Community Update

To our SJCC Community,

This message is sadly unlike any message we’ve ever had to share. It’s a departure from the ones we enjoy sharing with stories of joy, connection, celebration of Jewish life and culture, and friendship. Instead, we are sending an email with an update on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Stroum Jewish Community Center.

The SJCC effectively closed the building and all on-site operations the night of Sunday, March 15. Since then, the SJCC team has done a remarkable—truly stellar—job launching digital channels Virtual SJCC and SJCC TV to bring great content and familiar faces right into your homes. We’ve seen fantastic and fun engagement with so many ECS activities and fitness classes for all levels. The response has been amazing and we look forward to keeping this up.

While we’re able to maintain some community connection through this effort, the reduction in revenue across the agency has forced the SJCC to make some incredibly challenging decisions. Last Friday, a large portion of our staff was temporarily laid off and the remainder saw a significant reduction in employment, with corresponding reductions in wages. It was a very tough week for us all.

As an agency that is about the very people we employ and serve, these decisions have been excruciating. Each one has been made with the objective of supporting our team through this crisis, while also charting a course that allows the SJCC to survive this once-in-a-lifetime event.

How you can help

The generosity of our community is shining brightly through these difficult times. Many people ask us how they can help sustain the J through our closure. You can help by continuing to pay your dues, convert fees already paid to a donation, and contribute to our sustainability fund, Your gift will make it easier for the SJCC to reopen quickly with the warm, familiar smiles we all know and love.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to provide great content online and to process any requested ticket and program refunds in accordance with our policies. Please be patient as we do so with a limited staff.

We know we are not alone in this crisis—and that many of you are facing uncertainty as well. Please reach out to either of us (AmyL@sjcc.org or oren.nissim@gmail.com) if you or a member of our community is in need, and we’ll work together to identify relief and resources.

We at the SJCC are honored to be able to serve you, and we look forward to opening our doors again. We long to hear the laughter of children, the squeak of basketball shoes, and the kibitzing of friends at the coffee shop again soon. THANK YOU for being part of our SJCC family, and for standing by us during this difficult time and into the future.

Until then, take care, stay healthy, and keep in touch.

L’hitraot (see you (hopefully) soon),
Amy Lavin, SJCC CEO
Oren Nissim, SJCC Board of Directors President

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