Member Communications 9 min read

Stories from the 2020-21 Annual Report

By JCC Milwaukee June 29, 2021
black and white image of karl community campus

What is the most important component of an Annual Report? Some might guess a report of the financials would be the headline story. Others may look at charts and graphs to decipher progress. But we feel the best way to celebrate our fiscal year as it comes to a close is to tell the stories of how our community, members, staff, and volunteers came together through incredibly challenging times to fulfill our Board Agenda to Invest in Our Future, Innovate Our Service, and Inspire Justice and Equity. We invite you to read the stories linked below!

When the World Gave Us Lemons, We Made Lemonadeand Tahini Cookies, Wire-beaded Havdalah Sets, and Chicken Shawarma Tacos!

Think back to spring 2020. We were hunkered down doing puzzles, singing “Happy Birthday” twice through while washing our hands, and disinfecting our delivered groceries. We were also taking up new hobbies – needlework, painting, baking – anything to fill the time and enrich our lives during an admittedly scary and gloomy time. Enter Tapestry’s “Beyond A Building” Classes. READ MORE

Campaign For A Strong JCC Indeed Proves We are “For Each Other”

When challenges come along, disrupting a smooth and steady path towards success, it is easy to dwell in a chasm of scarcity. The tougher choice is to choose abundance—to look towards the future with hope and gratitude. READ MORE

Fitness Move of the Year – Pivoting!

What was it like to run a fitness center during a worldwide pandemic?  The staff at the JCC never had to consider this – they were singularly focused on leading a community center that offered expertise in number of areas, personal & community fitness among them. READ MORE

Partnering to Build a Healthier Milwaukee – One Shot at a Time

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have been grateful to be surrounded by strong partners like the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the North Shore Health Department who share our commitment to community health. Once vaccines became available, new and existing partnerships allowed us to provide convenient and equitable access to vaccination for our community at our Whitefish Bay facility. READ MORE

Student Center Steps Up to Serve

Leveraging the JCC’s deep experience in youth programs, coupled with close partnerships built through years of service to area schools and educators with the JCC’s Kids Center before and after school program, Student Center launched in early fall as a full day, full service alternative to home school. READ MORE

A Board Investment in Tzedek (justice)

When the JCC Board of Directors set its agenda for the year, one topic continued to rise to the top: inspiring justice and equity. Throughout the world, communities were standing together in the fight for justice, taking to the streets and demanding a future without violence, burden, or bias. READ MORE

Gan Ami Goes Above and Beyond

It has long been a belief that the education and learning that happens at Gan Ami Early Childhood Education has extended beyond the classroom.  Never has that belief been more tested – and proven true – than during a challenging and evolving 2020. READ MORE

How to Get through a Global Pandemic? Just Keep Swimming!

In the midst of a pandemic, our JCC members found that the pool offered respite and rejuvenation when there was little to be found elsewhere. READ MORE

S.T.A.R.S. & Chaverim Make Special Connections In & Out of the Zoom Box

Throughout the last year, the JCC’s Center for Inclusion & Special Needs (CISN) never stopped providing programs for their youth and adult participants. READ MORE

A Virtual Jewish Film Festival Gets Two Thumbs Up

The 2020 Virtual Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival delivered for our audience on all fronts: engaging Jewish films from around the world, the comforts of home, and the flexibility to choose convenient showtimes. READ MORE

The Greater the Storm, the Brighter the Rainbow in Fredonia

Two working parents, two active young sons, a world turned upside-down with a global pandemic, and summer right around the corner—this was the challenge faced by JCC members Leia and Brian Olsen. READ MORE

A Year of Drive-Through Service at the Jewish Community Pantry

When the Pantry converted to a drive-through service in April 2020, that transition was assumed to be short-lived. Halting service to community members in need was never an option. The Pantry’s dedicated volunteers remained on the frontlines. READ MORE

Tapestry: Arts & Ideas from the JCC If Not Now, When? delivers performing arts with a purpose

On June 7, 2021, the JCC safely welcomed guests home to our Daniel M. Soref Community Hall for our first in-person Tapestry event since the pandemic began. The premiere of If Not Now, When?, both live and virtually, was a much anticipated collaboration with the Milwaukee Rep. READ MORE

Camp Interlaken JCC Alumni “Take Over” and Make their Mark on Camp

At the first Camp Interlaken Camp Committee meeting of fall 2020, Camp Director Toni Davison Levenberg shared the harsh financial realities with her committee of dedicated lay leaders. Their concern for their beloved camp was declared loudly—along with cries of “we need to help!” At that moment, Camp Committee member Jesse Sondel typed an acronym into the Zoom chat: “ATO.” Alumni Take Over. READ MORE