For 126 years, the JCC has operated as one of the region’s most visible and enduring social service, recreational, and educational organizations. 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 appreciate the mosaic of the community we serve under our communal tent.
WEATHERING AN UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS
On March 14, 2020, the JCC was at an apex of its 125-year history. JCC membership was at an all-time high and our financial health was excellent. We were providing $3.4 million a year in financial assistance—14% of our annual operating budget—enabling many to participate in the essential programs and services that the JCC provides.
On March 15, 2020, that success came crashing down. Suddenly, 80% of our operating revenue was frozen in place and the crisis forced a large-scale temporary reduction in workforce to reduce operating expenses.
Even with cost saving measures, the JCC has incurred historic and unprecedented operating deficits, mainly due to the more than $15 million compression of expected earned revenue over the past 18 months. While
many services and programs were restored as early as June 2020, others await resumption or are operating at reduced capacity.
Despite these challenges, our mission and core values propelled us to immediate action – in service of community need and community aspiration.
ADAPTING QUICKLY TO PROVIDE LIFE-SUSTAINING PROGRAMS
• Since our congregant meal program for older adults was suspended on March 15, 2020, we have provided more than 73,399 Grab & Go and home-delivered individually prepared and wrapped meals.
• With food insecurity also intensifying for children in our community, we provided 31, 623 free lunches through the Summer Food Service Program in 2020 and 2021.
• With the suspension of in-person programs in our Senior Center, JCC staff and volunteers have made more than 19,690 Telephone Wellness Checks to isolated seniors and linked hundreds of them to additional services to support their independence.
• The JCC continues to play an active role in vital public health initiatives including:
–Blood drives that have resulted in 1,630 individual donations helping close to 5,000 patients.
–Pandemic support – 19 COVID testing sessions with 2,932 tests provided and 51 COVID vaccination sessions in partnership with Squirrel Hill Health Center, Allegheny Health Network and UPMC
providing more than 10,200 vaccinations. We anticipate that the JCC will continue to partner with local health providers for COVID boosters, child vaccinations, when made available.
• When schools were closed during 2020-2021, the JCC supported virtual learning through its All Day @ the J programs in Squirrel Hill and South Hills, enrolling 158 children from 27 elementary schools. What
was once thought to be a nine-week stop gap program continued for more than 40 weeks.
• When our fitness facilities were closed by state mandate, we quickly established a robust schedule of virtual online classes for various ages and health status, a format that now is a permanent part of our Fitness
offerings to provide members a full range of options for maintaining their fitness.
All the while, with the health and safety of our community the JCC’s top priority, the JCC continues to monitor federal, state and local guidelines and work closely with long-time partner, the Pittsburgh Regional Health
Initiative, for continued guidance.
A TIME OF REBUILDING
Throughout this crisis, we have held fast to the stated goal, Moving Forward Together—Recover, Rebuild, Restore. As we move into offering more and more of our programs and services, we are ever-mindful of the vital needs of a community that is in desperate need of support and connection.
We are confident in our ability to meet the challenges of this constantly changing environment with vigilance, creativity and flexibility and we envision the day when we are able to fully actualize our mission.
We aspire to be the best possible version of our community’s Town Square, to provide life sustaining support, meaning and enrichment during the good times and the bad, now and for generations to come.