Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Capital Projects

Reimagining the JCC: Our Master Plan 

Nurturing People, Living Values, Strengthening Community

The JCC is the most visible, diverse and utilized organization under Jewish auspices in our region—serving people from all walks of life seven days a week, nearly 365 days a year.
At our core, we embrace the potential of people and community to grow and prosper. We are an enterprise in constant motion, evolving from generations past and changing each day with the future in mind.
We have experienced an unprecedented level of growth and scope of operations. We recorded 1.3 million visits in 2016—three times the number 30 years ago— representing members, guests, clients and community partners from all backgrounds, lifestyles, ages, incomes and abilities. We are far more than a membership organization, with more than 200 active partnerships in place and scores of activities open to the public at large.
Our facilities are our stage—the physical platform where we nurture people, live our values and strengthen community. They were constructed in a different era, when the JCC served fewer people and the needs of our stakeholders were less complex. As our vision and operations progress, we want our facilities to:
1) Embrace community needs at our current scale and future aspirations
2) Foster excellence in how we serve people each day
3) Support new opportunities to deliver services and build comparative advantage, and
4) Address complex realities of today’s regulatory and security environment

Please contact us using the form below or at 412-697-3510 with any questions about making a capital gift today.

Capital Projects + Needs

This project encompasses a complete, floor to ceiling, interior and exterior reconstruction of our most heavily utilized public space spanning from Forbes Avenue to Darlington Road. The redesign meets current usage needs and introduces a contemporary physical layout that maximizes ways public space scan be used to encourage human connections. The project scope includes improved access for individuals with physical challenges, revitalized community meeting spaces, gallery renovation for the American Jewish Museum, and installation of enegy-efficient lighting and heating/cooling infrastructure. The project includes a redesign of access control systems at both street entrances to balance our responsibility to serve a broad public within a more secure setting.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Accommodating growth of public space with use of a “neighborhood” feel.
  • Enhancing security access controls and overall safety of public facility.
  • Improving access for people with physical challenges.

Our day camp tradition began at the 100-acre Monroeville
Family Park, an irreplaceable asset that positively impacts the physical, social and emotional development of children. The Family Park facility provides a secure environment to foster self discovery and a connection to nature. Facility improvements would allow increased sports and recreation specialties and enhance one of Pittsburgh’s largest outdoor aquatic centers. This project incorporates the goal of creating a carbon-neutral footprint through our organic farm and energy sustainability projects to make a living laboratory for children to learn how to safeguard the earth.

Expected Outcomes:

• Improving facility for program excellence
• Increasing capacity of day camp through specialization
differentiated by age group
• Maximizing the environmental character of the facility
• Creating a carbon-neutral campus

Accelerated infrastructure
replacement is good for our environment, good for our
constituents, and allows us to
spend more resources serving
people than paying
energy bills. This strategy
continues energy efficiency infrastructure projects at all
five JCC facilities—from lighting to heating/cooling systems to hot water heaters
to roofing to many small projects that will help us further reduce our carbon
footprint. Projects we have already implemented have reduced energy
consumption by up to 15% while freeing up program space by almost 15,000
square feet. The JCC has identified an additional 20 projects, large and small, that
are estimated to decrease energy consumption by up to an additional 15% if fully
implemented. Energy consumption could be reduced even further if the
Monroeville Family Park is converted to a carbon-neutral facility.

Expected Outcomes:

• Contributing to the Pittsburgh region’s energy reduction and
green initiatives effort
• Achieving projected reduction of electric and gas usage agency-wide
• Utilizing anticipated energy savings to help fund agency scholarship program

 

EMMA KAUFMANN CAMP: THE LEGACY
Since its founding more than 113 years ago as an escape for Jewish children from urban overcrowding, pollution and the tuberculosis epidemic, the JCC’s Emma Kaufmann Camp (EKC) has served as a haven to over 650 campers and staff each summer. To this day, as EKC celebrates
its 50th year on Cheat Lake, EKC is that special place where each camper and staff member experiences the life-changing transformation that only Jewish overnight summer camp can provide. EKC is built on connections,
values, growth and fun—you see it in the faces of campers and staff. While over half our campers reside in the greater Pittsburgh metropolitan area, we now serve campers from 35 states and 7 countries around the world,
nurtured by an ever-expanding EKC parent and alumni base from nearly every corner of the planet.
Camp is about growth, self-discovery, relationships, and values. EKC leadership and staff understand how to support campers so that they can overcome barriers, journey beyond their personal comfort zones and become the best version of themselves.
EKC strives to help each camper and staff member become part of a welcoming community that builds self confidence, fosters independence and creates lifelong friendships. The entire EKC experience, curated through
a Jewish lens, fosters community for campers and staff, and celebrates each individual’s uniqueness. The camper experience has been enhanced each summer since 2006 through an Israel seminar and leadership experience for staff-in- training (SIT) that has served 548 EKC’ers over 15 summers.
Studies demonstrate that Jewish overnight camping is one of the strongest
ways to keep children and teens invested in Judaism. EKC leadership strives to integrate these important considerations by creating aspirational arcs in skill building and programming that challenges and inspires each camper. We believe that the lynchpin of successful overnight camps is fostering high-quality programming and specialties to stimulate new experiences, new skills and new proficiencies.

SUSTAINING THE FUTURE OF CAMP

Prior to the pandemic, EKC had launched initiatives to build a brighter future
at camp by increasing camper recruitment and retention, improving camper/
parent satisfaction, supporting camper care and inclusion, and making
strategic capital investments at our facility. These efforts have been largely
funded through private donations over the past decade.
Major capital projects completed and totaling more than $8 million
include:
• Dining Hall expansion and renovation
• Upgraded camper housing for the Sabra, Kinneret, and Halutzim Units
• ADA accessibility within living areas, restrooms and dining halls
• Zen Den, a sensory space to foster inclusion that is accessible 24 hours
a day, 7 days a week for any camper or staff member. The Zen Den is
appropriate for individuals with invisible disabilities such as ADHD, autism
and anxiety disorders, as well as neurotypical individuals.
• SIT and retreat housing at Beit Chosky, with new specialty training kitchen
and dance/exercise studio added to the lower level
• Wolf Family Aquatics Center
• Security improvements at the front gate and throughout camp
• Renovation of the outdoor amphitheater
• Renovation of staff lounge and new staff housing unit
• Upgraded staff fitness center
• New office and welcome center
• New outdoor covered pavilions
• New steps to lakefront and new boat dock area

ENHANCING THE EKC EXPERIENCE

As our safe and successful summer 2021 draws to a close, we are excited to focus on several initiatives to elevate our programming and benefit the EKC experience for years to come.
EKC is a Lake Camp—Let’s keep investing in it.
It is our 50th year on Cheat Lake, a beautiful 1,730-acre reservoir with calm and shady waters for swimming and water sports. Cheat Lake is an integral
part of the EKC experience, and it’s what makes our camp so special. By upgrading our waterskiing program with the addition of two boats and new ski equipment and employing highly qualified staff to lead the program, we believe that we can elevate our lake programming and support the sustainability of camp for future generations. This investment will include inclusivity improvements as well. Creating an accessible ski experience for every camper, regardless of physical ability, is important to us. Adaptive
water-ski equipment offers a unique opportunity for individuals with mobility, visual, or other impairments to experience the joys and benefits of water sports.
Upper Camp Experience—Racquet Sports
Our sports courts are in critical need of renovation and their restoration will augment our experience adjacent to the Wolf Family Aquatics Center, upper
ballfields and horse stables. Tennis and racquet sports bring an enhanced level of learning, fun and skill development both on and off the court—no matter the prior experience of any EKC camper. Our racquet sports will be rejuvenated as we bring in a tennis pro for the summer for skills development and training.

HOW YOU CAN HELP INVEST IN THE FUTURE OF EKC CAMPING

Please support our special fundraising drive this year with a donation or sponsorship as we continue to sustain and build the future of camp. Our goal is to raise a minimum of $250,000 to complete these two projects in time for Summer 2022.
The campaign will culminate in a gathering for EKC parents, alumni, and special friends at a time and place to be determined when we are at a less restricted time following the latest Covid wave.
Beyond next summer, we have ambitious dreams of a reimagined cove and beachfront area at the lake. We are already in communication with the US Army Corps of Engineers, which is responsible for the physical integrity of
Cheat Lake.

Your ongoing support will help ensure the future of this invaluable community asset, and together we can take the next steps to ensure the future of EKC.

Please join us!

Sincerely,
Dana and Michael Laidhold
Liz Goldberg and Michael Weisberg
Lauren and Jason Kushner
Noah and Maria Jordan
Beth Goldstein and Jeremy Goldman, Campaign Chairs
Aaron Cantor, EKC Director

Give today at donate.jccpgh.org/gamesetsplash

For more information
Fara Marcus • [email protected] • 412-339-5413 or
Cathy Samuels • [email protected] • 412-697-3501

Conceived after experiencing a 25% surge of usage in JCC
fitness facilities over the past
decade, this project will take
our commitment to our constituents’ physical and spiritual well-being to the year 2022 and beyond. The expansion of fitness and wellness zones in Squirrel Hill and South Hills will add more adaptable and versatile equipment, expand youth wellness opportunities,enhance space for nationally recognized evidenced-based programs for adults of various life stages, and incorporate the potential expansion of rehabilitation and other health services.

Expected Outcomes:

• Reinvigorating a best-practice wellness facility for all ages and abilities
• Integrating emerging technologies to support holistic health
• Growing wellness impact for targeted populations (youth, older adults, etc.)

Our South Hills branch has grown in its 18 years of operation and now
serves nearly 250 children. We look to enrich the indoor and outdoor environment where our youngest citizens learn and thrive. A desired update of the preschool wing would greatly benefit our emerging Reggio Emilia child-inspired philosophy of early learning exploration and discovery. The proposed project broadens the impact of our learning/play environment to our nine-acre outdoor site to enrich recreational and nature opportunities.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Fostering execellence in child development programs.
  • Updating facility to current and future needs.
  • Adapting constructivist educational philosophy to design elements of the facility.

This project implements technology solutions that enhance the customer experience through a salesforce platform that simplifies online registrations, supports data intelligence and analytics, and minimizes redundancies to both the customer and our staff. Planned technological innovations will also enrich online/mobile capabilities for customers and growing digital/social media capacities to streamline communication. An additional and critical component of this technology is an upgraded security access control system that helps us integrate increased community use of our facilities within a more secure environment.

Expected Outcomes:

• Moving the locus of technology from administrative to customer focused
• Facilitating a data-driven culture to better understand customer and community needs
• Improving access controls and overall safety of public facility
• Eliminating internal redundancies to deploy more resources towards services

Contact Us

Development Office

412-697-3510

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Related Posts

Healthy and Fit | Tip of the Week

Healthy and Fit | Tip of the Week WEARING A MASK WHILE EXERCISING...
read more

Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement – Faith and Politics – Our Fifth Calendar Year

December 2021 “I believe that our faith could influence our civic engagement.” I am hoping that for some of us, th...
read more

8 Nights of Light: A Chanukah Menorah Infographic

The menorah is perhaps one of the most widely recognized symbols of Jewish culture and is the centerpiece of the Chanukah celebration. But how much do...
read more

The JCC's Second Floor Teen Department Promotes Mental Wellness

Initiatives include The Second Floor Wellness Room and Virtual Teen Resource Room The Second Floor Teen Department at the JCC has m...
read more