Adults

Everyone Can Run!

Presented by the Syracuse Chargers Track Club and hosted by the JCC of Syracuse, this FREE six-week program is designed to take you from walking to running! Everyone Can Run Beginners’ Program is a free training program lead by Greg Tuttle, a USATF certified coach.

Join us Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the JCC. Classes begin February 7 and continue February 14, 21, 28 and March 6, 13.

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Adults

Generations

By Barbara Davis

We moved to Syracuse in 1969.  I was working at OCC and my husband was a graduate student at SU.  I was pregnant with our first child and was worried about childcare.  “You have to go to the JCC,” insisted my colleague, Professor Nancy McCarty.  “It’s the best.”  One did not argue with Nancy McCarty, and she was correct.  It was the best, and my daughter thrived in an excellent program that seemed to do everything right.  Naturally, my second child went to the JCC (on Genesee Street then) as did my third.  They learned to swim in the indoor pool and went to Camp Friendly in the summer, as did most of their friends.  

When, a generation later, my daughters established their own families in Central New York, there was no doubt where they would send their children for preschool.  By then, the JCC had moved to DeWitt.  By the time my youngest grandchild was born, the JCC even had an infant care program.  So six more young members of my family enjoyed the benefits of the JCC’s outstanding preschool.

Mine is not an exceptional story.  There are many families who have enrolled several generations of children in the JCC, drawn by a program that for decades has been at the forefront of quality, child-focused, reliable and accessible care for infants, toddlers and preschoolers.  The indoor pool is a memory, but now there are playgrounds and a gym and gymnastics, sports,  music, dance and karate.

The JCC’s executive director, Marci Erlebacher, recently held a meeting of the Center’s board of directors and, looking around the room, realized that three of her board members had attended the Center’s Early Childhood Development Program when they were small.  Now they were serving in a leadership capacity for the organization and enrolling their own children in ECDP. 

Federation board chair Neil Rosenbaum’s daughter recently had a baby.  Returning to work when her daughter was 6 months old was made much easier by the fact that quality care was available for her at the JCC on a schedule that accommodated her workday.  Selecting the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Program was a no-brainer.  Not only was it the best program, but it was the same one she and her three siblings had attended when they were little.  It was like coming home.

These are just a few of the examples of the generational impact of Syracuse’s Jewish Community Center.  In addition to providing quality childcare, the Center is home to three of the community’s most important Jewish institutions: the Jewish Federation, the Jewish Community Foundation and the Syracuse Hebrew Day School.  It also offers the only kosher senior lunch program in upstate New York and administers the PJ Library Program.  At various times in the past, the J has also housed the Jewish War Veterans, the Epstein School, the Syracuse Community Hebrew School, a Sephardic high holiday congregation and the nascent Shaarei Torah congregation.  

The Center also hosts many communal Jewish celebrations, including KlezFest, a community sukkah, a Chanukah party, a decades-old Purim carnival, the Matzo Bakery and the Israeli Scouts.   Each week at ECDP, children celebrate Shabbat and learn to recite the appropriate blessings for kiddush and hamotzi.  They enjoy apples and honey for Rosh HaShanah, latkes and sufganiyot for Chanukah and hold model seders in their classrooms for Passover.  Even though a significant percentage of the children enrolled in the program are not Jewish, they all learn about Jewish celebrations.  This has led to some interesting results.  A friend of mine named Jim Doherty told me that while he had been very happy with the ECDP program, he was somewhat relieved that his daughter was going to public school  kindergarten “because she wants to light Shabbas candles every Friday.”  Another cute story involves a little boy whose family held weekly Sunday dinners.  At one, the parents asked, “Who wants to say grace?”  The 4-year-old ECDP child raised his hand eagerly.  His parents were a bit skeptical.  “Do you really know how to say grace?” they asked.  “Yes,” he said and began “Baruch atah Adonai….”

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Adults

Chanukah at the JCC

Chanukah is closer than you think. The passing of Rosh Hashanah brings a new year with new opportunities. In the spirit of the new year, the JCC is looking forward to providing a sense of normalcy that has been missing these last few years. The pandemic gave everyone an appreciation for the feeling of fellowship and strengthened the bond within the community. Now that people are beginning to feel a semblance of safety, the JCC hopes to bring a party that is warm and familiar through ritual and celebration.

The JCC’s annual Community Chanukah Party is making its return. The event will be held on Sunday, December 18th from 12:30pm – 3:00pm and is being sponsored by the Jewish Federation of CNY. Families will be invited and welcomed to join for a fun-filled afternoon. The eyes of the children will brighten as soon as they walk through the doors and see inflatables, crafts, face painting, balloon twisters, a photo booth and more. Refreshments will be provided and delicious food will be offered including latkes, bagels, fruit, and everyone’s favorite sufganiyot (jelly donuts). 

The After School Program will be hosting their Chanukah Party Tuesday, December 20th during the program. Children will get to play dreidel, pin the fork on the latke, eat sufganiyot and more. Each child will get a Chanukah goody bag to take home.

As usual, the Early Childhood Development Program will be celebrating Chanukah.  All classrooms will celebrate the holiday at their own developmental level within the classroom. The wings of the classroom will be decorated for the holiday and will have special materials for the occasion. On Wednesday, December 21 the classrooms will have their own Chanukah Celebration all day with special activities, crafts, latkes and sufganiyot.

Chanukah for the Senior Department will be celebrated on Friday, Dec 16th. A special lunch and sufganiyot will be served. We will have entertainment for this celebration. Reservations are required.

Finally, the whole community is invited to join us for nightly menorah lightings at the JCC. Children from Early Childhood and School Age programs come together to sing the blessings and watch as the lights are lit. Those without family to bring can find family within the comfort of the community. We will light the menorah at 4:30pm each weeknight during Chanukah. 

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Adults

JCC Book Talk: Atomic Anna

The JCC of Syracuse is co-sponsoring a book talk with the JCC of Palm Beaches via Zoom on Tuesday, December 6 at 7 pm. Atomic Anna is from the author of A Bend in the Stars, an epic adventure as three generations of women work together and travel through time to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their past.

Rachel Barenbaum is a prolific writer and reviewer. Her work has appeared in the LA Review of BooksThe Tel Aviv Review of Books, and more. She is a scholar in residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis and is the founder and host of the podcast Debut Spotlight. In a former life she was
a hedge fund manager and spin instructor. She has degrees from Harvard in Business, and
Literature and Philosophy. She is an elected member of Town Meeting in Brookline, MA.

<!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>The JCC of Syracuse is co-sponsoring a book talk with the JCC of Palm Beaches via Zoom on Tuesday, December 6 at 7 pm. Atomic Anna is from the author of A Bend in the Stars, an epic adventure as three generations of women work together and travel through time to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their past.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->  <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>Rachel Barenbaum is the author of the critically-acclaimed novels Atomic Anna and A Bend in the<br>Stars. She is a prolific writer and reviewer. Her work has appeared in the LA Review of Books, The<br>Tel Aviv Review of Books, and more. She is a scholar in residence at the Hadassah-Brandeis<br>Institute at Brandeis and is the founder/ host of the podcast Debut Spotlight. In a former life she was<br>a hedge fund manager and spin instructor. She has degrees from Harvard in Business, and<br>Literature and Philosophy. She is an elected member of Town Meeting in Brookline, MA.</p> <!-- /wp:paragraph -->
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Adults & Seniors

JCC’s Senior Program Spotlight

JCC’s Senior Program

The new normal has not been easy for seniors. A gruesome pandemic put the elderly at an advanced health risk. In a world where seniors often struggle with loneliness and lack of direction, fear of contracting COVID made those struggles even more arduous. Seniors were already prone to staying at home and isolating themselves. Endangering oneself just by stepping outside and socializing was an unfortunate reality. The Senior Program at the JCC made sure to be there when things were bleak, and always will.

The JCC’s Senior Meals don’t have your typical cafeteria food. There is a suggested donation of $5 per meal. The program is subsidized by the Onondaga County Adult and Long-Term Care Service, which allows us to keep our cost low. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect a mundane meal with a taste that matched the inexpensive cost. Luckily, the JCC has a culinary institute trained chef who works magic in the kitchen and runs one of the only Kosher certified meal sites outside of New York City that serves meals 5 days per week.

Senior Lunches have become one of the best kept secrets in the county. It has become an experience that attendees don’t just look forward to, but crave. “I have a major health condition and have a problem eating enough food, my appetite is severely diminished. It helps tremendously to sit and have a good conversation while eating good food” said Karen Nezelek. Instead of simply satisfying those that eat to live, Chef Donna goes the extra mile and satisfies those that live to eat. 

During the pandemic, when many places were shutting down, the dining hall was closed but the kitchen was not. The JCC offered curbside delivery at the same cost. The servers maintained their relationships with the seniors on a first name basis. The food gave seniors a place to go and people to see, even if it was just at a distance. 

Now that life has begun to settle down, the dining hall is again a place for seniors to enjoy their meal and make friends along the way. The JCC has created a safe environment where all are vaccinated and smiles can once again be met with smiles. 12pm from Monday-Friday has become a comforting time for seniors. It doesn’t stop at lunch. The JCC also offers Shabbat meals where challah bread is broken and seniors do the prayers. 

The JCC simply cares more about the people than the money. The health of the community is a constant point of emphasis. The facility is kept in pristinely clean conditions, free nutritional counseling is offered throughout the year, and flu clinics are offered during the fall.

Every third Friday of the month, the JCC brings in a neighborhood advisor, where members of the community are given the opportunity to be heard. Events are thrown for national and Jewish holidays. Those that wish to celebrate among friends can do so at the JCC at no charge. 

Seniors can struggle with feeling alone, now more than ever. At the JCC, there is a community to rely on. There are friends to be made. 

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The JCC of Syracuse is seeking bids for installation of security film and glass replacement. All bids shall include pricing for equipment, accessories, parts, licensing, travel and labor and any misc. expenses. Please email Erin Hart, ehart@jccsyr.org for RFP information. Proposals are due via email no later than 7/1/2022 at 3:00pm and all questions must be submitted via email as well, no later than 6/29/2022 at 3:00pm. All bidders will be notified via email when a selection is made.Adults

JCC’s Senior Dinner Return

Senior Dinners are back! The Senior Dining Program at the JCC is now offering Monday Night Dinners for members of ages 60+. This will be available from June 13th-August 29th. Entertainment will be provided every week. Dinner will begin at 5 pm and end at 6 pm. Proof of vaccines are required. Reservations must be made a week in advance. All meals will be Kosher. Anyone with questions can call the JCC directly (315) 445-2360. There is a suggested donation fee of $6.00 for the meal.

Senior Dinners are back! The JCC is now offering Monday Night Dinners for members of ages 60+. This will be available from June 13th-August 29th. Entertainment will be provided every week. Dinner will begin at 5 pm and vaccines are required. Reservations must be made a week in advance. All meals will be Kosher. Anyone with questions can call the JCC directly (315) 445-2360. There is a suggested donation fee of $6.00 for the meal.
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Open Laptop with SmartAlec Support Logo on keypadAdults

Digital Basics – In-Person IT Support Seminar

Stop by the JCC of Syracuse with any technological concerns during our monthly in-person IT Support Open House that we know as ‘Digital Basics‘! Take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the digital world. You can learn the basics in using a computer, nifty tools to save time & frustration, and get an opportunity to get help with common issues you may be having. Digital Basics will be held the last Friday of every month @ 1pm right after the Senior Lunch. Our next Digital Basics class will be held May 27th.

You can attend this 2-hour seminar for just $25 by calling or emailing Cindy Stein at [email protected] or 315-445-2360 to sign up for now

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