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The Katz JCC: Our Year 2019-2020

It's been a memorable, fulfilling, and challenging year for the Katz JCC.

Our mission to provide exceptional programming and services to our community has never faltered, especially during the extraordinary, unprecedented times we've experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Journey back with us to see all we've done together this past year.

Bank of America Festival of Arts, Books and Culture

The JCC's annual Festival celebrated its 30th year and drew thousands. Featured appearances included former US Ambassador Nikki Haley (pictured), fashion mogul Isaac Mizrahi, former MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and OPI founder Suzi Weiss-Fischmann.

JCC Fall Festival at the JCC Camps at Medford

Over 2,000 people attended our fourth annual Fall Festival and enjoyed a celebration of the Jewish Fall holidays, as well as horse drawn hay rides, arts and crafts, pumpkin decorating, inflatables, boating and more.

Pumpkin picking and decorating is a Fall Festival fave!

NFI Sports Award Dinner

The stars aligned for the 2019 Sports Award Dinner, bringing together powerhouse Sixers players Joel Embiid and Al Horford alongside GM Elton Brand.

The evening raised $350,000 for the JCC's youth sports and special needs programs.

Pictured here are Event Chair Jeff Brown representing NFI with Embiid, Horford and Brand.

Not Your Bubbe's BINGO

The smash hit event returned for its second stint in March, just in time for Purim. Attendees enjoyed a high-energy drag queen show, hors d'oeuvres and friends.

JMedia Studio Opens

The Katz JCC opened its JMedia Studio in January 2020, a creative space for creative minds. Kids are able to dabble in sound making, recording, video creation and editing, podcasting and broadcasting.

From STEM to holiday celebrations, Shabbat, basketball and more, it was a year to remember...the pictures say a thousand words!

A drastic change...

This year has been met with many challenges in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in dark times, there was light, as well as achievements, joy and the strength among the JCC community.

The staff stayed connected with members in the early days of our building closure through videos saying hello, we miss you, and we're here for you.

The Katz JCC continues its mission to provide the community with exceptional social experiences, Jewish culture and a place to feel welcome. Virtual gatherings, events and classes have brought us together in ways we never thought possible, and for the better.

Our executive director, Les Cohen, delivered an update to members, June 2020.

Successful, safe and fun alternatives

JCC Camps at Medford hosted five weeks of Summer Fun Days for children in Grades K-8, with attendance of over 100 campers per week.

Families came out in droves to enjoy a socially distant, outdoor experience at Family Camp. Boating, splash park, arts and crafts, STEM activities and archery are just a few of the offerings families enjoyed during the "camp" day.

We loved every minute of it! The care you took in arranging the age-appropriate activities and social distancing options was amazing! Your staff was courteous, knowledgeable and helpful.

Camp goes virtual!

Early Childhood Camps at the Katz JCC, for little campers ages 2-5, transformed to a virtual program for children. Activities included arts and crafts, STEM, cooking, magic and Shabbat.

My daughters love Virtual Camp! They are so excited every day to participate in a wide variety of activities, including STEM, yoga, cooking, nature, art, Zumba, karate, magic, etc. Thanks to the JCC for offering this one-of-a-kind summer camp experience!

Welcome back to Early Childhood!

The Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center infants and toddler program resumed in mid-July, and the sounds of little voices in the hallways of ECE put a smile on everyone's faces.

The 2020-2021 school year began on August 31 for over 130 children in the Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center. The ECE administrative team and faculty worked tirelessly leading up to the first day to provide a safe environment for all the children, their families and the staff.

I was so impressed by all the time, care and effort of the Early Childhood Team in preparation for a new and different school year. My daughter is thriving now that she is back with friends, in a school setting and a place she knows and loves!"

Cherry Hill Volvo Cars Jewish Film Festival

Our annual Film Festival pivoted to an all-online program this year, which each of the 12 feature film screenings averaging over 200 viewers. Post-film discussions, many of which were complimented by directors, producers and experts, were lively, well-attended and thought provoking.

Aqua Aerobics at the Outdoor Pool brought back a dedicated group of members who were thrilled to be together again.
Socially distanced outdoor fitness and wellness classes resumed in June. Over a dozen classes were offered each week and provided a safe way to resume a routine.
There are no words to express my appreciation for the JCC and all that is being offered to members during this most difficult time. The pool is so well run and so clean, with sensible rules in place to make us feel safe. The staff is friendly and helpful always. I can't thank you enough for your efforts on our behalf. You do an amazing job!!!

ACHaD Basketball Returns

30 participants came out for the Fall 2020 season of ACHaD Squadron Basketball, which teaches skills and develop basketball skills to individuals with special needs.

The fall looks a little different, as sessions are being held in the Katz JCC parking lot, masks must be worn and social distancing and other precautions will be implemented. But, there's no lack of fun and the participants are thrilled to be back after 6 months apart!

Thank you! Grateful to ACHaD, Eric, Linda and all of the amazing volunteers!"

Katz JCC Pro-Am

The JCC hosted the Pro-Am, its first in-person event since the pandemic, at Galloway National Golf Club on September 15. Over 100 golfers enjoyed a day of golf on this elite course, and the event raised $135,000 to benefit the JCC Camps Financial Assistance Fund, including those campers in the Open Hearts/Open Doors special needs inclusion program. 

Event co-chairs Jon Orenstein (left) and Marcy Dash Friedman (second from right) presented Jeff Resnick, JCC President (second from left) and Les Cohen, JCC Executive Director (right) a check for $135,000.
Charlie Greenberg (left) and Marcy Lahav (right) during their interviews for Tikkun Olam, while several of the students (center) set up.

The JCC had the unique opportunity to work with Rowan College at Burlington County and was featured in a student documentary. The result is a beautiful film, Tikkun Olam: Home Away From Home, which highlights the social and recreational programs offered to older adults through the JCC's Adult, Cultural & Judaic Department.

The Katz JCC is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey and a recipient of the annual JFund Campaign. The Katz JCC is gracious for the support of the Raymond & Gertrude R. Saltzman Foundation and the Jewish Community Foundation, Inc.

Photography provided by Studio K Photography, David Michael Howarth Photography and the Katz JCC.