Dear JCC Families and Program Participants,
We are writing to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to temporarily close the JCC. In consultation with the Health Department and medical experts, and based on our close monitoring of the COVID-19 pandemic and our goal of helping to “flatten the curve”, we are closing the JCC physical building. We are taking this step because we are listening to health experts who say the best way to keep everyone safe is to practice social distancing. We want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, and to do our part. We anticipate our facilities will remain closed through Sunday, March 29, scheduled to reopen on Monday, March 30. The JCC will reassess the situation in two weeks and in conjunction with prevailing recommendations from federal and local officials, we will update our members no later than Sunday, March 29 via our website, email and text alerts regarding the status of our facilities and programming moving forward.
The Board of Directors and leadership team of the JCC do not take this decision lightly; it is hard to balance this choice with our desire to bring the community together in the greatest moments of need. The unique circumstances demand us to do the very opposite – to build more space between our members, programs, and facilities.
Perhaps as we close one door, we open a window. Community has never required a building to thrive, and tomorrow will be no different. We’re actively exploring how we can fill new spaces, online and beyond, to bring our community together in new, healthy, and meaningful ways. Our talented team of JCC professionals will work throughout this physical closure, and continue to tirelessly pursue ways to serve our members and guests. We will be in touch shortly with new ways to continue online programming. Our staff can be reached via email and they will also be checking voicemails. Please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and at ssbjcc.org for updates and new efforts.
For as hard as this decision has been, it has come with many blessings. To be members of this community, where we go far beyond just supporting one another and instead commit to lifting one another up, is the reason we do what we do. We hope to have better news in the weeks to come. We are a resilient community and we know we will get through this, together. In the meantime, please do everything you can to stay healthy.
Please remember, that if you are suffering from COVID-19 virus or another ailment, please reach out to us so that we may provide comfort and support.
Q: Why does the JCC have to shut down for so long?
A: As the coronavirus continues to spread in the U.S., more and more businesses and community institutions are shutting down. Somerset County has ordered all schools to close, and most of the JCCs in NJ have closed their doors as well. This is part of an effort to slow the spread of the virus, so that large numbers of people don’t get sick all at once and overwhelm the hospitals
Q: What date will the JCC reopen?
A: We are doing everything possible to reopen quickly, but our overriding concern is the health of the community. We are working to protect all of you by deep cleaning our facility, increasing staff training, and, of course, staying closely in touch with public health authorities. We currently plan to re-open on March 30, but toward the end of March we will reevaluate the situation and determine whether to reopen, or whether public health concerns necessitate staying closed for a longer period of time.
Q: Will you issue refunds for the days the JCC is closed in March?
A: Please know that we are grateful for your investment in the JCC and we do not take it for granted. We feel similarly about our incredible teachers, trainers, presenters, and countless other staff that are the lifeblood of the JCC. During this time of uncertainty, we have decided to act on our values of community service and have promised to continue to pay the majority of our staff during this two-week shutdown period. In order to accomplish this, we will not be issuing refunds for March. We hope you will join us by expressing your support during this unprecedented situation. Our Staff are in the midst of planning as many online connections and programs as are able. In the coming days, expect to hear from the Directors of the departments on new ways to connect.
Please note that the JCC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Dues, tuition or fees for which no services are rendered can be considered a tax-deductible donation. We will be happy to provide you with a donation letter for tax deduction purposes upon request, specifying the amount you have paid for which no services were received. Your donation amount will be based on the length of time the JCC is closed.
If it turns out we need to remain closed for a longer period of time, we will revisit our decisions.
Q: What happens if the closure extends into April?
A: So much is unknown at this time. While we want to present our members and the community with as many answers as possible, we also want the opportunity to make decisions based on the most current information. As a result, at the end of March we will send another communication to provide further details.
Q: What if the JCC reopens in April but I am facing financial hardship due to these challenging times and can no longer afford my membership?
A: As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the JCC offers scholarships and other financial accommodation. If you are facing financial hardship, please reach out to the JCC’s Associate Executive at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will work with you.
Q: Will the JCC offer programs and classes online?
A: Personal training is now available online via Zoom or FaceTime. For more information, contact Joy McIntyre, JCC Fitness Director, at email@example.com . We are working to bring some of our other programs and classes online, and will send out more information soon.
Follow us on social media for home workout tips and to stay connected to our FitClub staff:
We hope this answers your most pressing questions. We will stay in active communication with you as we determine next steps. Your patience is appreciated while we work to prioritize health and safety, reorganize operations, and plan for new realities.
We want to thank our Board of Directors for their constant support, thoughtfulness, and care. And we want to thank you for being a vital part of our vibrant community.
We are resilient and we will get through this together.
L’Shalom (for peace),
Geoff Feinstein Laura Friedman
Board President Executive Director