What does the Katz JCC mean to you?
We know that your days at the J are often filled with Preschool drop off and pickups, a run on the treadmill or maybe in an adrenaline filled fitness class or quick swim before starting your day. But did you know there are a ton of other Jewish programs, activities and opportunities to connect with others right here at the J? The Katz JCC has been an integral part of the Atlantic County Community for more than a century; whether it was at its original location on Virginia Avenue in Atlantic City or in its present location here in Margate, there are no plans of changing the many driving forces that causes generations upon generations to call the JCC their home.
On any given day in 2019 (or 5780), one can experience more than 90 exercise classes, a state of the art fitness center, two pools as well as weekly brunches, speakers, films and programs to exercise one’s intellect. Our JCC is welcoming and beautiful with a Jewish ambiance that permeates all that we do. There are over 100 children in our Early Childhood Center and 600 campers annually in our Camp By The Sea summer program. The Katz JCC is keeping the spirit of Judaism and its core Jewish values alive and embedded in the next generation.
All of these “nachas” are easy to see when one becomes part of the Katz JCC. However, there are so many great things happening behind the scenes that are worth “kvelling” about. For example, did you know that the Katz JCC supervises seven senior meal sights in the Atlantic County community, providing approximately 80,000 hot meals per year to our local senior residents or that in the past decade, our summer camp has enabled more than 75 children with special needs to make new friends and experience an amazing summer with trained professional shadow support? This might seem like it’s all in a day’s work; however, at the JCC, we strive to infuse Jewish values into all that we do on a daily basis. “Tikkun Olam” or repairing the world is our principle; helping one child, one family member and one senior at a time. Many of the programs operated by the JCC bring Judaism and Jewish issues, values and discussions to the forefront. There is no shortage of these high mission events happening for our community within the upcoming months of November and December.
The annual Katz JCC’s Jewish Author Series starts off on Thursday, November 14 at 7pm with authors, Stephanie Butnick and Liel Leibovitz of The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia: From Abraham to Zabar’s and Everything In Between. Butnick, a deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and writer for the New York Times and Liel Leibovitz, host of “Unorthodox” the most popular Jewish podcast on iTunes, will discuss their new book, an entertaining and thoroughly modern yet unorthodox introduction to Judaism. Their book is an alphabetical array of short funny entries which feature panoply of divergent, yet amusing voices, much like contemporary Judaism itself. Then on Tuesday, November 19 at 7pm, join Sasha Sagan, author of For Small Creatures Such As We: Finding Wonder and Meaning In Our Unlikely World. Daughter of famous astronomer Carl Sagan, Sasha’s newest book celebrates all the marvels of life on Earth that require absolutely no faith in order to be believed. Drawing on both Jewish and Christian backgrounds, she has worked to create secular rituals to instill wonder and joy in the world. Last but not certainly not least, Steve Katz, author of Blood, Sweat and My Rock ‘n Roll Years: Is Steve Katz a Rock Star? will speak about his life in Rock and perform an acoustic concert on Thursday, November 21 at 7pm Steve Katz is the founding member of the 1960’s band Blood, Sweat and Tears and has recently written his memoir about growing up Jewish in the world of 1960’s Rock n’ Roll.
The JCC will host two interesting Brunch and Learn events in December, bringing local Rabbis and the community together in the spirit of collaboration, connection and community. Be sure to join us at 10:30am on December 3 with Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport of Chabad and on December 27 for a special Chanukah brunch with Rabbi David Weis of Beth Israel. Both programs will be followed by a documentary film about
Judaism. The monthly Coffee Klatch, in conjunction with JFS, is a great opportunity to learn, speak and engage one another regarding Israeli politics. Upcoming Coffee Klatches are on Thursday, November 14 and December 19. While at the JCC, make sure you check out two new Jewish exhibitions hanging in the JCC lobby. Now through November 21 is “Humans of Tel Aviv,” a photography exhibition by renowned photographer,
Erez Kagnovitz. The month of December will bring a new exhibition on loan from the National Museum of American Jewish History called Refusnik: The Power of Protest. This traveling exhibition explores the significance of the dramatic, risky, and emotionally fraught social justice movement. The exhibition will kick off with a free opening reception and brunch on Sunday, December 1 at 10:30am with guest speaker, Marcia Bronstein from the American Jewish Committee. It will be a morning you won’t want to miss. The JCC’s travel program enables you to immerse yourself in Jewish values during a special trip to the land of Israel during the festive holiday of Purim! Spots still remain for the March 5 – 15, 2020 trip to visit the Old City of Jerusalem, the beautiful beaches of Tel Aviv, the heights of Masada and the depths of the Dead Sea. Even if you have experienced the wonders of Israel before, witnessing it with Purim parades and festivities is sure to delight. The Katz JCC will also be coordinating a trip to experience the wonders of Portugal from May 11-21, 2020. This special trip will enjoy the highlights of this majestic country with a focus on Jewish history and Portugal’s coastal cuisine. Spaces on both trips are limited.
This is just a sampling of the many great Jewish programs right here at the Katz JCC in Margate this fall and early winter. Feel free to give us a call or stop by the Welcome Desk for any questions or for more information on any of these amazing programs and so much more. 5780 is off to a great start!