Our goal is to provide value to every JCC, every day. Here are 12 ways we are building stronger JCCs.
The J in JCC
North American Jewish life is changing, growing more diverse and more diffuse. But the JCC is still the heart of the Jewish community, welcoming to everyone and filled with Jewish experiences and ambience. We offer a wealth of programs and materials through our Mandel Center for Jewish Education for JCC camps and adult departments. Our Israel office plans educational seminars for staff and JCC members, and sends out monthly updates on Israeli culture and events. Our Jewish values curriculum An Ethical Start gives JCC preschools a step up, and our weekly d’vrei Torah provide inspiration for the week ahead. In addition, JWB Jewish Chaplains Council, our endorsing agency for military chaplains, supports Jewish men and women in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Telling your story
Technology has transformed marketing and communications, but success still depends on telling a good story. We can help JCCs tell their story through strategic marketing consultations, our website www.DiscoverJCC.com, and our professionally designed JCC Brand, which comes with a full array of training materials and a complete suite of photographs, illustrations, brand colors and fonts, and branded logos.
We’ve been working with JCCs for decades to build strong, successful organizations. Our expertise is broad and deep. We have experts in membership, marketing, financial resource development, emerging communities, strategic thinking, governance, and talent management. The Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management developed JCC Excellence: The Benchmarking Project to help JCCs track their performance, and the data has provided a rich source of information. When you need to see the big picture, we can help you focus.
Human capital is every organization’s most important asset, and we develop that asset for you in so many ways. Our executive search services help you find the perfect leader, and our first-time executive support program and the Executive Seminars help that leader succeed. Graduate scholarships, regional and distance learning opportunities, and the Professional Conference encourage young staff to make the JCC a career. We offer a variety of ways to network and share information too.
The health of your JCC depends on the quality of your leadership. Our training programs, board assessments, and governance consultations help you build the best board ever. The JCCs of North America Biennial and the Esther Leah Ritz Next Generation of Leaders Institute are just two of many ways your board members can become more effective.
Focus on families
JCC preschools deserve their sterling reputations, and our ECE staff travel all over North America to keep it that way. Through personal consultations and our extraordinary signature early-childhood programs, we build JCC preschools on a firm foundation of Jewish values. An Ethical Start®, our values-education curriculum, This New Month, and our new partnership with Shalom Sesame all contribute to keeping JCC preschools among the finest in North America.
We know that Jewish camping builds formative Jewish experiences that last a lifetime. The JCC network of resident and day camps serves more Jewish children than any other. We have programs and materials that enrich your camp day and inspire your staff, and we have formed a task force to investigate how to make JCC day camps even more powerful tools of Jewish engagement. To learn more about our different services, contact Jodi Sperling, director of camping services and initiatives.
The adults journey
We have designed various programs to engage adults, including those members of the baby-boom generation who are now looking for what to do with the rest of their lives. Journeys: Adult Jews Living and Learning takes an interactive, multi-disciplinary, multi-media approach to adult Jewish learning. JCC Grows is part of our expanding selection of social-justice activities. JCC Reads gathers all the material you need to run a dynamite book club at your JCC, and JCC Jewish Travel offers Jewish-themed trips to the JCC Movement. We’ve also added consultants on the environment and arts and culture to our staff.
How do we get teens to disengage from their social-media sites for awhile and connect to a flesh-and-blood community? Our Merrin Center for Teen Engagement is dedicated to doing just that. The Merrin Teen Professional Fellows program has strengthened the skills and talents of JCC teen professionals across the country for the last eight years. Our JCC Maccabi Games and JCC Maccabi ArtsFest involve thousands of Jewish athletes and artists in a week-long celebration of Jewish identity. Through JCC Maccabi Israel, hundreds of teens travel to Israel each summer with friends from camps or their JCCs, making memories that last a lifetime. For more information on our teen programs, contact Jodi Sperling, director of the Merrin Center for Teen Engagement.
Expanding total wellness
Wellness is not only about exercise or diet or fitting into that outfit from way back. It’s about nourishing every aspect of your being. Our wellness initiative Discover @ the JCC will make the JCC the center of wellness in its community. Partnering with premier fitness provider Club One, we are offering JCC members the ability to evaluate and monitor their wellness status and receive automated coaching alerts to keep them on track. We’re also rolling out a variety of programs to encourage cognitive, emotional, and spiritual wellness. Our many programs and training elements for staff will help the JCC and JCC members move toward a state of optimum health.
Focusing on operations
Running a JCC is a big job. That’s why we have developed many different tools to help you do it right. Our Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership and Management is transforming the field with its data-driven approach to management. Our consultants can guide your marketing, membership, FRD, and strategic-thinking efforts. We continually update our best practices and standards for JCC governance and management and disseminate the latest information on JCCA.me and through weekly and monthly newsletters.
Keeping in touch
We live in a time of constant and immediate communication, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier to know what’s going on. The challenge is to focus on what’s important and useful. You can keep up with what’s happening in the JCC Movement through our Listservs, through our websites www.jcca.org and www.discoverjcc.com, through our Facebook pages and Twitter feed, through our blog, through our montly e-newsletter and our quarterly magazine JCC Circle, and through our continental and regional conferences. We want to hear from you too, so stay in touch.
Download our 12 Ways We Build Stronger JCCs brochure to learn more.