The JCC is Home To ALL Groups

15 December, 2016

By: Sara Sideman, Assistant Camp Director

The Katz JCC is a special place.  I know that many people say this about their home community, but there is just something amazing about our JCC. In South Jersey, the Katz JCC stands proud at the center of the Jewish community. We have the exciting opportunity to be a home, a school, a camp, and so much more for affiliated and unaffiliated, for Jews and people other faiths, for a diverse population of people with very different backgrounds.

Most importantly, we have the ability to serve as a safe space. When approached by local families, whose teens had recently come out as LGBTQ, we were honored that the JCC was thought of as a safe place.

We are so excited to partnering with Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Southern NJ to bring Project Rainbow to our community. We had the pleasure of working with two teenagers who wanted to really take a lead on this, and they sat through planning meetings with multiple Jewish professionals. They are the true impetus for this project.

Our goal is to provide support and social opportunities to teens who identify as LGBTQ. We want everyone feel that this is a safe, welcoming Jewish environment. We will be celebrating and sharing at our first event- a Chanukah party- on December 22nd form 7-8:30 PM!

We are very fortunate to be working with Keshet. Keshet is a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life. They have been an incredible resource for training, and numerous JCC staff members have attended two local seminars with educators from the organization.

We are also grateful to our colleagues who have helped us make this happen: Rabbi Nathan Weiner of Congregation Beth Tikvah, Barrie Mittica of South Jersey Region BBYO, and Ethan Lane-Miller of Temple Emanuel.

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Due to emergency construction there will be road closure northbound towards Route 70 (local access only between Kresson Road and Justa Lane to provide access to the JCC) and partial closures southbound towards Kresson Road. Please plan accordingly.