JCC Association Piloting New Holistic Wellness Initiative DISCOVER @ the JCC

JCC Association, the continental leadership network for the JCC Movement, has formed a partnership with premier fitness provider Club One to launch an initiative Discover @ the JCC, which emphasizes the holistic nature of good health and well being. A year-long study by a JCC Association task force resulted in the decision to move JCCs from a focus on exercise-based fitness to a more rounded approach to good health. Many Americans suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which are a result of lifestyle. Medical experts agree that a less sedentary, less stressful lifestyle is much healthier.

Through this partnership with Club One, JCC Association will be able to make available to JCCs a variety of wellness programs and online tools for members to track and improve their health habits. Two key online portals– BeWell and HabitChanger–will help JCC members to understand their health risks, provide effective solutions, and encourage them to develop better habits through automated coaching via message alerts, timely reminders, and relevant information.

JCC Association has taken the traditional wellness model of mind, body, and spirit, and expanded it to include the intellectual, spiritual, and communal needs of the whole person. The agency already offers JCC Grows, a social-justice gardening program, and JCC Reads, which offers a rich variety of materials for JCCs to run book groups on chosen titles. JCCs have a wealth of other programming relating to the arts, Jewish heritage and tradition, nutrition, financial planning, and other aspects of a well-rounded life.

Club One professionals have trained JCC staff at six pilot sites on how to implement the initiative so that members receive the full benefit of the program.  “Club One is proud to partner with the JCC to provide new wellness programming to its members,” says Tom Nelson, Club One vice-president for community centers. “For over a decade, our wellness programs have helped improve the lives of employees at numerous Fortune 500 companies.  We have now adapted our most effective programs specifically for the JCC.  The JCC is uniquely positioned as a Community Center to deliver our best-in-class programs because they serve the whole family.  A sampling of programs include Feeding Your Kids, Losing Weight, and Stop Stressing.”

JCC Association has also designed a branded campaign for the initiative, including a logo and a full set of marketing materials for JCCs to use to present themselves to their communities as the place to go for wellness programs.  Some JCCs have already changed their e-mail signatures and voice-mail messages to reflect the new emphasis.

Surveys taken before and after the piloting phase will help refine and improve the initiative before making it available to all JCCs.  “We are thrilled to be launching an initiative that has the potential to position JCCs as the wellness provider in their community,” said Arnie Sohinki, senior vice-president, JCC Association. “The partnership with Club One combined with the innovative programming from JCC Association has the ability to change the ways JCCs do business.”

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