For nearly six generations, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh has operated as one of the region’s most visible social service, recreational, and educational organizations, providing opportunities that foster wellness, enrichment and encourages interaction. The thousands of individuals passing through our doors each year are welcomed regardless of age, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or special need. Inspired by Jewish values, we value the mosaic of the community we serve under our communal tent.
While the JCC has been on the frontlines as a service provider, it is the generosity and commitment of scores of individuals, families, and organizations that over the decades have supported the JCC’s capital, scholarship, operating, and programming needs. The support of so many people has enabled us to strengthen the fabric of community for today and prepare for the vision of tomorrow in the broadest scope possible.
Plaques, programs, and named spaces bearing the names of donors and special inscriptions contextualizing the circumstances of their donation have been placed throughout the JCC’s Irene Kaufmann building since 1987, when the building was erected. More than indicating a gift or donation, each name signifies a distinct story about their relationship to the JCC and preserves their memories and family’s legacy. Each name likewise embodies the spirit of l’dor v’dor, enabling the JCC to grow, improve and evolve so that we are prepared, in each generation, to meet the distinct needs of our community.
Meeting community needs and being ever-prepared for tomorrow often means making shifts to how our spaces get used, which entails the removal of the physical plaques. Even though many physical plaques have been removed, donors’ names and their legacies remain at the heart of who we are. Each story is a brick that adds to the foundation of the JCC’s legacy that makes future stories, experiences, and memories possible.