A Message to All Members - Shabbat at the JCC

April 24, 2013

To Our Family of Members,

This afternoon, following a year of community conversation and study, the JCC Board of Directors has voted in favor of opening the JCC at 8:00 am on Saturday mornings. This decision, which has received the unanimous support of the Board, is consistent with the Vision and Statement of Principles for the 21st Century published by the JCCs of North America, our movement's national consultative body. Along with our mission, the input of our members and community leaders, and at each turn reflective of our traditions and values - the Board conclusively opted to expand our agency's hours on Shabbat.

Our mission states that the JCC is to "provide the entire community with a forum for open dialogue regarding matters affecting Jewish life." As we seek to meet the ever-changing needs of the entire Jewish community, we recognize that the community itself is ever-changing. This decision demonstrates our intent to remain relevant to our membership, to take active ownership of our mission, and to deliver on the responsibility we have to meet those needs. The choice to open at 8:00am allows the JCC to ensure that our members - wherever they may be on their Jewish journey - have the opportunity to participate, to explore, and to live the values that guide our community center.

Over the coming months, we will depend on continued (and, perhaps, broader) community-wide dialogueprior to moving forward with implementing this change and exploring ideas for collaborative success.  This process has greatly benefited from the involvement of many voices from our community, and for that we are grateful.  In cases of both accord and disagreement, this community and its leaders have demonstrated a uniquely Jewish commitment to respectful debate and a shared focus on serving Jewish Milwaukee. A more detailed plan and timeline for this change - a plan which will be inclusive of those many voices that have brought the JCC this far - will be distributed to members in the months ahead. 

As was said in a recent letter we were privileged to co-author with two of our community's rabbinical leaders "...we are committed to working together for the good of our community. We will do so with respect and appropriateness and we invite you to do the same." Together, and alongside those partners who share our commitment to supporting all aspects of Jewish life, we can be sure that our community is healthy and vibrant for generations to come.


Today, we recognize the coming addition of four more hours to serve our members' recreational, cultural, and community needs. Thank you for your support of the JCC, and for allowing our staff, programs, and mission to be a meaningful part of your lives.


Moshe Katz, Chairman of the Board                     Mark Shapiro, Executive Director


Questions or comments?  Click here to contact us.