Make serving members a seamless experience for them—and your JCC.
“Brian’s visit was really valuable. He was able to provide insight into current trends, challenges and success in the field, and was very adaptable to our needs and schedule.”
JCCs are in the people business. Attracting new members and participants, and retaining them once they’re engaged by ensuring they have a best-in-class experience is at the core of your business model—and at the heart of all you do.
We help you sort through the hype. No one JCC has the time to be up on all the latest trends and analyses. You’re much too busy making sure that each person who walks through the door has that great experience. Our consultants do the research for you. We’ll put you in touch with the best training for your membership team, evaluate the latest trends, assist in developing effective marketing plans and provide solid advice backed by real metrics. Our Preferred Vendor Program puts you in touch with the products and services you need to achieve higher retention and member engagement.
We listen to your needs. Our consultants provide necessary membership system research and recommendations, effective training for staff and suggest new programs backed by successful implementation. When you want membership metric that matter, they provide the training.
Areas of expertise:
- •Jewish experiential education
- • Community building
- • Intergenerational engagement
- • Music leadership
- • Spiritual puppetry
Karina Zilberman is the founder of Shababa at 92nd Street Y (92Y) in New York City, and a 2012 recipient of the Covenant Foundation Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. She has been educating through the creative arts since her earliest days as a singer in her native Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2007 Karina joined 92Y to create an innovative Jewish community of families with young children. Today she is widely known as the founder of 92Y Shababa™, and the creator of the Shababa methodology to intergenerational family Jewish experiences.
Meet KarinaContact Karina
Plans, organizes, and oversees the operations and administration of JCC Association’s computer hardware and software systems; designs and implements databases; responsible for technical maintenance of the website; provides technical advice, information, and assistance to create an environment for employees to work in an efficient manner.Contact Andy
Works with JCC Maccabi host community staff and lay leaders to put on the largest Jewish teen engagement program in the world. Manages the oversight of planning and continuity of the program across all hosts. Tracks best practices and helps host communities through the process from volunteer management to working with visiting delegations.Contact Jordan
Involved in all aspects of JCC Association event planning and operations including but not limited to: Professional Conference, Biennial, Executive Leadership Seminar, webinars and other departmental training workshops.Contact Dina
Directs the agency’s fundraising initiatives to support the annual fund and signature programs. Develops strategic plans to build and diversify JCC Association’s private revenues to maintain and strengthen programs. Provides support for the Board Financial Resource Development Committee to maximize opportunities to reach new donors and increase levels of current support.Contact Arlene
Creates and implements the digital marketing strategy including managing our web presence, social media channels and directing JCC Association through the digital world. Consults JCCs on how they best can use digital media to grow their business and engage their community.Contact Chris
Works in close cooperation with JCCs to develop Israel training seminars, including logistical and educational components. Provides JCCs with initial guidelines and budgetary information to assist in planning Israel seminars for staff and lay leaders.Contact Sara
Rabbi Abbi Sharofsky
Works with the nearly 70 JWB certified Jewish military lay leaders, coordinates the annual JWB training course and Shabbaton, and is the point person for new initiatives involving the provision by JCCs of programs and services for current and returning Jewish military personnel and their families.Contact Rabbi Abbi
Responsible for the company’s accounting practices, the conduct of its relationships with lending institutions and the financial community, the maintenance of its fiscal records, and the preparation of financial reports.Contact Dina
Jeanne Ruckert Lovy
Areas of expertise:
- • Family engagement and early childhood strategy and planning
- • Financial management of early childhood and engagement programs, including multi-site supervision and management
- • Considerations in start-up and closure of early childhood programs
- • Internal and external communication and messages
- • Implementation of policies and initiatives relating to children and families within a JCC
- • Early childhood curriculum, teaching and best practices
- • Implementation of Discover: CATCH Early Childhood as a way to bridge Health & Wellness and Early Childhood within a JCC, and implementation and rollout of the Sheva framework
- • NAEYC accreditation and licensing
Jeanne has been at the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston since 2007, initially managing the six JCC early childhood centers including over 100 early childhood teachers and subsequently working to integrate all family engagement, early childhood and PJ Library activities into the overall organizational strategy. She is currently responsible for the JCC Center for Families, which develops programs, places and ideas to help children and the adults in their lives make strong connections to each other. Prior to coming to the JCC, she worked as a consultant for a work-life planning firm, which included the launch and start-up of new preschools as well as technical assistance to community and employer-sponsored early childhood programs. Jeanne graduated from Tufts University and started her career as a kindergarten teacher at a lab school program including supervision of student teachers and modeling and training on best practices.
Meet JeanneContact Jeanne
Areas of expertise:
- • Kindness conversations: kindness, compassion and empathy within your classroom
and school community
- • Integrating music and dance into your curriculum
- • Storytelling as a vehicle for learning
- • The art of listening (for teachers and parents)
- • Exploring the complex role of the 21st century teacher
- • Creating purposeful partnerships with parents (with teachers)
- • Defining the culture of your school
Fretta Reitzes has been at the forefront of early childhood and parenting education for 35 years. Currently the director of the Goldman Center for Youth & Family and the Wonderplay Early Learning Initiative at the 92nd Street Y, she is the founder and director of the annual Wonderplay Conference, now in its 10th year.
Fretta is the co-author of the recently released Teaching Kindergarten: Learner Centered Classrooms for the 21st Century (Teachers College Press), as well as two books for parents of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers: Wonderplay and Wonderplay, Too! (Running Press).
Her work in parenting education began with her role as director of the 92nd Street Y’s Parenting Center, the first parenting center in the country. Under her leadership, the center became a national model with programs that continue to be replicated today.
Fretta began her career as an early childhood classroom teacher and director, with a master’s from Bank Street College and additional training in music and dance education.
Meet FrettaContact Fretta
David E. Posner
Provides primary consultation services to JCCs. Directs all aspects of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Excellence in Leadership & Management related to organizational excellence, and provides assistance to JCCs in strategic thinking and planning. Oversees the activities of JWB Jewish Chaplains Council. Develops Biennial and Professional Conference content, and serves as JCC Association liaison to continental groups on security matters.Contact David
Areas of expertise:
- • Consulting in the classroom with teachers hungry to learn more about how to align their environments, curriculum, and pedagogy
- • Consulting with directors trying to work through conversation with staff to clarify vision and have all pieces of their practice align and support it
- • Helping early childhood professionals keep their lamps lit! And helping parents understand how best practices are the best “readiness” for whatever comes!
Kathy Pomer has been part of the JCC Early Learning Centers for almost 12 years. Educated at Tufts University, Kathy earned her master’s degree in child study and has worked for 30 years in the field. As teacher, director, parent liaison, mentor teacher and advocate for early childhood she has always worked towards helping educators teach with more knowledge and passion, and articulate the importance of what they do to the community around them. Currently, as professional development and pedagogical lead, she works most closely with ELC educators and directors within the JCC Sheva early childhood framework.
Meet KathyContact Kathy
Andrew C. Paller
Develops and coordinates JCC Excellence: The Benchmarking Project. Presents reports and consults with JCCs based on an analysis of the data and findings gathered through the Benchmarking Project.Contact Andy
Designs and implements the operation and administration of the Sheva Center. Works closely with the Center Director and JCC Early Learning Centers in promoting and sustaining high quality early childhood Jewish education. Facilitates and maintains Sheva online learning and resources, and acts as the initial point-of-contact for Sheva consultation requests.
Coordinates Discover CATCH: Early Childhood program. Certified as a Discover CATCH master trainer. Provides administrative and program support for Health and Wellness Services.Contact Mackenzie
Areas of expertise:
- • Emotionally Responsive Practice
- • The value of loose parts and open ended materials
- • Documentation of learning
- • Seamless Judaism
- • Outdoor learning/nature education
- • Understanding, preventing and responding to challenging behavior
- • Integrating music and sound exploration into curriculum
Judi has overseen the Colorado Jewish ECE Initiative since 2008. The Initiative is focused on raising the quality of Jewish early childhood education in the community and more seamlessly weaving Jewish values into the daily life of the programs. She coaches, consults and facilitates trainings at all 11 Jewish ECE Centers in Denver and Boulder. Judi has 37 years of experience in the field, including work in therapeutic preschool and Head Start. She was the professional development manager for the Boulder County ECE Council from 2003-2008 and worked at the Boulder JCC Preschool for 13 years, directing the school and camp programs from 1993-2003. Judi has a passion for singing with children and families and led the Boulder JCC’s preschool Shabbat Sing during her tenure there and the music program at Congregation Har Hashem’s Family School in Boulder for five years. She holds a master’s in educational psychology and early childhood special education from the University of Colorado at Denver and a bachelor’s degree in elementary special education from the University of Delaware.
Meet JudiContact Judi
Responsible for the identification, collection, organization and dissemination of informational resources for JCC Association. Analyzes and presents data related to critical issues facing JCCs. Leads organization of JCCA.me. Facilitates JCC Excellence: Benchmarking Project survey and report distribution.Contact Yuliya
In 2011, Veronica was selected by the JCC Association, along with six other early childhood directors, to serve in the Continental Early Childhood Director’s Advisory Council charged with redefining and implementing excellence in JCC’s early childhood education across the United States and Canada.
In 2012, Maravankin, along with eight early childhood educators from across the country, was awarded an ignition grant from the Covenant Foundation to create the Paradigm Project for Jewish Early Childhood Education. The grant assisted educators in creating learning communities across United States and is today, a valuable resource in the advancement of Jewish early childhood education.
In 2008, Maravankin completed the Project Zero Summer Institute at Harvard University, School of Education. She is a graduate of the JECEI-Covenant Fellowship for Excellence in Jewish Early Childhood Education.Contact Veronica
Responsible for giving overall professional leadership to JCC Association and the JCC Movement by working with the chair, officers, and board of JCC Association, along with presidents and executives of local JCCs. Represents JCC Association and JCCs to key organizations in the North American Jewish community, along with major foundations and donors. Also works directly with some communities, focusing mainly on planning and management, and issues of visioning and positioning the JCC in the community.Contact Alan
Randy Ellen Lutterman
Provides support and leadership, communicating with JCCs across the continent, about arts and culture programming, advising on content, growth of programs, and funding opportunities. This includes working directly with JCCs to maximize and share resources, trends and programming ideas, as well as creating signature programming and support materials for JCCs designed to further strategic and program development.Contact Randy Ellen
Shira Lupiansky Hasson
Works closely with communities to initiate, develop, and plan Israel trips for JCC membership through the JCC Boarding Pass program. Develops educational materials and oversees logistics.Contact Shira
Assists the president and board chair in the performance of their duties; serves as a liaison between officers and board leadership and the Association. Coordinates all meetings of the JCC Association Board of Directors.Contact Yael
Areas of expertise:
- • Reggio-inspired teaching
- • Project work
- • Professional development with teachers
- • Creating engaging and inspiring classroom environments
- • Developmentally appropriate integration of literacy
Sandy Lanes has been the curriculum director/pedagogista at the JCC of Greater Washington Preschool in Rockville, Maryland for 10 years, which she has helped to transform from a traditional preschool to a Reggio-inspired program. She has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood education, and has facilitated many workshops at conferences and preschools as well as taught pre-service early childhood courses at Montgomery College. As a consultant to D.C. area Jewish preschools for the past 15 years, Sandy has worked to raise the quality of teacher planning, provision, and reflection among classroom teachers. She attended the Jewish Study Institute in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 2012, and is passionately studying and thinking about the Reggio approach, day and night (she is not a great sleeper!).
Meet SandyContact Sandy
Doron will bring fresh insight and a complex understanding of Jewish life in North America and Israel when he takes the helm of JCC Association this spring. He will set the vision for the agency as it enters its next 100 years as a convening organization for a large network of JCCs and day and overnight camps across the continent. His more than two decades working in national and international Jewish organizations has given him a strong background in fundraising, youth movement work and Israel engagement, which will strengthen the JCC Movement and JCC Association as its leadership organization—enabling JCCs to be powerful tools in the quest for Jewish meaning and connection.Contact Doron
Responsible for overseeing JCC Association’s accounting, finance, human resources and information technology activities. These include production of the annual operating budget; interim financial reporting; annual audit; hiring, orientation and employee evaluation; billing and collection of member JCC dues; acquisition and deployment of technology, including computer hardware and software; office administration including document production and distribution.Contact Bob
Supervises all JCC Association printing and mailings; works with vendors to purchase all office supplies; oversees office repairs and maintenance; attends to tenant needs, including photocopying, printing, and mailing, and acts as the liaison with the building management.Contact Franklin
Directs the programs and services of the Sheva Center including consultation services and specialists, lab communities, cohort learning groups and learning communities, and the development of cutting-edge practices in the areas of early care and education and family engagement.Contact Mark
Serves as liaison between shipping service and other departments. Tracks and maintains records of shipments. Maintains kitchen, conference rooms and all other duties as assigned.Contact D’wayne
Strategic leadership of JCC Association’s agency communications and marketing efforts through print, digital and events. Provides creative direction for the JCC Movement brand identity, and supporting tools and training for JCC marketing professionals. Supervises JCC Association’s communications and design team.Contact Joanne
Direct liaison to JCC Maccabi Games and ArtsFest delegation heads, providing support to help our delegations grow and strengthen. Manages the allotment process, oversees operations, medical, safety and security protocols. Also responsible for developing training opportunities for coaches and chaperones.Contact Michael
Alan S. Goldberg
Leads the various program departments of JCC Association and coordinates their efforts to serve JCCs and their communities. Works with board and staff to determine and implement service strategies that provide JCCs the most up to date resources available.Contact Alan S.
Susan B. Glaser
Areas of expertise:
- • Assessment of Early Childhood Centers including:
- • Curriculum
- • Environments
- • Teacher/child interactions
- • Parental concerns
- • Staffing and scheduling
• Administrative policies
Susan B. Glaser is an educational psychologist and an early childhood consultant. She graduated from Case Western Reserve University and received her Master of Arts in educational psychology from John Carroll University.
For 16 years, Susan was the director of early childhood services for the Jewish Community Center of Cleveland. As a national consultant for JCC Association, she traveled the United States and Canada assessing early childhood centers and providing teacher training and parent workshops.
She is qualified as a Step Up to Quality instructor in Ohio.
Susan co-authored two books with Arthur Lavin, M.D.: Who’s the Boss: Moving Families from Conflict to Collaboration and Baby and Toddler Sleep Solutions for Dummies.
Meet SusanContact Susan B.
Coordinates and manages various areas of the Professional Leadership program including Talent Management cohorts and Graduate Scholars. Manages professional leadership webinars and plays a key role in planning and coordinating regional and national conferences.Contact Ellen
Beth Garfinkle Hancock
Charged with recruiting, screening, placing and training Chizuk Fellows/ Jewish Programming Directors in overnight Jewish summer camps throughout North America. Chizuk is funded by a generous grant from the AVI CHAI Foundation.Contact Beth
Represents the interests of JCC Association and North American JCCs in Israel, and works to develop collaborative ventures with the JCC Movement’s partners in Israel. Works to make Israel more accessible to JCCs, to develop Israel as a Jewish educational experience, and to create opportunities for North American and Israeli community leaders, professionals, and members to build meaningful ties. Coordinates partnership projects between North American JCCs and Israeli JCCs.Contact Leah
Meredith Englander Polsky
Areas of expertise:
- • Early childhood special education and inclusion
Meredith Englander Polsky co-founded Matan in 2000 and currently serves as Matan’s national director of institutes and training. Meredith has published articles in various print and online publications, including The Washington Jewish Week, PresenTense, RAVSAK’s HaYidion, The Institute for Southern Jewish Life, eJewishPhilanthropy, Kveller and The New Normal. Meredith holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree in early childhood special education from Bank Street College, a master’s degree in clinical social work from Columbia University and a graduate certificate in early intervention from Georgetown University. She serves as the part-time developmental support coordinator at Temple Beth Ami Nursery School in Rockville, MD.
Meet MeredithContact Meredith
Rabbi Irving Elson
Heads JWB Jewish Chaplains Council and JCC Association Armed Forces and Veterans Services Committee. Recruits rabbis to serve in the armed forces and veterans affairs chaplaincies. Directs professional training conferences and lay leadership workshops. Advises the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs on matters of Jewish welfare in the Armed Forces and at Veterans Hospitals. Visits US Armed Forces bases and installations worldwide.Contact Rabbi Irving
Janet S. Elam
Organizes and leads our community consulting team and manages our executive leadership programs: the Executive Leadership Seminar (ELS) and Kivinum (a leadership development program for first time executives).Contact Janet
Areas of expertise:
- • Communal worship
- • Contemporary Jewish repertoire
- • Informal education
- • Torah and siddur study
Cantor Ellen Dreskin teaches and consults in a variety of areas, from contemporary Jewish music to synagogue transformation, from experiential education to enlivened liturgy and Jewish mysticism. She currently serves as coordinator of the Cantorial Certification Program at the Debbie Friedman School of Sacred Music at HUC-JIR in New York. Ellen travels extensively to congregations around the country as a scholar-in-residence, and has taught for many years on the faculty of URJ Summer Kallot, Hava Nashira, and the URJ Kutz Camp Leadership Academy. Ellen was the director of Jewish life and living at JECEI (Jewish Early Childhood Education Initiative).
Meet EllenContact Ellen
Provides primary consultation services to JCCs. BoardSource certified governance trainer. Works with all JCC boards on assessment, board and lay leadership development. Directs the Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leaders Institute.Contact Dori
Serves as liaison for mail service and other departments. Runs postage and prepares outgoing mail for pick-up. Delivers office supplies throughout the agency, performs inventory and ordering of mailing supplies, printing needs and all other duties as assigned. Greets visitors with a smile.Contact Donald
Word wrangler, responsible for finding, writing and editing the stories that tell why JCCs and the people who love them are so special. Serves as primary contact for outside media and responsible for getting our stories out there, on social media and in the news.Contact Marla
Robin has worked at the JCC for the past 23 years in Camping and Early Childhood.
Robin holds a BA degree in Psychology and K-8 Teaching Certification from Muhlenberg College in Allentown Pennsylvania. She holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and NJ Principal Certificate from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison NJ.
Robin was selected to be in the first cohort of the JELI Jewish Experiential Leadership Institute fellowship program, a partnership between the JCC Association and The Davidson School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. The program focused on applying Jewish frameworks to vision setting, management and leadership.
Robin was a member of the Early Childhood Director’s Advisory Council and along with JCC Association developed the Sheva Framework to reimagine early childhood in JCC’s in the US and Canada.Contact Robin
Provides support and career coaching to all JCC professionals and people seeking employment in JCCs. Creates and coordinates professional development opportunities to enrich the skills of JCC staff through webinars, regional and continental conferences, and workshops. Director of the JCC Professional Conference and the Graduate Scholarship Program. Co-creator of the JCC Association Talent Management program, a new signature program focusing on the growth and advancement of JCC Professionals.Contact Joy
Works with teen/camp directors to provide information and programming ideas about building teen trips to Israel through JCC Maccabi Israel. Works with our JCCs and camps in developing the content and creating their Israel summer / winter program experience, as well as developing other opportunities for Israel travel at opportune times throughout the year.Contact Adam
Areas of expertise:
- • Developing a parent-school partnership and leveraging lay support to achieve school vision
- • Cultivating visionary leadership among professional staff
- • Strengthening skills required for difficult conversations with teachers and parents
- • Reflective supervision
- • Identifying collaborative opportunities between JCC program departments
- • Organizational and culture change
- • Family engagement and parent partnership
- • Expectant parent and new family program development
For the last 14 years, Caron has directly run and now supervises all of the JCC program departments that provide experiences for children under the age of 18, including the Early Childhood Center, day camps, overnight camp and family programs. Caron was the first director of the Shalom Baby program which has welcomed over 1000 new Jewish babies in the Denver area since 2002. Caron expanded programming for expectant parents and their young children to include family engagement experiences which supported families as they moved through their Jewish parenting journey. Caron has spoken nationally to lay and professional leadership about how to create similar programs in their organizations.
In 2007, Caron took over the supervision of the JCC Early Childhood Center and extended this vision of working with families to the school. Over the years, she cultivated a philosophy upheld now by all of the mission-based program departments of the JCC, which is steeped in substantive relationship building, Jewish family engagement, strong communication and parent partnership. Caron was instrumental in creating a new organizational structure in the Early Childhood Center which successfully aligned the school’s pedagogical vision with daily operations and restructured the administrative team; all of which has resulted in creating one of Denver’s top early childhood programs. Caron holds double Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Jewish Non-Profit Management from the University of Southern California and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.Contact Caron
Consults with sports and wellness staff about programming and facilities. Oversees programs and services for health and wellness, including Discover @ the JCC, DiscoverCATCH, and Lenny Krayzelburg-JCC Swim Academy. Educational coordinator for Sports and Wellness conferences, and preferred vendor contact for sports and wellness-related vendors.Contact Steven
Initiates and cultivates conversations with communities and camps to develop Israel trips for teens, as well as teen family trips. Manages all content and logistics for these trips.Contact Elkana
Responsible for overall professional leadership for Sports and Wellness, JCC Israel Center, Early Childhood Education and Corporate Partnership areas. Director of JCCs of North America Biennial Convention, Centennial Celebration and other major events.Contact Robin
Assists the IT manager in operating and maintaining JCC Association’s hardware and software systems. Responsible for manning the software help desk, as well as network maintenance, operating system, and database maintenance. Assesses staff training needs and develops appropriate training programs.Contact Bernardo
Shira Ackerman Simchovitch
Shira Ackerman Simchovitch is currently the director of the early childhood department of the TALI Education Fund which provides Judaic enrichment in the Israeli non-religious school system. Prior to this position she was the educational content and community outreach director for the Shalom Sesame project and she continues to advise the Israeli Rechov Sumsum series and enjoy her relationships with the local Muppets.
From 1995 – 2009 Shira served as the director of early childhood services at the education department of the Jewish Agency for Israel in Jerusalem overseeing consulting services, professional development initiatives, curriculum development (including Chalav u’ Dvash – Hebrew for Preschoolers) and Israel experience seminars for Jewish early childhood programs around the world. She has taught in the Israeli school system, worked in Israel’s first teacher resource center, developed curricula at the Hebrew University and was the founding director of the Reform movement’s flagship preschool in Jerusalem. She is a graduate of the David Yellin Teacher’s College, the Bank Street College of Education and Parsons School of Design Joint Program and the Mandel Jerusalem Fellows Program for Leadership in Jewish Education. Shira has authored numerous articles on Jewish early childhood education and Israel education in the early years and has been an ardent student of the Reggio Emilia approach since 1995 simultaneously being delighted, perplexed and moved by the core values of the approach.Contact Shira
Dr. David Ackerman
Leads the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Jewish Education, which helps JCCs improve their ability to be excellent venues for Jewish living and learning through the Jewish and educational training and development of senior personnel, along with elevating the Judaic nature of JCCs in all program areas.Contact David