The Mayerson JCC and The Mayerson Foundation are pleased to announce the formation of a new strategic partnership designed to expand JCC teen programming with the goal of connecting Jewish teens with their peers through recreational, social and personal growth experiences. Management and operations of JCC teen activities will fall under the guidance of The Mayerson Foundation, and will be staffed by Matt Steinberg, the JCC teen coordinator. Plans are already underway to offer a robust lineup of cutting-edge programs, events, classes and services designed to provide this important demographic with many opportunities to engage with each other and the Jewish community.
“Our goal is to offer outstanding programs and services to our community at all stages of life. In conjunction with other communal institutions and organizations, we hope to further engage Jewish teens and young professionals,” says Marc Fisher, JCC president-elect. “Our partnership with the Mayerson Foundation allows us to leverage our combined skills and resources to aid the community in supporting our next generation.”
“The Mayerson Foundation is proud to join with the JCC to develop and offer exciting programming to help attract teenagers to fun and engaging programming with their peers,” says Dr. Neal H. Mayerson, president of The Manuel D. and Rhoda Mayerson Foundation. “Over the past decade, The Mayerson Foundation has put a great deal of resources into operating programs aimed at providing a variety of entry points for those who are searching for more personally relevant and engaging points of contact with Jewish life and the Jewish community,” he explains. “We are glad to be able to share the programming expertise that we have honed over the years to complement the financial support that we have dedicated to this center of vitality in our community.”
Nearly two years ago, The Mayerson Foundation embarked upon a bold experiment with the JCC to apply the same principles it used in the startup and operation of initiatives such as Access (young professionals), Shalom Family (young families) and Fusion Family (interfaith couples) to the startup of a program geared specifically for young professionals, called YPs at the JCC. Since that time, hundreds have participated in YP specific programs at the JCC, and many of them have become paid members. As a result, the two organizations made the decision to formalize and expand their relationship and put even more resources into the mix to apply a similar model to help take JCC teen programs to the next level.
“Although we are still in the early stages of our strategic planning process, I am really excited about all the ideas that are starting to emerge,” says Steinberg. “Having a teen program created ‘by teens for teens’ is critical to our ultimate success. We have already planned a teen focus group and will be convening a teen advisory committee to provide us with input and feedback as we move forward. In the not too distant future, teens can expect to see a wide variety of programs designed to appeal to a diverse array of interests, from health and fitness and cultural arts, to social events and social action initiatives,” he adds.
In addition to dozens of new programs, events, classes and services for teens, the JCC now offers an individual student membership for ages 13 – 20 years old. The initiation fee will be waived for all students who join the JCC by Sept. 30 in this new membership category. Beginning Sept. 10, the JCC Teen Exceed program will no longer be required for those ages 13-15 to use the Fitness Center (excluding free weights) or to participate in group exercise classes. Instead, they will be able to do those things after they participate in a free one-hour orientation offered on Mondays at 4 p.m. (in groups of up to five). This comprehensive free orientation covers basic safety, cardio and strength training, as well as fitness etiquette. “We are happy to provide teens with an affordable opportunity to become involved at the J,” notes Jamie Wolf, general manager of JCC Fitness Operations. “We hope to enhance their spirit of community, culture and wellness.”
To learn more about JCC teen programs, visit the JCC website or call or email Matt Steinberg, teen coordinator at the Mayerson JCC.