCs, synagogues, or day schools, need to be involved in these programs to make young families feel comfortable. Is there a teacher out there who wouldn’t appreciate more work and more opportunities to make a living in the Jewish community? We have to create new rules of engagement and take some risks, and be willing to think together. No one disagrees. The problem isn’t that


this agency or that congregation is trying to reach Jews in ways that are nontraditional. The problem/challenge is that not enough Jews are engaged; the rest is technique, or as Hillel says, commentary. As Ed Case of the Interfaith Family Network wrote, “it is important that young families in particular have Jewish programming that they are attracted to and comfortable participating in, and if they find that at a JCC, that is a good thing. If the JCC does a good job and turns young families on to Jewish life, won’t they naturally want to find the deeper programming and community that synagogues ideally should offer?” We need to imagine and implement even more programs and initiatives. Ours is a very diverse community, becoming more varied every year. The JCC is an open, welcoming, and inclusive place where they can feel comfortable in expressing their Jewishness. I urge you to join the conversation about “changing the rules (that no longer work)” and breaking the barriers to engagement. B’shalom,

Allan Finkelstein President | JCC Association


Bring your ideas to the table:


Discover the Possibilities: Total Wellness at the JCC By Risa Olinsky

The lives we lead can feel contradictory. Our society is fast-paced, yet we’re too sedentary. Americans work harder than most people, but we actually do less and less. We hire other people to mow our lawns and clean our houses so we’ll have more time to work out. We brag about needing only five or six hours of sleep and spend millions on tranquilizers and sleeping pills. We rarely sit down to eat a meal with our families, yet obesity is quickly becoming a major public health crisis. What in the world is going on?




art of the problem is that our bodies did not evolve to deal with the technological revolution of the last three decades. Sitting in front of a computer or attending to a smart phone may be a great way to keep up with work, but it is very bad for our health. We were designed to move around most of the time, ambling about the fields or chasing down small animals, not sitting in one spot. Technology also adds to our stress levels. It may seem entertaining to watch a movie, scan e-mail, talk on the phone, and snack on potato chips all at the same time, but it’s actually distracting and stress-inducing.

There’s even a name for it: technostress. It leaves us forgetful, hyped-up on overstimulation, and isolated from one another. Add economic anxiety and you have a toxic mix of feelings of being overwhelmed, frightened, exhausted, and lonely. This is not a good combination, we know. Chronic high levels of stress lead to a depleted immune system.

The JCC can help Part of the mission of the JCC Movement has always been to enable people to live healthy, full, and satisfying lives. We know that many people are having a harder and harder time doing that. Change is tough, and people need help more than ever. To confront this challenge, JCCs are changing their approach to help their members better navigate the obstacles to living a well life. Wellness is about more than food and fitness; it’s the way we think and interact with the world. It’s about money, about raising families, about nourishing our spiritual side, about discovering who we really are.

DISCOVER: a total wellness campaign, unique to JCCs JCC Association’s new initiative, DISCOVER @ THE JCC, will help JCCs move health and wellness out of the gym and into all the other areas of our lives. We are partnering with Club One, Inc. a San Francisco-based

helping JCCs transcend fitness We have developed an initiative that we believe will help change the way JCCs run their facilities and will make them stand out from other service providers in their communities. In its simplest form, the Discover @ the JCC paradigm helps JCCs transition from an exercise-only fitness model to a physical/mental/spiritual wellness model. 


Discover transcends the fitness department; in fact, JCCs do not even need a fitness department to implement most of these programs. Our partner in this endeavor, Club One, Inc., will assist JCC Association in the onsite training of key staff, who will then train all staff who work with members.  Staff will also be trained to implement Club One’s already successful online wellness programs (BeWell, Habit Changer, etc.). Staff will learn to engage members in a manner that will crosspromote the myriad programs JCCs offer, increasing revenue. Discover @ the JCC positions the JCC as the wellness leader in the community.

Many paths, one destination DISCOVER @ THE JCC identifies 14 avenues to total wellness, and offers JCCs programming in all of them.

health-management company, and DISCOVER @ THE JCC will combine the benefits of high-tech and high-touch. The new initiative will include Club One’s BeWell online program. The BeWell platform includes: a personal and confidential health-risk assessment, self-paced wellness workshops, and the ability for JCCs to customize the program to meet the needs of their membership. That’s the high-tech part. The high-touch aspect takes advantage of the JCC strengths. For instance, let’s imagine this scenario: Sheila is a 65-year-old widow, grandmother, and

In order to test our model, we determined that a pilot program would be necessary to demonstrate success in a measurable and meaningful manner. Among the metrics we are using are increased retention over the pilot period (six months to one year); increased revenue through new wellness programs; and increased member and staff satisfaction. Six pilot sites were chosen, including at least one JCC from each size community (intermediate, largeintermediate, large, and metro). The criteria for selection were determined immediately after the JCCs of North America 2010 Biennial Convention in

May; the pilot phase is free to the six participating JCCs. Assuming a successful pilot project, Discover @ the JCC will be available to all interested JCCs. Because of the orientation and training necessary, high demand may necessitate creating a priority system for the roll out of the program. We feel very confident that this initiative will greatly benefit the field. For more information, contact: Steve Becker | tel: (212) 786-5105 Pattie Cippi Harte | tel: (212) 786-5130


Mind-body-spirit...and beyond The DISCOVER initiative offers a wide array of programming and a suite of marketing materials to help reintroduce the JCC to its community as the leader in total wellness. There is no end to what you can discovER @ THE JCC.

Torah yoga

retired attorney. She is short of breath, struggling with 40 pounds she gained over the past few years. She knows she needs to do something about her health, but she’s stuck and scared. A close friend offers to go to the JCC with her. Sheila welcomes the support, visits, and joins on the spot — the first step to a new lifestyle. Amy, JCC membership representative, asks Sheila when she would like to schedule her BeWell orientation. In a soft voice, Sheila asks, “What is that?” She fears she’s going to have to do something physical. Amy tells her the orientation is time set aside to get to know her. An instructor will talk with her about her goals, her health and other interests, so she can get the most out of her JCC membership. During the orientation she will complete a personalized health risk assessment and receive a copy of her results to take home. Reassured, Sheila schedules her orientation. She leaves the JCC feeling that she’s taken some control over her health. When Sheila goes home and calls her daughter to tell her, her daughter replies, “Mom, that’s wonderful. I just got an e-mail from DISCOVER @ THE JCC promoting a Welcome, New Moms program; I would love to meet other new moms. Maybe we’ll go together.” JCCs are special for everyone at every age. In addition to online tools to manage behaviors, DISCOVER @ THE JCC will provide innovative programming in 14 different areas to inspire and motivate JCC directors, staff, and members to look at the bigger picture of wellness.



tikkun olam

social etworking


Jewish journeys



Cognitive health is an integral part of being well, so we will be designing programs for JCCs that will stimulate curiosity and intellectual growth. Feeling part of a community is part of being well, and we have a strong social-action component in the program as well. Our JCC Grows project encourages different generations to work together in community gardens and then donate the produce to local food pantries. Learning more about Jewish culture and tradition can be an antidote to a feeling of purposelessness, so we are working on enriching Judaic programs. Through all these tools and offerings, with JCC Association’s support, JCCs will be recognized as wellness leaders in their communities. There is no other institution that can care for so many different aspects of so many different people’s lives. Discover @ the JCC is currently being piloted at six JCCs, and will soon be available to the field as a whole, with a full set of marketing materials. To explore a sampling of the programming available under the DISCOVER umbrella, visit:

Cross-silo engagement From book clubs to personal training, DISCOVER @ THE JCC unites nearly all of the JCCs offerings under one umbrella, and encourages the kind of cross-silo participation that is so crucial to member retention.


Quick: name the world’s third best * city to visit. Barcelona? London? Rio? * Source: Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities for 2011


Guess again. Do you know where you can find over one hundred places to eat sushi? The best Italian restaurant outside of Italy, according to the Italian tourist minister? The largest gay pride parade in Asia? A fabulous beach that rivals Rio’s for hottie spotting? It’s Tel Aviv, recently voted the third coolest city in the world by Lonely Planet. Tel Aviv is the economic, cultural, and party capital of Israel, a place you can hear a world-class orchestra perform Mahler or dance all night to beats mixed by internationally famous DJs. Known as the first Hebrew city, it was founded on April 11, 1909, just a tad over one hundred years ago. On that day, several dozen families gathered on the sand dunes outside continued


the ancient port city of Jaffa to allocate plots of land for a new neighborhood called Ahuzat Bayit, later to be known as Tel Aviv. Those families, mostly middle-class European immigrants, wanted a clean, modern suburb outside the crowded, disease-ridden lanes of Jaffa. During the 1930s, Tel Aviv was transformed into a flourishing city by a massive wave of Jews fleeing persecution in Europe. All these people needed housing, and their predominantly German heritage and taste welcomed the designs of the Bauhaus School of Art and Design, led by architects Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe. Characterized by flat roofs, clean lines, lack of ornamentation and cubic shapes, the Bauhaus style of architecture (later known as the International Style), resulted in Tel Aviv’s signature look. The White City, as it is called, includes over four thousand buildings in this modern style, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. Since the 1980s, young, sophisticated, and educated Israelis from all over the country have flooded to Tel Aviv, which gives the city its sophisticated air. A large number of illegal immigrants from places like Eritrea, Sudan, and the Philippines have created ethnic clusters, adding to its cosmopolitanism. Massive renovation and development has added skyscrapers to all those Bauhaus gems, so the city now combines the look of a relaxed Mediterranean seaside town with an edgy urban vibe. Naturally, traffic jams Tel Aviv’s busy streets 24 hours a day as natives and tourists crowd the restaurants and clubs that go all night long. Tel Aviv’s club scene is said to rival that of New York City. Tel Aviv offers high as well as low culture. Israel is known to have the highest number of museums per capita of any country; three of the largest—Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, and Eretz Israel Museum— are in Tel Aviv. Eighteen of Israel’s 35 major centers for the performing arts are located in the city, including five of the country’s nine largest theaters. The Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center is home to the New Israeli Opera and Israel’s national ballet. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performs here. Forty-seven movie theaters are located in the city, showing films from all over. Over one and a half million foreign tourists visit Tel Aviv annually and stay in the city’s 44 hotels. The gay capital of the Middle East, Tel Aviv has a well-established LGBT community. An Israeli transsexual won the 1998 Eurovision song contest, the city hosts a LGBT film festival, and its gay pride parade attracts large crowds from all over the world. All Tel Avivers are proud of the Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball team, which won the European Cup five times, and NBA player Anthony Parker called Tel Aviv the best basketball city. Not to neglect Israel’s other sports passion, Tel Aviv is the only city with three clubs in the Israeli Premier League, the country’s top soccer league. One hundred years after its establishment, Tel Aviv has made its founders’ vision of a vibrant, cosmopolitan, sophisticated city come to life. By Leah Garber, director of JCC Association’s Israel office. Contact Leah to find out how to bring your board to Israel for a meaningful retreat and learning seminar. e-mail:



create e t e p m o c




1982: Memphis The first JCC Maccabi Games are held. 2007: Baltimore JCC Maccabi ArtsFest is launched.

2011: Israel History will be made again, as the Games and ArtsFest go to Israel for the first time!

Help make history. This summer, a dream 29 years in the making will become a reality, as one thousand Jewish teens from North America will compete, perform, and create in Israel, meet Israeli teens, and explore their heritage in the Jewish state.


How do we get our teens connected to Israel? We take the JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest there — along with 1,000 North American 14—17 year-old athletes and artists! This groundbreaking 12-day journey, July 24–August 5, 2011, will feature everything that makes the Games and ArtsFest great — fabulous opening ceremonies, intense athletic competition (combined with rachmanus — fair play and good sportsmanship), and varied arts specialties with top-notch Israeli artists-in-residence. Teens will also take part in in-depth visits to Partnership2000 communities to learn first-hand the critical importance of the North American relationship with Israel, a dynamite Days of Caring and Sharing social justice program, and of course, visiting and experiencing some of Israel’s top tourist attractions. And, participants in the 2011 JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest in Israel will still be eligible to go on Taglit-Birthright Israel trips when they turn 18! Since 1982, 125,000 young Jewish North Americans have participated in the Games and ArtsFest, and these alums think of their JCC Maccabi experience as a defining Jewish moment in their lives. Days of Caring and Sharing — our community service program — will reinforce the concept of communal responsibility. While in Israel, our teens, coaches and delegation heads will take part in an “extreme makeover” in Kiryat Shemona, Israel’s northernmost city. Nestled in the Hula Valley, in the heart of one of Israel’s most beautiful nature and tourism regions, it was founded in 1949. We’re finalizing the details for our athletes and artists to help restore schools, parks, playgrounds and elder hostels damaged or destroyed


by rockets in the past. Our kids will be experiencing tikkun olam — repairing the world — with their hands and hearts. The JCC Maccabi Games will feature six of our most popular team and individual sports: soccer, basketball, tennis, swimming, volleyball and table tennis. JCC Maccabi ArtsFest will include dance, rock music, culinary arts, photography, broadcast journalism, acting/improv, visual arts, jazz and vocal music. Our teens will be touring, visiting Masada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea, spending a day in Jerusalem and a day visiting Tel Aviv and Jaffa. “The approach JCC Association has taken for this summer’s Games and ArtsFest is extremely innovative,” says Dan Deutsch, director of the JCC Maccabi Experience. “Recent trends suggest that teen travel to Israel is not as prevalent as it was just ten years ago. To curb this trend, we are bringing our most successful teen program to Israel, increasing the total number of teens on a peer summer trip by over ten percent. And, it will be so exciting to see 60 of our JCCs represented in Israel!” What are our goals for the teens participating in the 2011 JCC Maccabi Experience in Israel? Nothing short of helping them develop a passionate awareness of their Jewish identity, create a profound and lasting connection to Israel, and foster a strong sense of communal responsibility. Achieving all three helps assure the future of our Jewish community. The JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest in Israel is being organized and provided through a partnership between JCC Association and Maccabi World Union.

On this side of the Atlantic:



& will host the JCC Maccabi Games in the U.S. this summer, bringing competition, community, and Jewish connections to another 2,100 teens!

: JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest! & : JCC Maccabi Games! 17

Five secrets to building a great board-executive relationship By Miriam Rinn

“You ought to be thinking about it every day, and if you’re not, shame on you.” That’s what Gary Lipman has to say about the importance of the relationship between the executive director and the board of directors at a JCC. Lipman, who is the new executive vice-president/chief operating officer at JCC Association, and director of our Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management, has been an executive director at the JCC of Stamford, so he speaks from personal experience. The most productive relationship is one where the board and the exec feel that they’re partners, Lipman believes. They may have different roles, but they are equally important. “There has to be an understanding on the exec’s part that he’s a temporary steward,” Lipman says, while the board is there for the long-term. Lipman believes that successful board-exec partnerships share certain qualities:





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Open communications is essential. Don’t keep secrets, is Lipman’s advice. It’s easy to share the good news, but it’s just as important to share problems. “Some execs rightfully feel that personnel issues are their responsibility,” but it’s critical to share information about financial issues and personnel problems that may have legal and financial aspects. As in any intimate relationship, there needs to be mutual respect and a willingness to listen intently to what the other is saying.

Be clear about expectations. In general, the board of directors is responsible for establishing priorities and oversight, and the executive director is responsible for management and implementation. Lipman emphasizes that while the exec’s and board’s roles sometimes overlap, “the exec needs to make clear what she needs from the board to be successful. It’s the exec’s job to help the board define what they want.” Of course, the board needs to treat the exec with respect, but execs have to For more information on board operations, contact Ann Eisen at (504) 866-5090, or via e-mail:

keep in mind that questioning does not constitute an attack. ‘In the end, the board has the responsibility to the community for oversight,” Lipman says. Part of an exec’s role is to help identify good candidates for the board. If the exec bows out, he’s failing the board, according to Lipman. If the board ignores her suggestions, it’s failing the exec.


The board has power only as a collective.


Boards need training.


Learn together.




Individual board members must understand that they have no authority or power. Only the board as a whole has power. Too often, an individual board member will give orders to JCC staff. But “individuals have no authority over exec or staff,” Lipman points out. “The board has to discipline itself, just as an exec does,” to understand the limits of its authority.

Good board members aren’t born, they’re trained. “The board and the exec should work together to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the current board,” Lipman says, noting that JCC Association provides board-training and assessment services. “The first part of fixing a problem is identifying it” and self-assessment is key. Although all JCC management teams find it hard to make time for training, that’s not an excuse, according to Lipman. “It’s hard to find the time to do almost everything.” Training must be a priority.

Because JCC execs and boards necessarily spend so much time on the business aspects of running the organization, they can easily lose sight of the mission of a Jewish institution. The solution, Lipman says, is to study Jewish texts together. “The experience of learning something meaningful and thinking through the values of the organization” can be transformative. He’s a big proponent of lifelong learning, and “when it’s done together, it advances the relationship.”


Nashville journal

Gordon JCC: Rising to the Challenge By Jordana White Director of Marketing/Public Relations and Special Events, Gordon JCC of Nashville

On May 1 and 2, 2010, the city of Nashville found itself underwater. Record rainfalls had resulted in record-breaking floods. The Gordon Jewish Community Center — both staff and members — immediately sprang into action to help the many affected families, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in the neighborhood.


Under the direction of GJCC Executive Director Eric Goldstein and GJCC Sports and Wellness Director Harry Baker, the JCC became a Red Cross shelter for displaced flood victims. “As a JCC director, it made me so proud to be at the center of the entire community, reaching out to everyone who was in need and giving them that support. It spoke to the very core of our mission as an organization,” Goldstein says. Over 500 individuals slept in the GJCC gymnasium over the next week. Local restaurants generously donated three meals a day to people sleeping at the JCC, as well as other flood victims. Baker, who supervised and coordinated the bulk of the relief process, said, “Without the help of our many volunteers, both corporate and lay people, this massive relief effort would not have been possible.” In addition to providing shelter to displaced individuals, the GJCC operated a Disaster Relief Distribution Center from May 3-5, inviting flood victims to come and take whatever they needed, such as food, clothes, toys, books, toiletries, cleaning supplies and much more. JCC members gave so generously that the relief center was filled to overflowing and additional donations could be channeled to other relief centers. During its run, the GJCC “store” provided hundreds of people with the items they needed to begin rebuilding. The store was staffed around the clock by JCC members, assisting “shoppers” in finding what they needed, offering a listening ear, and when needed, a shoulder to cry on. While the store has closed and all the displaced residents have found new places to live, flood relief efforts continue in Nashville. Steve Edelstein, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee, says that, to date, “over $240,000 was donated by individuals and Jewish Federations, with substantial assistance from The Jewish Federations of North America, to flood relief.” To donate to continued flood relief efforts, visit or


It’s money (and energy)

in the bank

By Barbara Lerman-Golomb Social Responsibility Consultant, JCC Association


Illustrations: Daniel Hertzberg

Why you ought to have an energy audit

Feeling tired? Run down? A loss of energy? Your JCC may be feeling the same way. You can help it run more efficiently by conducting an energy audit. Since buildings produce one half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., focusing on making buildings more sustainable is key to addressing global climate change. Conducting an energy audit is the first step in that process. So what exactly is an energy audit? Basically, it’s a survey of the use of energy in a building. It can range from a simple preliminary audit to a more comprehensive analysis. An audit includes interviews with the people involved in the facility operations, a review of utility bills and other data, and a walk-through of the JCC. Beyond simply identifying the sources of energy use, one goal of an audit is to prioritize energy use by cost effectiveness. In other words, where do you get the most energy bang for your buck? That’s why an energy audit can lead to lower energy bills. In the U.S. an energy audit can be facilitated by: • Public utility companies (often through their energy conservation departments) • Private companies such as an energy services company (ESCO), insulation contractors, or air-sealing specialists • State energy offices Utility companies often provide this service, as well as offering loans and other incentives to diminish energy use. They may also put up incentives for making changes such as switching from oil to natural gas. In addition, some have programs to install “smart” thermostats with pre-programmed energy efficient settings. While these changes benefit the JCC as a consumer, energy companies gain as well, in that such changes alleviate strains on the energy grid, which can lead to brown-outs or blackouts. Many JCCs have conducted energy audits. The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta conducted an audit in March 2009, after receiving a grant from Grants to Green, a partnership between Atlanta’s Community Foundation and Southface, a local organization that gives not-for-profits the opportunity to renovate or build work places that are environmentally efficient. The Marcus JCC was recently named by Southface as one of the top four facilities in Atlanta to use their greening grant. With 140,000 square feet, the MJCCA has 30+ HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) units throughout the building. These are controlled through a central computer, which can be managed remotely by the facilities director. The audit showed that by monitoring the temperature in the Center Theatre, a large space that is used less frequently than other rooms with daily use, the JCC could save a significant amount of energy. Another simple change was to schedule meetings on one day instead of having them spread out


throughout the week to lessen the strain on the HVAC and lighting systems. Other easy-to-implement changes were low-flow showerheads and faucets, switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, and setting the computers for sleep mode when they weren’t being used.

Through EnerNOC, a JCC Association preferred vendor, Bernikow JCC saved $39,000 last year. More expensive suggestions that grew out of the audit included a pool cover for after hours, misting rooftop HVAC units with rainwater, and an ultraviolet system for the indoor pool. “Our governance board attended Southface’s presentation of their assessment and worked with our facilities manager to determine the most cost-effective upgrades we could implement at the time,” said Kelly Brown, teen services director at the MJCCA. “The board then budgeted $50,000 in hopes of receiving a matching implementation grant this year, which will provide the funds necessary to implement the remaining upgrades.” The JCC has already saved $9,000 on the changes made so far.


he Joan & Alan Bernikow JCC in Staten Island, New York is a member of the Jewish Greening Fellowship. Funded by UJA-Federation of New York, the Fellowship aims to address global climate change by supporting efficient and sustainable practices in Jewish institutions to reduce their environmental footprints—all while strengthening Jewish life. The program provides training, grants of $15,000-$20,000, and organizational support to 20 Jewish institutions to help them in the process of “greening” their facilities and raising awareness of environmental issues. In addition, the Bernikow JCC uses EnerNOC, a JCC Association preferred vendor, as their ESCO, for purchasing and demand response, a program that offers incentives to curtail energy use during times of peak demand. They saved $39,000 last year through their ESCO purchasing! After they received their audit results in March 2010, the JCC implemented several suggestions: they installed a summer pool pump bypass, which saved them $3,500; they put in motion sensors to control their lights, which they believe will save $11,000 annually; and they switched to a solar thermal heating system, which they plan to install in the spring. All of these were paid for by grants from NYSERDA PONS, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Program Opportunity Notices and NYCEDC, the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The Jewish Greening Fellowship helped the JCC identify where to look for the money. Even larger changes are on the horizon. The JCC hopes to get federal funding for a solar PV (photovoltaic) system to make electricity, and is


looking into the use of a heat engine to simultaneously generate both electricity and heat. The biggest surprise that came out of the energy audit, according to Joseph Rich, the JCC’s greening coordinator, “was that in a building that is only three plus years old, there was plenty of room for improvement.” Rich believes that the full financial impact will be apparent next summer when the solar thermal heating system is installed and operational.


ome JCCs build in energy efficiency from the start. For example, an integrated building management system that controls energy use was fundamental to the Oshman Family JCC of Palo Alto, California in receiving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, a rating system for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings. The JCC of San Francisco conducted their first energy audit in 2007 when they began their Green Initiative. Their building was only three years old at the time and was built to be energy efficient. Incentives from their energy provider, PG&E, for energy efficiency in lighting and building automation systems, helped defray the cost. The only recommendation of their audit was to change the metal halide lighting in their parking garage to CFLs. They completed the retrofit of 93 lights in 2009, and later conducted a second audit specifically looking at their HVAC system, which concluded that it was running at maximum efficiency. Essential to JCCs is to create an atmosphere of wellness—a positive approach to living that moves toward a state of optimal sustainability. Environmental wellness refers not only to making the world around us a healthier place by conserving and preserving our natural resources, but making where we live, work and play, healthier spaces as well. A healthy JCC is one in which the building isn’t a financial drain and works towards a climate of tikkun olam by promoting environmental stewardship and environmental justice for ourselves and the greater community.

Check out these energy (and money) saving resources: EnerNoc Green Building Council Microsoft Hohm A free Web-based beta application that helps save energy and money


TM and Š 2010 Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.


We spoke to the world traveler after his visit to Israel, where he explored from Haifa to Eilat...

the jcc circle interview


JCC Circle: You recently went to Israel. Was it your first time on a plane? What did you like best about your trip? Grover: First time flying? You must not know that I, your lovable pal Grover, am also a super hero — so flying comes naturally to me. Flying on a plane, however, tends to be much easier and safer. My favorite part about my trip to Israel was meeting all the nice and interesting monsters and people who live on Rechov Sumsum. J: What were some of your favorite places you went in Israel? What was the best food you had there? G: My favorite place to visit was the Mediterranean Sea. It was soooo blue — not unlike myself. The food in Israel was pretty good too. I’ve already asked that falafel be added to the menu at Charlie’s Restaurant. J: While in Israel, you celebrated many Jewish holidays. Which one did you enjoy the most? G: They were all interesting because of how different they are celebrated. Chanukah is so much fun. I always have my dreidel ready to roll. Come on, give me a gimmel! J: You learned a lot of Hebrew in Israel. What is your favorite Hebrew word? Why? G: I really like how the word shalom has so many meanings. Hello, goodbye, peace…it must feel so special to be such an important word. And it sounds so nice to say too. Shalom. J: Of all that you learned from your friends in Israel, and at Rechov Sumsum, what are you most excited to share with your friends back on Sesame Street? G: Well, as you may or may not know, I am considered to be quite the global traveler. I love returning to Sesame Street and teaching my friends new words I learned in other languages. For example, I was telling Abby Cadabby just the other day that when you greet someone in Israel you say Boker Tov. Similarly, she taught me that the same phrase in fairy language is flap flap flutter flap flap. Interesting, no? J: And one last question: Who is the bigger grouch — Oscar? Or Moishe Oofnik? G: When visiting Rechov Sumsum, I would tell Moishe that Oscar is a BIGGER grouch. When home at Sesame Street I would tell Oscar that Moishe is a BIGGER grouch. I imagine it would make each of them grouchy to be told that the other was a BIGGER grouch…and since being grouchy makes them both happy, I would consider it a mitzvah. Grover and his friends at Rechov Sumsum can be seen in the all-new DVDs of Shalom Sesame.


Shalom Sesame brings families together at JCCs, Grover visits Israel, and JCCs get an amazing new teaching tool. Does it get any better than this? In a word: Yes. “Shalom Sesame is a great tool to engage families, but watching the episodes is just the beginning,” says Mark Horowitz, JCC Association’s director of early childhood services. “Shalom Sesame episodes can be a wonderful jumping off point for JCCs — to teaching Jewish values, and to inspiring families to take important next steps in their Jewish journeys.”



n December 5, 2010 over 20,000 people came together at 106* JCCs for a landmark event: a continent-wide celebration of Hanukkah—with Grover and his friends! JCCs across North America brought families together for screenings of Shalom Sesame, the new children’s series from Sesame Workshop that explores Jewish life. JCCs planned a full range of fun and educational activities in conjunction with this Hannukah celebration, including brunches, singing songs, and round-robin activities. The JCC of Greater Baltimore hosted its event at a local Landmark cinema. And one of Shalom Sesame’s stars, Anneliese Van der Pol, joined the celebration at the Merage JCC of Orange County. Sesame Workshop created a special video message to JCCs from Grover that preceded the screenings and welcomed families to the world of Shalom Sesame. Each participating JCC received companion materials from JCC Association to help parents explore the Jewish values inherent in the episode with their children.

A springboard to learning Shalom Sesame offers a wonderful opportunity to engage families with young children, by capitalizing on the familiarity and quality of the Sesame Street brand. “But the important thing,” according to Horowitz, “is what happens once we have their attention. Our goal is to extend the learning beyond the viewing experience, with classroom exercises and activities that build on the content of the episodes.” “For instance,” he continues, “the Hannukah program has a wonderful segment showing how olive oil was made in the time of the Maccabees. Our companion piece gives JCCs activities to use this segment to teach lessons about community and the value of teamwork. We are developing similar curricular units for each of the 12 episodes.” In addition, through a collaboration with PJ Library, each unit will feature book recommendations to extend the learning from the classroom to the home.

Sumsum to Sesame Rechov Sumsum, the Israeli version of Sesame Street, has been in production in various forms since 1983. Sesame Street is translated into many different languages, but there are only a few Streets that have been created specifically for individual countries, to address issues unique to children living there. These programs have their own cast of characters, both human and muppet. Rechov Sumsum’s multi-ethnic * As of Dec. 2, 2010

Let’s Tell Stories! Jews are passionate about their stories. These story-starters are meant to jog memories and encourage the telling of stories in order to pass along values and traditions to the next generation. There are no “right” stories to tell your children. You will know their effect when you see the wonder and delight in your children’s eyes. My first memory of Chanukah is… When I was your age, I couldn’t wait for the moment that… When we played dreidel, we used to… My favorite Chanukah song was always… [Excerpted from JCC Association’s educational companion guide to the Shalom Sesame Hannukah episode.]


cast reflects the diversity of today’s Israel. Sesame Workshop designed Shalom Sesame to help North American children feel connected to Israel, and for North American families to understand something about Jewish life and Jewish culture in Israel. The series follows the story of Anneliese, a young Jewish-American woman visiting Israel for the very first time. She has come to visit Shoshana, a close family friend who lives and works on Rechov Sumsum. With help from her new friends on Rechov Sumsum, Anneliese — along with Grover — discovers Israel and learns about Jewish holidays and traditions.

Looking ahead Shalom Sesame episodes will be available for purchase on DVD from Sesame Workshop during the coming months. JCC Association is planning more events around specific episodes. “At the end of January we’re going to do a viewing of the Shabbat program tailored specifically to children with special needs and learning differences, produced in collaboration with the group Matan,” says Horowitz. “We are also working on bringing community Tu B’Shevat celebrations to JCCs, inspired by a wonderful Israeli seder that was developed there in conjunction with Rechov Sumsum.”

Coming together 106* JCCs hosted Shalom Sesame Hannukah celebrations on December 5, 2010. Is yours one of them? 92nd Street Y, New York, NY Aaron Family JCC of Dallas, TX Addison Penzak JCC of Silicon Valley, CA Adolph & Rose Levis JCC, Boca Raton, FL Asheville JCC, NC Augusta JCC, GA Barbara & Ray Alpert JCC, Long Beach, CA Barness Family East Valley JCC, AZ Barry & Florence Friedberg JCC, Oceanside, NY Barshop JCC of San Antonio, TX Bernard & Ruth Siegel JCC, Wilmington, DE Betty & Milton Katz JCC, Cherry Hill, NJ Calgary JCC, Alberta Charles Schusterman JCC, Tulsa, OK Charleston JCC, SC Contra Costa JCC, CA David Posnack JCC, Davie, FL Gordon JCC, Nashville, TN Harry & Rose Samson Family JCC, Milwaukee, WI IJ & Jeanne Wagner JCC, Salt Lake City, UT Jack & Lee Rosen SW Campus, Orlando, FL * As of Dec. 2, 2010


JCC Chicago, IL JCC in Manhattan, NY JCC MetroWest, West Orange, NJ JCC of Allentown, PA JCC of Austin, TX JCC of Central NJ, Scotch Plains, NJ JCC of Edmonton, Alberta JCC of Greater Ann Arbor, MI JCC of Greater Baltimore, MD JCC of Greater Kansas City, KS JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, PA JCC of Greater Vancouver, BC JCC of Greater Washington, Rockville, MD JCC of Houston, TX JCC of West Houston, TX JCC of Mid-Westchester, Scarsdale, NY JCC of Rhode Island JCC of Rockland County, West Nyack, NY

JCC of San Francisco, CA JCC of Schenectady, NY JCC of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, NV JCC of St. Louis, MO JCC of Stamford, CT JCC of Staten Island, NY JCC of the East Bay, Berkeley, CA JCC of the Greater Palm Beaches, FL JCC of the Greater St. Paul Area, MN JCC of the North Shore, Marblehead, MA JCC of Windsor, ON JCC of Wyoming Valley, Wilkes Barre, PA JCC Princeton Mercer Bucks, Lawrenceville, NJ JCC Suncoast, St. Petesburg, FL JCCs of Greater Boston, MA Jerry Shaw JCC of Akron, OH Jewish Community Alliance, Jacksonville, FL Jewish Community Alliance of Lancaster, PA JCC Metropolitan Detroit, MI Jewish Educational Alliance, Savannah, GA Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, PA Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, Tenafly, NJ Kate & Irwin Kahn JCC, Columbia, SC Kevy K. & Hortense M. Kaiserman JCC, Wynnewood, PA Lawrence Family JCC of San Diego County, La Jolla, CA Leo Yassenoff JCC of Greater Columbus OH Levite JCC, Birmingham, AL Mandell JCC, West Hartford, CT Marcus JCC, Atlanta, GA Mayerson JCC, Cincinnati, OH Memphis JCC, TN Michael Ann Russell JCC, No. Miami Beach, FL

Mid-Island Y JCC, Plainview, NY Milton & Betty Katz JCC, Margate, NJ New Orleans JCC, LA Newburgh JCC, NY Omaha JCC, NE Osher Marin JCC, San Raphael, CA Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto, CA Peninsula JCC, Foster City, CA Prosserman JCC, Toronto, ON Robert E. Loup JCC, Denver, CO Ronald Greenswartz JCC of Greater Albuquerque, NM Rose & Max Rady JCC, Winnipeg, MB Rosenthal JCC of Northern Westchester, Pleasantville, NY Roth JCC of Greater Orlando, FL Sabes JCC, Minneapolis, MN Samuel Field Y, Bayside, NY Sandra & Leon Levine JCC, Charlotte, NC Schwartz/ Reisman Centre, Toronto, ON Scranton JCC, PA Shimon & Sara Brinbaum JCC, Bridgewater, NJ Sid Jacobson JCC, East Hills, NY Silverlake Independent JCC, Los Angeles, CA Soloway JCC, Ottawa, ON Springfield JCC, MA Stroum JCC, Mercer Island, WA Suffolk Y JCC, Commack, NY The Educational Alliance, New York, NY The Lore & Eric Ross JCC, Boynton Beach, FL The Marilyn & Marvin Simon JCC, Virginia Beach, VA Tucson JCC, AZ Valley of the Sun JCC, Scottsdale, AZ Washington DC JCC Westside JCC, Los Angeles, CA Worcester JCC, MA York JCC, PA


Got talent? Your JCC’s future depends on it Like other nonprofit organizations, the JCC Movement faces a critical personnel challenge: in six to ten years, half of our current executive directors will retire. Data has shown that effective JCC staff is the most important factor in membership retention. Parents are willing to pay more if they feel that early-education or camp staff are exceptional. So we know that the quality of our people is our In six to ten years, greatest asset. On the staff side, JCC professionals half of our current report that inspired leadership and professional executive directors growth mean more to them than money. That will retire. tells us that the caliber of leadership determines the success of a JCC. Where will the

next generation of JCC executives come from?

Where will the next generation of JCC executives come from? To meet that challenge, JCC Association’s board of directors has established a future talent task force, which will look at how to attract, identify, develop, and retain top talent. Chair Linda Simon says that they will work on building the foundations for a talented workforce. “As it says in The Talent Powered Organization by Peter Cheese, ‘Your organization’s prosperity depends on how you target, manage, motivate and develop talented people.’” “Benchmarking [JCC Excellence: The Benchmarking Project] has taught us that leadership is critical,” says Alan Goldberg, vice-president for professional leadership, Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management. “You can teach management skills; you have to develop leadership.” Another change is generational. While the baby boomers now serving as execs viewed JCC work as a career, the younger people they are supervising expect to have four careers in a lifetime. In addition, because of two-professional households, younger staff are not willing to move to different JCCs every few years. JCCs have to give their promising staff members new and different opportunities so they can feel they are growing professionally in their own JCCs. “We have to work with the field to redefine how we hire, train, and develop the professionals moving forward,” says Joy Brand, associate vice-president



for professional leadership, Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management. “We see JCC Association playing a more active role in training,” she added, “actually in developing leaders.” With that in mind, the upcoming 2011 Professional Conference will concentrate on how JCC professionals can learn to see themselves as leaders, not just managers, regardless of their age or how long they’ve been in the field. Potential executives need a clear vision and the ability to communicate in order to implement that vision. They have to have the personality to deal with people and supervise staff. Current executive directors need to identify high-potential staff members, those who do a great job and will be able to succeed in more demanding positions. “We’re trying to raise the standards in the field because we’re going to succeed or fail based on the quality of leadership,” Goldberg says.

FREE WEBINARS Over the past six months, JCC Association’s Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management Professional Leadership team has offered webinars with leading facilitators in the fields of staff development, program management, and leadership skills. Over 1100 JCC staff members took advantage of this great opportunity. Watch your e-mail for more information and check our calendar at for the winter and spring webinars. If your staff missed any of the webinars, recordings can be found on JCC Resources at

4 days of learning from experts and your peers. Boost your productivity. Improve your skills and your programs. 11 Job Tracks

42 Elective Sessions

Regional Sessions

Early-bird deadline: January 20, 2011 Contact Joy Brand at (212)786-5114 or 33

to every JCC, every day.

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Circle Winter 2011  
Circle Winter 2011  

JCC Assoication Circle, winter 2011