May 18, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 18, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Bergen Y to Redesign and Come Back Stronger

The Bergen County Y, a JCC, ceased operation last week at 605 Pascack Road in Washington Township. Its board began a process of designing and implementing programming that will be more impactful for the community. As the Jewish Link reported last week, the aging facility, combined with a reduction in membership and program enrollment, left the YJCC facing a projected operating loss of more than $1 million dollars. During the last several months, the Board of Directors made many attempts to raise the funds 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.

With the help of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades, the JCC Rockland and Temple Emanuel of the Pascack Valley, arrangements were made to ensure the seamless transition of vital services such as: Senior Meals, the Early Childhood Center, and the S.A.I.L. program.

Jason Shames, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, shared that the Federation had been working with the Y to help them with human resources concerns, heavy lifting and the transference of programming that will be continuing. “Our position is to support the Bergen YJCC board in this decision, and provide any kind of complementary support. We feel this is their one chance they have to come back and be bolder and better in the long term,” he said. “The message here for us is that we understand that they have to suspend operations now to salvage the options to come back in the future,” he added.

“Even though we are separate entities, we are all part of the same Jewish community,” Shames said.

Miriam Allenson, director of marketing for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, told the Jewish Link that the Federation would be taking over two of the Bergen Y’s most vibrant offerings: the PJ Library Program and the Open Hearts Open Homes Program, which brings children from distressed regions in Israel here to attend camp. The Senior Meals program, a beloved weekly program for seniors, will be transferred to JCC of Rockland.

By Elizabeth Kratz

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles