A royal flush for special needs
They really know how to play their hand at the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center in Bridgewater, New Jersey. The J held its Ninth Annual Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament in October, raising more than $12,000 to benefit the JCC Special Needs Scholarship Fund. The money raised supports programs and services to children and adults with special needs in the local community. (Photo by the JCC)
Greenwich teens collect toiletries for domestic violence victims
The Jewish Community Council Teen Action Committee, made up of middle and high schoolers in Greenwich, Connecticut, collected toiletries at the JCC to create emergency kits for victims of domestic violence. October was Domestic Violence Awareness month, and the teens wanted to find a way to make an impact that wouldn’t infringe on the victims’ privacy. The idea for a toiletry drive came directly from the teens, and the JCC community showed its support by donating all month long.
Special needs swim program goes for gold
Last month, Lenny Krayzelberg, four-time Olympic gold medalist and founder of the Lenny Krayzelberg Swim Academy, paid a special visit to Chicago. The former Olympian heard about the All-In Swim program, designed to teach water safety and swim skills to special needs kids in a comfortable and supportive environment, and wanted to see its impact firsthand. Krayzelberg watched one-on-one lessons and took time to visit with kids and parents. (Photo credit: Mike Isaacs/Pioneer Press)
When wind destroys a sukkah, a JCC builds community
On the first day of Sukkot, 80 mph winds gusted through Boulder, Colorado, destroying the JCCs carefully constructed sukkah. Fortunately, a nearby synagogue offered to share its sukkah with the JCC community. While they appreciated the synagogue’s generosity, the JCC was still hoping to rebuild its own sukkah for a family picnic toward the end of the holiday. The director of the early childhood center sent an email asking for parent volunteers and a group came together to rebuild a smaller, but sturdier sukkah. Children came early to decorate and the sukkah was ready for the picnic. On Simchat Torah, everything came full circle as the JCC welcomed the synagogue community to celebrate with them.