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JCC Blog

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Meet Stacey Needle: Assistant Marketing Director - Center for Youth & Families

Join us as we give a warm welcome to the newest member of our marketing team, Stacey Needle. She is excited about taking on her new position as the J’s Assistant Marketing Director for the Center for Youth & Families. Stacey's role includes working with Baby & Me, Stoler Early Learning Center, E.B. Hirsh Early Childhood Center, J Kids (including youth arts), J Camps, Jewish Family Engagement, Teens and 4Front as well as helping with our Public Relations. Fun facts: Stacey worked at the JCC for several years teaching Baby & Me classes and has showcased her theatrical performance skills at our JCC locations.

Q: What is your...

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Meet Elena Mengazova: Accounting Manager

Join us as we give a warm welcome to the newest member of our Finance team, Elena Mengazova. Elena started her new role as the J’s Accounting Manager at Park Heights in early April. Before joining our team, she was the Senior Cost Accountant with Conveyor and Automation Technologies where she spent the past six years of her professional career. Fun Facts: besides English, Elena is also fluent in Russian and her daughter is currently attending our Owings Mills Preschool program.

Q: Why are you excited to be at the JCC?
A: As a participant in one of the many JCC's programs, I wanted to be a part of the JCC team and help people enhance the quality of individual and family life through...

4Front teens participating in Muffin Day

Meet Or Caduri: 4Front's Relational Engagement Senior Associate

Join us as we give a warm welcome to Or Caduri, 4Front’s new Relational Engagement Senior Associate. As the Baltimore Jewish community’s comprehensive teen initiative, 4Front serves as a hub for Jewish teens to explore their Jewish identity guided by the program’s four pillars–advocate, innovate, educate, and collaborate. Or will be running four teen programs: Peer Leadership Fellows, Social Innovation Fellowship, Teen Board Observers and J Camps CIT. Originally from Israel, his interests have enabled him to visit and live in various countries before moving to the U.S. in 2018. When he was in North Carolina Or led youth programs and sites in public schools. Currently, he resides...

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JCC Swimming Receives 2022 Grant Funding From USA Swimming Foundation

Grant supports efforts to offer free or reduced-cost swim lessons 

Earlier this year, our aquatics program, JCC Swimming, receive a grant from USA Swimming Foundation to help us provide free and reduced-cost swim lessons to new program participants. The USA Swimming Foundation has awarded a total of $898,184 to programs across the country. The USA Swimming Foundation vetted more than 250 applications through a competitive annual review process and chose 102 youth and 40 adult programs to receive funding.  

 “We are thrilled to be chosen for this grant,” says...

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Meet Polina Braginsky: Payroll and Accounts Payable Associate

Join us as we give a warm welcome to the newest member of the JCC’s finance team, Polina Braginsky. She is our new Payroll and Accounts Payable Associate. Polina was previously an Early Learning Center teacher and is excited to return to the JCC in this new position where she can incorporate her accounting and payroll skills. Fun Fact: Born in Russia, Polina emigrated to Israel as a child when she was eight years old and would, later on, spend three years in the Israel Defense Force. In addition to English, she is fluent in Russian and Hebrew!                               

Q: Why are you excited to be at the JCC; what drew you to working here?

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Meet Emily Stern: Chief Program Officer

Here at the JCC of Greater Baltimore, our members form our community and our staff is an extension of our family. One staff member, in particular, has grown personally and professionally with the JCC from a young age. You may know her as the Senior Director of J Camps, but recently, Emily Stern has been promoted to the executive team as Chief Program Officer. With her dedication to the JCC and its mission, passion and enthusiasm for our programs, and a selfless attitude towards helping others, it goes without saying that this milestone is well deserved. 

Attending Camp Milldale in grade school was Emily’s first experience at the JCC and by the age of 18, she was working at the J part-time as a...

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Meet Evan Taub: Middle School and Teen Services Coordinator at Owings Mills

Join us as we give a warm welcome to Evan Taub, our new Middle School and Teen Services Coordinator. Growing up, Evan was a camper for seven years at URJ–Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Coleman in Georgia and spent two summers as a staff member while being on their leadership team. He graduated with a bachelor’s in education from Syracuse University and relocated to Jacksonville, FL to take on the role of youth director/CLASP Fellow (Camp Leader And Synagogue Professional) for Congregation Ahavath Chesed. We are thrilled to have Evan on our team and get to wish him a happy birthday as he turns 26 in April. We know that he will make lasting...

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Meet Jesse Cerrotti: Senior Director of J Camps at Owings Mills

Join us as we give a warm welcome to Jesse Cerrotti, our new Senior Director of J Camps at Owings Mills! Jesse is new to Baltimore but is very familiar with camp–he grew up going to JCC camps in New England, worked five summers at URJ Eisner Camp (Union for Reform Judaism), and was the Assistant Director at Kutz Camp. He holds a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Hartford and studied in graduate programs at the University of Northern Colorado and Hebrew Union College. We are excited to have Jesse direct J Camps and he is looking forward to creating lifelong memories for the campers and staff who call our community, home.

Q: Why are you excited...

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Support for Ukraine

Dear JCC Community,

We are keeping a close watch on the deepening crisis in Ukraine. Tragically, lives continue to be lost and we pray for both a quick end to the aggression and the safety and well-being of all the people of Ukraine.

We are fortunate to have Jewish organizations such as the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), and other partners as they provide real-time information and updates on the situation in Ukraine and the status of the Jewish community there. Donations can be made directly to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee or to the Jewish Agency

While our prayers continue for a...

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Jewish Grandparents Network introduces New Family Room

A unique virtual space where Judaism and Jewish life come alive through experiences, adventures, and activities

As awareness grows of the essential role grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren, the Jewish Grandparents Network (JGN) is expanding its offerings and engagement to support families who want to engage in, and even rely on, multi-generational Jewish experiences. JGN’s redesigned website offers grandparents curated, timely, and varied resources to deepen their knowledge. It also grounds, in Jewish values and learning, the everyday activities they love to do with their grandkids in Jewish values and...