Dear Fellow JCC Members,
In the coming months you will see advertisements appearing on Channel 2 (WGRZ) that highlight the benefits of membership at the JCC and enrollment at Camp Centerland. Like all institutions, we depend on strong membership revenue to support myriad programs and services we offer which improve the lives of members and visitors who live in Western New York. Mandated increases in New York State’s minimum wage, which will be phased in over a five year period, require us to modestly increase the fees we charge for membership and various programs. Without this action we would not be able to continue as a healthy agency, if at all. Your understanding of this situation is very much appreciated.
I am happy to report that your JCC continues to attract members and that we are enjoying record enrollments in our Early Childhood Education programs, Camp Centerland and many other programs which improve lives and build community. Unlike fitness facilities which operate for profit, the JCC operates with a mission that guides our programs, services and activities. We provide early childhood education, after-school programs, camping, senior discussion and travel and cultural arts and much more. We help families with members on the Autism spectrum with lifesaving swim instruction. We help members with Parkinson’s disease with motion and balance programs.
In Jewish mystical writings there is a call for Jews to behave in a fashion that would encourage God to repair the world. A popular, modern version of this thinking is that as Jews we can repair the world. Tikkun Olam, is a catch-phrase which has been promoted as a central directive for work that includes work which has been central to JCCs and similar organizations for centuries. Many other religions call for its followers to act in ways that improve life for others. JCC members, including a majority of people from faiths other than Judaism, are supportive of our mission and work. They volunteer for programs, support our services and fund drives, and tell us how much they appreciate what the JCC does for them and our communities.
It occurred to me recently that each time we work out we help to repair the world by supporting the JCC’s work through membership and program dollars. Friendships obtained build communities and bridges to other communities. Coats and warm clothes collected by our members and given to those in need provide shelter from the storm. Our community vegetable garden provides sustenance to the needy in the suburbs. Swim lessons for children with Autism have the potential to save lives for vulnerable children. Your membership is more than a ticket to a workout. Please think of your workout as a way to improve the world and make us all worthy of redemption.
Thanks for reading and helping to build our JCC, enabling us to go from strength to strength. Wishing you a beautiful spring and happy holidays, I am