May 17, 2024
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Bergen County YJCC Suspends Programming

The Board of Directors of the Bergen County Y, a JCC, announced on Wednesday that it will suspend current programming at 605 Pascack Road in the Township of Washington. It will continue to use the building for charitable purposes, while in the process of designing and implementing programming that will be more impactful for the community.

The aging facility, combined with a reduction in membership and program enrollment, has left the YJCC facing a projected operating loss of more than $1 million dollars over the next year. During the last several months, the Board of Directors made many attempts to raise the funds, in excess of $15 million, necessary to renew the facility and upgrade programs. “Ideally we would have been able to raise the capital and renew our YJCC. However, it recently became clear that these funds were not available to our community center. As a result, the magnitude of the potential operating loss would have begun depleting our remaining assets, which the Board felt would have been fiscally and communally irresponsible,” said Jeffrey Tucker, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

“Suspending services in the center now will allow the board to continue to fund long-term services for the most vulnerable well into the foreseeable future,” added Tara Merson, Vice-Chair of the Board. “This was an extremely difficult decision in which both the short and long-term impact on our community was weighed very carefully,” continued Merson.

In coordination with the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, the JCC Rockland, and Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley arrangements are being made to assure the seamless transition of vital services such as: Senior Meals, the Early Childhood Center, and the S.A.I.L. program.

“Our YJCC is over 100 years old. We were formerly in Hackensack and then operated without a building before finding our current property. We will shortly begin the process for planning for the next phase of our future. It is our intention to continue onward, once again, providing valuable Jewish programming and services to the greater community. The entire Board looks forward to redefining how our YJCC serves the Pascack Valley,” concluded Tucker.

The Jewish Link will be publishing additional details on how the YJCC’s closure will affect our community in coming weeks.

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