As the JCC Chicago Jewish Educator, Abby Ashkenazi fosters our community’s connection to Judaism through the Hebrew language. And she’s happy to report, that connection has become even more important and relevant during this pandemic!
Whether he’s managing logistics for Camp Chi Family Getaway travelers or overseeing construction on the amazing, new Atkins Health Center, Assistant Director, Ari Wartell, has been all things Camp Chi for nine years now. Even in the most unprecedented of times, he keeps the Chi flame burning.
As we close out Pride month, we are proud to share this powerful piece from our Chief Human Resources Officer, Johanna Fine. She discusses how the J’s overarching commitment to inclusion dovetails perfectly with her truth and priorities.
JCC Chicago Board Chairperson, Marisa Mandrea, believes “our mission, as an agency, has never been clearer or more critical than it is today,” and shares her appreciation for the J’s ability to provide a safety net for our Jewish community.
It’s hard to believe that the days and weeks of isolation introduced in March 2020 turned so quickly to months. Now, well over a year since JCC Chicago reopened its doors to Early Childhood families, appreciation for how and why people connect has taken root.
Jess Block was recently a contestant for Who Knows One: Camp Chi Edition and participating in this event got him thinking about his long-standing relationship with Camp Chi. It’s evolved and grown along with him as he moved from camper, to staff, to parent of a Chi camper, to alumni supporter. #attitudeofgratitude
Last summer, an Apachi Northside 2nd grade camper, Hayley Orlinsky, inspired and led the entire camp to participate in a Giving Back Project to help raise funds for PPE for frontline workers and patients’ families at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Read what her Apachi Northside Director, Beth Miller, has to say about Hayley's amazing project! #attitudeofgratitude
Lindsay Barnett grew up going to the J and her experience built a foundation and love for education. As a second-grade teacher in Chicago, she saw a major need to provide tangible tools for students to make learning more fun, so she launched Pup Quiz®. When the pandemic hit, she saw a need to make education more equitable and discovered a way for her company to give back to the community at large. #attitudeofgratitude
Brad, Rachael, Blake and Shayna Finkel are a Camp Chi family through and through. When Brad started attending Camp Chi in 7th grade, he had no idea the connection he formed with his overnight camp would help shape all the members of his future family in so many ways. #attitudeofgratitude
What does a Jewish camp bring to the table for our children? It’s a question many families in our community ask themselves as they select a summer camp for their kids. Addie Goodman, President & CEO of JCC Chicago, shares what her son gained when she decided to send him to ‘Z’ Frank Apachi Day Camp and Camp Chi. #attitudeofgratitude
Ed Atkins, former Camp Chi Head of Waterskiing, has dramatically and meaningfully increased his role and commitment to the J over the years. Now as both Immediate Past President and Chair of the Camp Chi Centennial Campaign, he is counting down the days to our 100th summer and all the Chi Magic it brings.
When Covid-19 hit, our Matt Steinberg, director at Apachi Rogers Park and Apachi Evanston Day Camps, thought meeting in-person and developing new relationships would be nearly impossible. Now looking back, he realizes the Apachi connections made last summer are proving to be more powerful than in a pre-Covid world! #attitudeofgratitude
On Father’s Day, Family is the Gift I’m Most Grateful For
With this weekend being Father’s Day, we reached out to one of our favorites at the J, Chuck Frank, to share some timely thoughts. Chuck joined the Jewish Community Center of Chicago local and then Central Board of Directors in 1976 where he continues to serve today as a Vice Chair. And when it comes to family, he has been truly blessed!
Before March, we never seemed to have enough time, but these days, time feels like a gift when so much has been taken away. Our own Taylor Anderson’s life was forced to slow down when her foster daughter moved into her home to become her forever daughter. With an #attitudeofgratitude, she shares her inspiring story.
Sue Pinsky, a longtime JCC Chicago friend and member, has been an avid Bernard Weinger JCC aquatics enthusiast who has found dear friends at the J. When the pandemic first forced all of us to be apart, the friends took their meet-ups online and learned how to use Zoom. Now that they’ve started to venture out again, they are meeting outside to stay connected, thrilled to have these moments to be together.
One of the J’s most visible and inspiring voices is Rena Rosen, an educator at Bernard Weinger JCC. She has been a powerful writer, activist, and advocate for inclusivity and kindness over her 12 years teaching and she shares her latest thoughts in her uplifting essay.