Support the SJCC

 2020 End of Year Appeal   Donate Now

When we think about what fuels our passion and involvement with the JCC, it is that the JCC has such a profound presence in so many people’s everyday life. The impact the JCC has is not theoretical; generations have been touched by its programs and by its mission. Lives have been changed for the better, communities strengthened, and friendships nurtured. 

Being present in the lives of others is more important now than ever. As we combat the negative effects of the ongoing pandemic such as social isolation and increased stress, it made us wonder: was the JCC still as present?  For someone like Mary Ann, we were:



“Having the opportunity to use the Fitness Center gave me a sense of normality and helped with my emotional health. Also, being a social person, I really missed seeing my ‘pals’ at the gym. It was a relief to know that those I have seen are healthy.”  -Mary Ann



The JCC has always practiced the art of being present, focusing on the needs of the community first. So after an initial closure at the beginning of the pandemic, we reopened to provide childcare to the children of essential workers. Then all children. When we got the go-ahead to run camp, even under stricter guidelines, we rose to the call of the community. We pivoted to find ways to stay present in people’s lives. We reopened our fitness center and our pools while meeting and exceeding the safety protocols.

"During these challenging times, access to childcare has been everything. The initial lockdown was an incredibly challenging time for us, as it was for everyone. Attempting to work full-time from home, while also trying to attend to our children's educational and developmental needs meant we were giving about 50% less of our attention to each.  Even in the best of times, I feel very fortunate to have a safe, supportive, and loving environment to send my children, but during the challenges of the pandemic, it means more than ever. The JCC has kept my children active, engaged, and developing to their fullest potential.”  -Lindsay B.  

We were creative. We were imaginative. We began and continue to provide virtual programs, like those of the National Jewish Literary Consortium, which we joined. That opened up possibilities for members and users to hear some of the finest authors of the land. Here in Schenectady, we are offering full-day childcare for school-age children who are only doing remote learning. We move forward.

Not every organization made or could make the choice to reopen as we did. Our virtual programming provided outreach within the safety of homes and reopening was our commitment to being present to a community in need. So our choice to reopen was really no choice at all. We would discuss how to open in the safest way possible, but we were going there.

There is a cost. Our community has been fortunate that for the most part, the JCC has been self-sustaining through its programs, that fundraising was additive but not critical. But not in the age of COVID-19. Expenses are down, but revenues are down more. We are experiencing a funding gap.

So we hope you’ll join us in helping our JCC. We hope you see and know the value of being present in people’s lives. Our tradition teaches that we are each responsible, one for another. The JCC does that every day. We hope you will as well.








Salmon Law Firm
Eastern Heating
Hill & Markes
M&T Bank
Freihofer Baking Company
Golub Foundation
Nigro Companies
Cool Insurance
The Jewish Federation