Admin on September 13, 2023
At first glance, the bench outside the JCC’s Robinson building may just look like a beautiful piece of art, but once you look a little closer it’s easy to see that it means so much more than that.
More than twenty years ago, Partnership2Gether was created to bring together the communities of Pittsburgh, Karmiel/Misgav, Israel, and Warsaw, Poland through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.
As community members and visitors began coming to Pittsburgh more and more, long-time Associate Executive Director at the JCC, Rachel Marcus, wanted something to mark the friendships made and cherished with Karmiel/Misgav. So, she recruited help from longtime JCC staff member and friend, Julie Farber.
Whether it’s teaching art to kids as a staff member at J&R Day Camp or just volunteering her time, Farber has been a long-time friend and supporter of the JCC. Her husband, Josh Farber, now also gives back by serving on the JCC’s board as Treasurer.
But back then, Julie had a vision for a focal point in front of the then-newly opened Robinson Building on Darlington Ave. A bench.
Julie got to work thinking of a beautiful and creative design that honored the partnership while giving a nice shady spot for parents and community members to sit. When the bench was first designed in 2006, Julie recruited the help of children from Pittsburgh and Israel to help her design and create it, further deepening the connection between our two communities.
When the next group came to visit Pittsburgh the following year in 2007, they posed for an inaugural picture behind the bench.
Recently Julie recruited the help of JCC members and family to help restore the bench almost twenty years later. Rachel and Julie also met at the bench to relive all the memories from when it was first created.
The JCC is so thankful to Julie, Rachel, our friends in Israel through Partnership2Geter, and all others involved in restoring the bench for their continued commitment to the JCC.