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Largest-Ever JCC Professional Conference To Draw Nearly 3,000 Participants From Nine Nations

Media contact: Alissa Kaplan Michaels
West End Strategy Team, amichaels@westendstrategy.com, 917.363.5037

NEW YORK, April 22 – Nearly 3,000 participants from nine countries are set to attend the largest-ever gathering hosted by JCC Association of North America, JCCs of North America Professional Conference, April 27-29.

Known as ProCon, the virtual event comes after a year of JCCs needing to reinvent themselves—like many other institutions—in the face of a global pandemic. In doing so, JCCs have continued to serve their communities with new approaches. ProCon will showcase more than 200 speakers, including innovative leaders who have been at the forefront of creating new ways to engage with their communities in the age of social distancing.

For the first time ever, registration for the conference is free for professionals and their JCCs, still dealing with the effects of the pandemic. The virtual nature of the event also allows more JCC professionals than ever to take part in ProCon. In addition to those from North America, professionals from JCC Global and Israel’s Association of Community Centers (IACC) are able to join.

“Partnerships and collaborations, both within and across JCC communities, have been among the most significant outgrowths of the pandemic,” said Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association of North America. “The impulse to work together and to share wisdom, experiences and innovations has made it possible to strengthen the entire field, precisely when such collaborations have been needed most. Our record-setting enrollment is further indication that we, as a field, increasingly look to one another as allies and partners in the work that lies ahead. We are a stronger, more unified movement with each passing day.”

Sue Gelsey, chief program officer of JCC Association of North America, said, “Our virtual conference allows participants to customize their experience through highly interactive sessions, including Peer Communities, diverse Enrichment Electives, JCC Excellence Showcase, Trusted Advising and JCafé social time.”

Attendees, representing more than 150 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps, can also take part in a virtual vendor hall featuring 35 sponsors and in virtual service opportunities.

The volunteer efforts, led by the JCC Association’s JCC Cares program along with Repair the World, will focus on two concurrent projects: one that pre-screens isolated seniors for a program that matches them with volunteers for weekly conversations, the other involving state-by-state online searches to identify new volunteer opportunities that support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Two plenary sessions, “JCC Movement Moments,” will focus on “Promise of Community” and “The Power in Community” and bookend the conference.

The opening plenary, “Promise of Community,” will feature a dynamic panel discussion on “Leadership: More Than A Job Description,” moderated by eJewish Philanthropy’s new senior reporter, Helen Chernikoff. Panelists will include Krakow; Ilana Aisen, CEO of JPRO Network; and Gali Cooks, founding president and CEO of Leading Edge.

During the closing plenary, “The Power in Community,” experienced JCC professionals Dava Schub, CEO of Edlavitch JCC, Washington, D.C., and Zack Bodner, CEO of Oshman Family JCC, Palo Alto, California, will together explore collaboration and partnership and how such alliances strengthen the impact on community. They will also engage a roundtable of speakers on cross-community collaboration, including Krakow, Winnie Sandler Grinspoon, president of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, creator of PJ Library® and its sister company, Sifriyat Pijama; Rabbi Rick Jacobs, president of the Union for Reform Judaism; and Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Jewish Federations of North America. Krakow will then offer a vision for the JCC Movement.

Throughout the conference, speakers will lead a range of Peer Community sessions and Enrichment Electives on sharing new and best practices. These include: “Reinventing New Revenue Streams: Trends and Takeaways From Leaders Throughout the Movement,” “Lead Healthy By Example: Safeguarding Community Health and Your Own,” “Launching Your Jewish Communal Career at the JCC” and “Jewish Approaches to Mental Wellness: An Exploration of Jewish Values and Prayer,” for youth and teen leaders.

Thirty-five sponsors are generously supporting the costs of the conference. The Coca-Cola Company is the conference’s presenting sponsor. “JCC Movement Moment” sponsors are CLMBR, Daxko, and ReachLocal.

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About JCC Association of North America

JCC Association of North America leads and connects the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life. With 1.5 million people walking through the doors of more than 170 Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps (JCCs) each week, the JCC Movement is the largest platform for Jewish engagement on the continent. JCC Association, the convening organization of this dynamic network, partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the entire JCC Movement, including 12,000 full-time and 41,000 part-time and seasonal professionals. By supporting them, together we enhance and strengthen Jewish life throughout North America. Learn more at JCCA.org or on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

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