Berman Jewish Policy Archive @ NYU Wagner
January 2015
Guest Introduction: Rabbi Joy Levitt  
Executive Director, The JCC in Manhattan

     JCCs are at an important crossroads as we move into the 21st Century. Like so many institutions both within the Jewish community and in our larger world, JCCs must constantly renew and refresh our mission. Where once we were the "secular" alternative to synagogues and the accessible alternative to restricted athletic clubs, today we have an unprecedented opportunity to engage Jewish community in ways that both unite those earlier ideas and disrupt them.


     The relevant issues around the secular/religious divide become less about belief and more about peoples' powerful desire to connect  with a tradition and culture that can help them live more meaningful lives and raise happy, healthy families. The focus on wellness in so many JCCs provides an extraordinary opportunity to respond to critical needs in our community around health within the context of a caring and compassionate community.


     More importantly, because JCCs are where most Jews are, this is a moment to be bold, to do what the best of our institutions have always done, which is to listen deeply to the needs of our communities and create new ways to connect to the values we share.      





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