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About

Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh 125th Annual Meeting

2019-2020 Annual Report
2019-2020 Donors to the JCC


Fulfilling Our Mission for more than 120 Years

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, a member of the Jewish Community Center Association of North America, is one of the largest social service, recreational and educational organizations in the region.

For more than 120 years, the JCC has enriched our community by creating an environment rooted in Jewish values that strengthens the physical, intellectual and spiritual well-being of individuals and families.

Comprehensive programming includes child care and preschool, after-school and school’s-out programs, day and overnight camping, senior adult activities, fitness and wellness programs, special needs services, arts and cultural activities including a nationally-accredited Jewish museum and scores of programs for all ages and interests.

The JCC houses state-of-the-art fitness and wellness facilities, heated indoor swimming pools and an Olympic-size outdoor pool for summer use, gymnasiums, squash/racquetball courts, outdoor playgrounds, auditoriums, dance studios, classrooms and meeting areas.

The JCC is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, United Way of Southwestern PA and Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

Leadership

NURTURING PEOPLE

CONNECTING COMMUNITY

EACH DAY

THROUGH EVERY AGE

INSPIRED BY JEWISH VALUES

Read more about our Mission Statement

Throughout the 125 year history of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, we have strived to live our values through our daily actions.  We aspire to fulfill our mission by nurturing people and connecting communities, each day, through every age, inspired by Jewish values for every person regardless of race, skin tone, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, economic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, special needs or citizenship status.

We created the Center for Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement in the summer of 2017 as the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville revealed long-held stark realities of hate throughout our country.  We defined our charge as “Strengthening the fabric of community by amplifying the long-held values of ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ and ‘Do not stand idle while your neighbor bleeds’ while redefining ‘neighbor’ from geographic term to moral concept.”  That mandate has guided our work through very challenging times over these past three years, including our response to the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the history of the United States in our own city.

We begin the Jewish New Year 5781 at a time when racial bias, anti-Blackness, racism, systemic racism, and historic and current societal inequities are being denounced with hopes for long lasting systemic change.  We make the following statement, committed to learning and action within our JCC community and throughout our Greater Pittsburgh community, and to invite others into the work.

  • TZELEM ELOHIM – Divine Image (uniqueness and dignity)

We believe that Black Lives Matter as an explicit expression of the most fundamental value of human potential.

  • B’RIT – Covenant (belonging and commitment)

We engage in this work as partners with sibling organizations across our region and are guided by organizations led by and serving communities most negatively impacted by racial bias, anti-Blackness, racism, systemic racism and historic and current societal inequities.  We engage in this work knowing that the Jewish community and the JCC are made up of neighbors with multiple identities.

  • K’DUSHAH – Holiness (intentionality and presence)

We are focused and present to address the issues at hand for the work we do within our JCC community and the work we do throughout Greater Pittsburgh.  We examine the role each of us plays as a part of the problem and that each of us can play to be part of the solution.

  • HIT’ORERUT – Awakening (amazement and gratitude)

Our ears, eyes, hearts and minds are open as vehicles of learning from and with those who are most impacted by racial bias, anti-Blackness, racism, systemic racism and historic and current societal inequities.

  • D’RASH – Interpretation (inquiry, dialogue, and transmission)

We are required to be engaged and seek out ways we can impact positive change.

  • MASA – Journey (reflection, return, and renewal)

We approach these issues with humility, aware that individuals and institutions are on journeys of understanding and discovery as are we.  Even as we journey as an institution, we appreciate the journeys of other individuals and institutions no matter how far along they are.  We embrace the long held values of graciousness (chen), loving kindness (chesed) and compassion (rachamim) throughout our journey.

  • TIKKUN OLAM – Repair of the World (responsibility)

We are committed to repair the brokenness within ourselves and the brokenness of our world caused by racial bias, anti-Blackness, racism, systemic racism and historic and current societal inequities.  As we move closer to a more complete beloved community and a more perfect union, we are guided by the Jewish value of justice (tzedek) and reminded to do so by the double imperative, “Justice, justice shall you pursue!” (Deuteronomy 16:20)

Bill Isler, Co-Chair JCC PGH Center for Loving Kindness Advisory Committee/JCC PGH Board Member

Hilary Tyson, Co-Chair JCC PGH Center for Loving Kindness Advisory Committee/JCC PGH Board Member

Rabbi Ron Symons, Founding Director JCC PGH Center for Loving Kindness

Melissa Hiller, Assistant Director JCC PGH Center for Loving Kindness

Rev. Liddy Barlow, Christian Associates of Southwest PA
Zack Block, Repair the World
Nancy Bernstein, Community Leader
RosaMaria Cristello, Latino Community Center
Rev. Janet Edwards, Judah Fellowship
Jonathan Fischer, Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute
Jeff Galak, CMU Associate Professor of Marketing/ JCC PGH Board Member
Caryle Glosser, Community Leader
Jake Goodman, Opportunity Fund/JCC PGH Board Member
Rev. Glenn Grayson, Jeron X Grayson Community Center/The Center That Cares
Rev. Janet Hellner-Burris, Christian Church of Wilkinsburg/Sanctuary Project Wilkinsburg
Anna Hollis, Amachi
Teddi J. Horvitz, National Council of Jewish Women
Noah Jordan, Rothman Gordon Attorney
Susan Friedberg Kalson, Squirrel Hill Health Center
Samantha Klein, Day Owl/JCC PGH Board Member
Dan Leger, Retired Chaplain and Pediatric Hospice Care Nurse
Marian Lien, St. Edmunds Academy
Geraldine Massey, Center for Victims
Dr. Liz Miller, UPMC Children’s Hospital (Adolescent and Young Adult)/JCC PGH Board Member
Wasi Mohamed, Forward Cities/Islamic Center of Pittsburgh
Elliott Oshry, Non-Profit Consultant and Volunteer
Rita Pollock, Community Leader
Cathy Reifer, Community Leader
Joanne Rogers, Community Leader
Margie Ruttenberg, Community Leader/JCC PGH Marketing Advisor
Kannu Sahni, Highmark and Allegheny Health Network
Ivy Schamis, Holocaust Studies Educator at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Sara Segel, National Council of Jewish Women
Rev. Tim Smith, Center of Life
Linda Simon, Past JCC PGH Board Chair
Josh Stein, Attorney
Sharon Werner, JCC PGH Board Member
Rabbi Jeremy Weisblatt, Temple Ohav Shalom
Lynn Zelenski, Community Leader

William Goodman, JCC PGH Board Chair
Brian Schreiber, JCC PGH President/CEO

(The above framework is inspired by the 7 lenses we employ in our Early Childhood Development Center of the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh.  Used across all aspects of early childhood education in the national JCC Sheva network, this application of the lenses to racial bias, anti-Blackness racism, systemic racism, and historic and current societal inequities, is unique to the Center for Loving Kindness (founded in 2017) of the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh.  We welcome your conversation at [email protected].)

The JCC provides a gateway to experience the richness of Jewish tradition and community.

The JCC is a place where Jews are welcome no matter where or whether they worship, whatever their age or life style.

We see value and potential in people associating with each other in a warm, supportive environment.

We foster meaningful connections to the land and people of Israel and the Jewish community worldwide.

We promote active collaborations to build lasting Jewish commitment and memories.

Following the tradition of Abraham, we welcome individuals of all backgrounds, embracing their uniqueness and diversity under our communal tent.

We maximize accessibility of services for people of all means and abilities.

The JCC’s Jewish Values

JCC Values are an expression of who we are and what we aspire to. In this fast-changing, complicated world, our values are enduring.

Kavod/Respect: Kavod speaks to how we treat others and comport ourselves—with honor, respect and dignity.

Chesed/Kindness: “Kindness is the overflowing of one’s self into the lives of others” —Anonymous Our sages teach that one of the three pillars upon which the world is sustained is kindness. The term gemilut chasadim, which literally means “the giving of loving-kindness,” is an act that an individual completes without the anticipation of receiving something in return. Chesed is “paying forward” in its truest sense.

Tikkun Middot/Character Tikkun Middot is specific to Character —our own as well as how we help build character, especially in our youngest participants. Tikkun Middot may be measured by attributes including humility, courage, peace in the home, guarding one’s speech and gracious hospitality.

Kehillah/Community: What we build every day at the JCC.

At the turn of the 20th century, thousands of Jews immigrated from Eastern Europe to Pittsburgh. Responding to the growing needs of this population, the Council of Jewish Women founded the Columbian School and Settlement. It opened in 1895 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a predominantly Jewish neighborhood at the time.

The Settlement had a summer play school, a reading room, free baths, and classes in English and citizenship.

In 1909, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kaufmann donated a building, equipment and money, as a memorial to their daughter, Irene, and the agency then became known as the Irene Kaufmann Settlement. IKS, as it was called, helped immigrants adjust to their lives in America. The staff trained them to work and helped them to find jobs. Children and families benefited from new playgrounds, a “Milk Well” program to purchase affordable milk, a “Better Baby” healthcare clinic, and a place to “escape” during the summers called Emma Farm, now known as Emma Kaufmann Camp.

The IKS also created the Pittsburgh Visiting Nurses Association so that immigrants could have medical care at the Settlement. Immigrants also enjoyed venues for recreational pursuits, including a gymnasium, swimming pool, library, club room, and a school of music, theater and art.

In 1910, several men created the Young Men’s Hebrew Association (YMHA), and women soon followed, forming a Young Women’s Hebrew Association. The two groups merged, forming the YM & WHA, known as the Y. These organizations offered book clubs, art classes, dances, music appreciation groups, sports teams, and family support.

In 1939, the Settlement wrote a mission statement called “The Special Purpose of the Irene Kaufmann Settlement,” which included as its primary objective the advancement of “the civic, intellectual, and social welfare of the surrounding community. [The Settlement] aims to do this, first, by guiding native and foreign-born to American ideals; second, by encouraging self-improvement; third, by stimulating healthy pleasures; fourth, by broadening civic interests; fifth, by creating ideals of conduct.”

IKS continued to grow. Over time, it became clear that an overlap of programming at the agencies was a burden on the community’s resources. At the close of 1960, the Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association, the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, and Emma Farm Association merged to create the Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association-Irene Kaufmann Centers, commonly referred to as the Y-IKC, lovingly known as the “Ikes.”

While our name has changed, those core goals and values still exist at today’s Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. We continue to welcome everyone, offering arts and culture, English as a second language, preschool, summer camps, sports and athletics, programming for older adults, and many other programs for all ages and interests. The JCC continues to foster the same growth and advancement of its members as it did more than 120 years ago.

1895

The Columbian School and Settlement is begun by the Kaufmann Family and the Council of Jewish Women of Pittsburgh on Miller Street in the Hill District.

1908

Emma Farm Association, named in memory of Isaac Kaufmann’s wife, Emma, opens in Harmarville, PA.

1909

The Columbian School and Settlement accepts gift from Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kaufmann of a new building as a memorial to their daughter, Irene. The agency is renamed the Irene Kaufmann Settlement, affectionately known as the IKS.

1910

Young Men’s Hebrew Association is organized in in the game room of the Tree of Life Synagogue in downtown Pittsburgh; young women quickly form a parallel social organization, the YWHA. The two groups merge to form the YM & WHA, known as the Y.

1922

Emma Farm Association moves to Harmony, PA, where camp is held for the next 50 years.

1925

YM &WHA opens on Bellefield Avenue is opened.

1943

Irene Kaufmann Settlement establishes a Squirrel Hill Boy’s Club on Forward Avenue in Squirrel Hill.

1949 

IKS purchases club house at 5738 Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill, site of the current Irene Kaufmann building.

1957

Irene Kaufmann Settlement moves out of the Hill District. In 1969, the site on Centre Avenue is deeded to Hill House Association.

1958

Construction begins on the Irene Kaufmann Building at 5738 Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill. The building opens in 1959.

1960

The boards of Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association, Irene Kaufmann Settlement and Centers, and Emma Farm Association recommend the merger of the three institutions. The new institution is renamed the Young Men and Women’s Hebrew Association-Irene Kaufmann Centers, commonly referred to as the Y-IKC. Laurel Y Camp is closed.

1968

Dedication of East End Y-IKC at Stanton and South Negley Avenues. The facility is sold in 1973.

1969

Henry Kaufmann Family Recreation Park in Monroeville is dedicated.

1972

Emma Kaufmann Camp moves to its current location on Cheat Lake near Morgantown, WV, on the site of former Camp Lynnwood.

1974

Y-IKC adopts the name of Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh.

1977

The Irene Kaufmann Building in Squirrel Hill undergoes a 10,000 square-foot expansion. The expanded facility is dedicated in 1980.

1985

YM&WHA facility on Bellefield Avenue is sold to the University of Pittsburgh.

1986

Irene Kaufmann Building in Squirrel Hill is razed to make way for construction of a new, 100,000 square-foot facility, nearly double the size of the previous building.

1987

November 1987 through April 1988; phased opening of the new Irene Kaufmann Building of the Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh.

1992

South Hills Branch concept adopted by the JCC Board; arrangements made for temporary operation at the Ward School in Mt. Lebanon

1996

Emma Kaufmann Camp improves physical facilities with $1million of improvements over the last decade The Kane Hospital site is purchased for South Hills Branch development

1997

Ground is broken in June for the new Henry Kaufmann Building in Scott Township, South Hills. The new Alex and Leona Robinson Building on Darlington Road in Squirrel Hill is dedicated in September as part of the community’s Renaissance campaign.

1999

The new Henry Kaufmann Building in Scott Township, built on a portion of the Kane Hospital site, is dedicated. The South Hills programs of the JCC previously were held in the former Ward School in Mount Lebanon starting in the early 1990s. The Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh is renamed the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.

2008

The new Leatrice and John M. Wolf Centerfit, a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the Squirrel Hill fitness areas, opens, greatly improving fitness and wellness opportunities for all members. An expansion of the JCC-South Hills fitness facilities was completed in 2006.

2012

The Rauh Jewish Archives of the Senator John Heinz History Center website, A Tradition of Giving: The History of Jewish Philanthropy in Pittsburgh , traces the development of social services in the Pittsburgh Jewish community. The website uses archival documents, photographs and oral histories from the archival collections of institutions including the JCC, synagogues, organizations and families to tell the story of how the Pittsburgh Jewish community responded to the needs of Jews in Pittsburgh and beyond. The site has many references to the JCC and the institutions that preceded it, including the following:

OFFICERS

William S. Goodman, Chair of the Board

Carole S. Katz, Vice Chair

Samuel W. Braver, Vice Chair

Joshua M. Farber, Vice Chair

Lori B. Shure, Vice Chair

Merris Groff, Treasurer

Scott E. Seewald, Assistant Treasurer

Hilary Tyson, Secretary

Jeffrey Galak, Assistant Secretary

 

Brian Schreiber, President and CEO

James S. Ruttenberg, Immediate Past Chair

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

David Ainsman

Neil DiBiase

Elyse Eichner

Jake  Goodman

Deborah F. Graver

Ina K. Gumberg

John P. Halicky

William H. Isler

Samantha  Klein

David Knoll

Douglas W. Kress

Uriel  Marcovitz

Liz Miller

Ty Morse

Stefani Pashman

Louis B. Plung

Rita   Rabin

Steven M. Recht

Todd E. Reidbord

Sharon Werner

  • Louis Reizenstein, 1961-63*
  • Julian Ruslander, 1963-65 *
  • Samuel Kaufman, 1965-67 *
  • John M. Wolf, Sr., 1967-70*
  • Gerald Ostrow, 1970-73 *
  • Harold Gondelman, 1973-76 *
  • Charles Kirshner, 1976-79 *
  • Earl Latterman, 1979-82
  • Samuel B. Roth, 1982-84 *
  • Edward Berman, 1984-86
  • Stewart B. Barmen, 1986-88
  • Joel J. Hausman, 1988-90
  • Ruth G. Schachter, 1990-93
  • Arlene Weisman, 1993-96
  • Alan Garfinkel, 1996-98
  • Douglas H. Ostrow, 1998-2001
  • Bruce Booken, 2001-04
  • Linda S. Simon, 2004-07
  • Meryl K. Ainsman, 2007-10
  • Jeffrey B. Markel, 2010-13
  • Marc Brown, 2013-16
  • James S. Ruttenberg, 2016-2019

* Z”l of blessed memory

FY09

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FY18

The JCC’s Audited Financial Report is available upon request. Please email Membership to request the report.

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