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JCC State of Mind – April 12, 2024

Posted by Jason Kunzman, JCC President and CEO on April 12, 2024

Eclipses are a pretty special thing around the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh. In his weekly shabbat message, my predecessor and good friend Brian Schreiber wrote about the last eclipse visible here in Pittsburgh and a moving confluence of events inside of our early childhood development center where we helped Dr. Paul Caplan (z”l), who was 104 years old at the time, put on a pair of eclipse friendly sunglasses and pointed him in the direction of the sun. And not only was there an eclipse that day, but it was also the first day in our infant room for none other than Dr. Caplan’s great, great niece. As Brian commented back in August 2017, “And in the world of JCCs, a four-generation family spanning 100+ years in the same community in the same facility at the JCC is likely as rare as an eclipse.”

As we gathered this week under the spectacle of another eclipse, I was once again reminded of the profound symbolism this phenomenon carries. Much like the alignment of celestial bodies, the JCC is also undergoing a significant alignment—one that promises new beginnings and opportunities.

I am excited to share with you that on June 17 we will be welcoming a new member to the JCC team. Just as the moon moved into alignment with the sun during Monday’s eclipse, our new Senior Director of Jewish Life, Hindy Finman, aligns seamlessly with our community’s values, goals and aspirations.

At the JCC, hiring a new employee isn’t merely about filling a vacant position; it’s about inviting fresh perspectives, diverse experiences and boundless enthusiasm into our midst. After a thorough selection process, our Board and staff are confident that Hindy will not only contribute her skills and expertise in deepening Jewish engagement but will also enrich our community fabric with her unique background and insights.

Much like witnessing an eclipse, embracing change and growth can be both awe-inspiring and transformative. Just as the darkness of an eclipse eventually gives way to the bright light of a new day, so too will Hindy’s transition usher in a period of renewed innovation, collaboration and inclusivity.

While the next total eclipse won’t be until 2044, may we continue working together to navigate the ever-changing landscape of our community keeping in mind the lessons of an eclipse – unity and the promise of new beginnings.

Wishing you and your families a Shabbat shalom,


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