As we prepare to welcome another year, we thought we’d look back at some highlights of this past year at the East Valley JCC. What was your favorite program in 2018?
Holocaust education event at Chandler Center for the Arts
The East Valley JCC kicked off the year with “They Risked Their Lives,” which included two exhibits and a theatrical performance that showed how Poles, both ordinary citizens and soldiers, rescued Jews during World War II.
The exhibits were “They Risked Their Lives — Poles Who Saved Jews During the Holocaust,” a project of the Warsaw-based POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and “The World Knew: Jan Karski’s Mission for Humanity,” produced by the Polish History Museum in Warsaw in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, and the Jan Karski Educational Foundation.
The nearly 400 visitors also had an opportunity the World War II-era railcar owned by the EVJCC.
Commemorating Yom Hashoah
The EVJCC marked Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a story of survival by Holocaust survivor George Kalman and the viewing of an art exhibit that depicted the story of Holocaust with more than 36 paintings by artist Helen Weisman.
A community Yom Ha’atzmaut party featuring live music by Gal Drimmer and Erez Kessler, Israeli food and Israeli dancing was a fun way to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day.
Youth fun at the J
Sounds of children learning and having fun can be heard throughout the year at the EVJCC, from ages 6 weeks through pre-K at the Early Childhood Learning Center and Camp Rimon Katan. Older children, ages kindergarten through ninth-grade, enjoy the J at Camp Rimon Gadol summer and school break camps. Teens have a blast while developing leadership skills as the work as counselors and through the Ilane Blau Teen Leadership Institute.
A variety of programming
On Mondays, a group meets to play Mahjong. On Tuesdays, guest speakers present on different topics at Terrific Tuesdays. On Thursdays, Open Beit Midrash offers a morning of learning, including a speaker series followed by a kosher communal lunch prepared by Chef Melinda.
This year’s programming also included an Israeli movie series, Jewish Sparks workshops, Sunday Funday activities for youth and a comedy night featuring comedian Peter Fogel.
Community service projects
We were fortunate this year to be part of Pancakes & Pavers, a community service project in partnership with the City of Chandler. In September, more than 100 Valley Christian High School students spent the morning beautifying the EVJCC campus. In addition to removing gravel in preparation of pavers for the playground, the students painted the MPR, repainted parking lot stripes, painted outside the building and cleaned out storage sheds.
East Valley teens participated in J-Serve, an international day of community service for teens.
Serving hundreds of meals through Ladles of Love
We appreciate all the wonderful volunteers who helped prepare and deliver meals to seniors and individuals in need through the EVJCC’s monthly Ladles of Love program.
We love being part of our community!
The Early Childhood Learning Center organizes a community mitzvah project each month, collecting food, toiletries and items to donate to individuals and families in need throughout the local community.
The J was honored to host the City of Chandler Breakfast this past November, where representatives from about 100 Chandler organizations, nonprofits and businesses gathered to network.
We also enjoy welcoming the various community organizations that meet at the J each month: BBYO, Generations After Descendants Forum, Hadassah and NA’AMAT.
Showing support for Israeli soldiers
Through the EVJCC’s Lone Soldier Project, Valley children and adults sent early 400 Hanukkah greetings to lone soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces.
The J is fortunate to have so many great volunteers throughout the year, many who were recognized at the J’s annual event, which also honored Barry and Barbara Zemel. We always appreciate community support!
Community Holocaust education through art
The J hosted the Arizona premiere of the David Labkovski Project “Documenting History Through Art” exhibit this past November. Visitors toured the exhibit and attended lectures and a paint night.
Celebrating a fantastic staff
The East Valley JCC is fortunate to have a wonderful staff, who had a great time at a year-end event at the Desert Botanical Garden and a Chanukah gift exchange. The entire preschool gathered each day in the lobby to sing Chanukah songs and light the menorah.
Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the East Valley JCC this past year!! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019! We appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you throughout the year!