Editorial: Membership

This week, perhaps more than at any other time of the year, Jews everywhere are very aware that we are members of a unique group.

This week, all of us are focused on what we eat. The list of forbidden foods includes at the very least bread and all foods made from wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt, unless it has first been baked into matzah. Many also include corn and legumes and all products that contain even a hint of anything on the forbidden list.

We meticulously cleaned our homes to prepare for the festival and scrupulously check labels on food products to ensure that they are kosher for Passover.

With our membership in this club, we choose to segregate ourselves into smaller subgroups defined by our degree of observance. In fact, we’ve created a wide range of organizations within our Jewish world that we can join – congregations, organizations, clubs, social service agencies, educational institutions and more. All are worthy and have merit.

Among these, however, there is one place where we can come together as a community, where we can find something for every member of the family and where we can be comfortable being Jewish whatever our specific beliefs or levels of observance are.

At this unique place, we find quality infant care and programs for young children – alone, with their parents and with their families – that incorporate Jewish values and traditions.

At this place, we find high quality programs whenever school is not in session, including many exciting summer camps, infused with Jewish living. Our middle schoolers and teens can connect with their Jewish peers here for a mix of social experiences and meaningful Jewish programs.

We can take care of our bodies with group and individual exercise programs, engage in Jewish study, enjoy a kosher snack and a fresh cup of coffee or take in a play or a concert. And seniors can count on a nutritious, hot kosher meal every weekday that they can enjoy in the company of friends.

This place is our Jewish Community Center.

It offers a great deal of which we can and should be proud, and it is on the move. Programming is being updated and new programs are being introduced. Within the last two years, the middle and high school programs have shown significant growth in participation. There’s a buzz in the community, too, about the camp program. Spring Break Camp sold out, and Summer Camp is more than 40 percent ahead of last year’s enrollment. A Mix and Mingle program has been started for adults, as well.

Some necessary maintenance is being done on the building, too. Aging, leaking cooling towers have been replaced with new, more efficient models that will not only keep the building more comfortable, but will lower operating expenses.

And watch for changes throughout the building later this year, because the General Electric volunteers who have chosen our JCC as one of their projects this year donate their labor to paint and do other things around the building to spiff it up.

But the JCC can only be as strong as community support allows it to be. Thanks to all those who have chosen to be members. Your support is appreciated.

If you have never been a member or have dropped your membership, now is a good time to check out the JCC. Why not give it a try with a summer membership – valid from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Click here for more information.

Become a JCC member today.

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