It was 45 years ago, on May 8th 1977, in Jerusalem, when JCC Global (formerly known as the World Confederation of Jewish Community Centers) was founded.
Ahead of their time, the founding leaders articulated a captivating vision: “striving to deepen the sense of Jewish Peoplehood throughout the world” and “strengthening the ties that bind Jewish communities with Israel and with all Jews throughout the world." Fast forward to May 2022 and JCC Global is positioned today as a preeminent organization in Jewish Peoplehood education and leadership.
This video was produced for the JCC Global Amitim2.0-Fellows-Conference in New York, November 2017, where JCC Global celebrated its 40th birthday
The Future Starts Now
JCC Global is proud to be featured in the Haaretz Independence Day magazine sponsored by the Israel Innovation Authority presenting cutting edge initiatives in technology, health and education.
To read the entire magazine, click here.
For the JCC Global article, click here.
Hugging our sisters and brothers in Russia
While all our eyes are (rightly so) focused on the plight of Ukraine and its Jewish community, we should not forget our brothers and sisters in Russia.
For the past 30 years, a Jewish community of close to 200,000 strong developed an impressive network of JCCs and Hesed Centers, founded and supported by JDC. These institutions enabled the flourishing of Jewish life in 11 times zones, from the big centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg to as far as Siberia.
The war caught the Jewish communities in Russia by sheer surprise. They were just coming out of two very difficult years of a pandemic and getting ready to reignite their face-to-face programs. On the day before the war, there was no difference between Jews in Russia and Ukraine, they were the closest friends and peers. They shared a lot in common and collaborated on a daily basis. Suddenly, their countries became fierce enemies.
This situation plunged many Jews in Russia into an existential crisis. As one of our colleagues shared: “Yesterday was the darkest day of my life. I am Jewish and Russian. My country, my homeland, my people who I went to kindergarten, school, university with, who celebrated 9th of May (the day combating the Russian victory in World War II) with tears in their eyes – did the unforgivable. And from now on – I will have to live with that.”
Weeks have passed since that dark day and the situation is just getting worse. Feelings of guilt and shame, strict censorship and being more secluded from the Western world. In addition, the economic situation has worsened drastically with prices going up, shortage of commodities and financial chaos. While some have left the country, many are staying put. This is the country where they were born, where their ancestors are buried, where they still have their families and their homes.
Despite it all, many Jewish leaders felt a strong obligation to continue leading their communities and provide a safe haven for their members. Thousands of people attend programs, celebrate holidays, come to ask for financial help and cling more than ever to their communities.
When asked what we can do for them, their request is very modest. To send them a big hug, to assure them that they are part of our Jewish family that its strength is judged by its weakest and not strongest link. To know that like all of us, they also pray for better times when peace will come and we can all hug each other in person.
One of many Passover Seders in Russia
Last Chance to Register to the New JCC Global Hubs
JCC Global Hub "Adam-Adamah" This JCC Global Hub, in partnership with JNF/KKL, will connect young (up to 35 years old) JCC professionals and Jewish activists from around the world into one virtual space with the goal of becoming sustainability advocates in their communities. This hub will include 5 weekly sessions starting May 26, 2022. Register
JCC Global Hub "Building a Thriving Teen Community" This Hub will offer a safe space for JCC Teen professionals from around the world to learn and explore successful strategies and models that will help build a stronger teen community. The Hub is in partnership with Responcity, a unique program that develops social-emotional skills and civic engagement. This hub will include 5 weekly sessions starting May 17, 2022.
We would like to congratulate our colleague Elizaveta Sherstyuk, Director of Hesed Haim in Sumy, Ukraine, who lit the torch at Israel's 74th Independence Day main ceremony in Har Herzl representing overseas Jewry.
With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, Sumy, that is located near the Russian border, was one of the first cities to be attacked by massive bombings. From the first day of the war, Elizaveta led humanitarian efforts for Sumy and for the benefit of smaller Jewish communities in its vicinity. She led the efforts to purchase and deliver food, through Hesed Haim workers, to the elderly and the disabled. When the humanitarian corridor in Sumy opened, Sherstyuk conducted a complex and courageous logistical operation to evacuate the elderly and disabled to safety. Elizaveta continues to manage the humanitarian aid to the Jewish community in Sumy even at this moment, and we send her our prayers and support from here.
This special milestone is an opportunity to thank all our partners, sponsors, peers and JCC members who enable us to breathe life into the lofty notion of: All of Israel are responsible for each other כל ישראל ערבין זה בזה
JCC Staff Team