In my first year and a half working here as CEO I’ve had countless conversations with stakeholders, and sometimes strangers, who speak about their connection with the Kaiserman JCC. For so many, we are the place they learned to swim. The place their parents met. The place their children grew into adulthood. The place adults built lifelong friendships.
Over the past year we’ve seen that bright light of impact rekindled following a pandemic. We’ve reached record enrollment in many programs, particularly the Robert J. Wilf Preschool and Kindergarten. We have engaged new people across Philadelphia through regional initiatives like our J on the Way program, our Diller Teen Fellows program, and our JCC Maccabi delegation, Team Philadelphia. Hundreds are now steaming back into our center for adult fitness classes that have returned, youth enrichment programs like our hosting Challenger Soccer, and serving as the Main Line home for the Fencing Academy of Philadelphia. We’ve invested across this institution, putting impactful resources into capital improvements, investing in Jewish engagement programming like our Purim and Sukkot festivals, serving as the new home for the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, launching a new website for our agency, and much more. We have so much to be proud of. Most importantly, our agency is healthy. On firm financial footing. And this fall our board approved a new strategic plan. The vision for the Kaiserman JCC is bright.
At the center of the plan is an image, crystalized through conversations, focus groups, and countless data points of opportunity accumulated through our planning process: The Kaiserman JCC as the vibrant hub of Jewish life here on the Main Line, and increasingly across the region.
Over the next year we will work with our partners at Jewish Federation to map out a state-of-the-art JCC on a vibrant, communal campus, beginning with improvements to our preschool, sports fields, gymnasium, and aquatics facilities. Over the next year we will expand our adult and older adult programs, furthering our hub of wellness, and arts and cultural programs that showcase our Jewish and Israeli heritage. Furthermore, we plan to enhance our early childhood programs, exploring the possibility of a second preschool, and dramatically expanding parenting initiatives. We will accomplish this all by investing in our staff and completing a fundraising campaign we are calling “50th to the Future.” We have a goal of raising $500,000 for this campaign, and I am excited to share we have already raised more than half of that amount.
You can play a part in this vision. Make your tax-deductible contribution to the JCC by December 31st, and your gift will have double the impact! All donations will be matched by generous donors. Join us today in the embodiment of one of our institutional values — L’dor V’dor, connecting generation to generation. Your generosity will seed the next chapter of our impact. The beginning of stories told tomorrow about the Kaiserman JCC, and our connection to the community.
Shabbat Shalom, and happy New Year,