Sad News from the JCC

October 18, 2013

This week, our JCC lost two members of our staff family.  Our team has been deeply affected by these losses, certainly, but even more so – has been affected by the impact these colleagues had on our agency and our lives.  Every day, we come to the JCC – members and staff alike – to experience wellness, education, culture, and Jewish identity.  Our community center is not confined to the walls of our building or the quality of our programs; it’s foundation is in the relationships that are built every day between members, staff, and volunteers. The JCC mourns the loss of these men, but equally celebrates the blessings we received having them in our lives and participating in our mission.

Steve Kupferman, a member of our Building Services team and a dedicated member of our Jewish community, passed away suddenly of an apparent heart attack.  Steve, always ready with a smile and greeting - and ever willing to pull that next row of chairs or take that additional step to ensure our building exceeded the expectations of our members and staff - is survived by his son, Jake.  Our building will be a little less warm without Steve's energy and personality.  Jake and the Kupferman family have asked that people wishing to make a donation make one to the newly established Steve Kupferman Family Endowment at the JCC. 


Jeff Daugherty, Gan Ami veteran lead teacher, mentor to many, and lifelong friend passed away after a courageous fight with cancer. Jeff's legacy continues as he taught us so many lessons about living life to its fullest. As an icon in our community  Jeff truly had a special ability to look at each of us as individuals and find that special spark on the inside.  In fact, his favorite Mishna was from Pirkei Avot  4:26, "Don't look at the jug, but rather what's inside."  Jeff touched the lives of so many, and truly will be missed.   He was and continues to be a special soul and will continue to inspire us to see the beauty in every single child.  Our school community - and the community that extends well beyond our Gan Ami family - will be stronger for having had Jeff as a teacher.  Jeff shared with us his vision for his legacy at the JCC. In keeping with his love of nature and the outdoors, his dream was to increase the outdoor play spaces and gardens for our children to explore. To further his legacy, please consider a gift to the newly established Jeff Daugherty Gan Ami Beautification Fund.

Both Steve and Jeff have made, and will continue to make, a lasting impression on our JCC and our family of members.   

May their memories be a blessing to us all.


Mark Shapiro

Executive Director