March 26, 2020

Dear JCC Members-

We hope you and your family are staying healthy and well. We miss seeing you every day.

As you know, we have closed our doors to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. It has been difficult on us all, and we are doing everything we can to help keep our community connected during this unprecedented time – while also working diligently to address what we know are even greater challenges in the days and weeks ahead.

The Columbus JCC is more than just a physical campus in our community – and while our doors are temporarily closed, what we have opened is a virtual J to help us all stay connected…with programming, workouts, events and enjoyment for members of all ages. Our staff has worked swiftly and creatively to create new paths for connection and we are so thrilled with the response and engagement we’ve seen so far. Please visit columbusjcc.org/virtualJ as well as our Facebook page facebook.com/columbusjcc to connect with us and each other, share ideas, and get in a workout. We hope to continue to surprise and delight you with this content – and we hope you will share with your friends, family and neighbors!

This week, the JCC Board of Directors, on our very first meeting via Zoom, met to discuss and address our temporary policies as it relates to our staff, and your membership:

Staff Impact
The closures forced by COVID-19 are affecting everyone. As a non-profit agency, we are keenly aware of the impact this closing may have on our staff – the heart and soul of how and why we are able to be your community JCC. We are committed to supporting our employees as best as we can, while also ensuring the continued sustainability of the JCC. Our leadership – Executive Staff and the full Board of Directors are evaluating all sources of revenue and options for reducing expenses, but it should come as no surprise that our greatest expense is also our greatest asset- our incredible staff.

Effective immediately, we have established the J Sustainability Fund to prioritize the emergency need to support our staff and the long-term sustainability of the J.

Your Membership
Starting April 1st, we hope you will maintain your membership/health club payments with us. Your support in this way will help the JCC survive this crisis and allow us to continue to maintain some level of compensation to our employees. We want them to continue to provide the virtual programming and engagement that we are all craving right now… and we want them to be here when we are ready to re-open our physical spaces!

These payments will go directly into the J Sustainability Fund as a tax-deductible contribution. If you are an annual member, your renewal date will remain the same.

If it is not feasible for you to continue paying the full monthly membership amount, we understand that too. On this form, you may also designate another percentage (i.e. 75%, 50%) to help us build this fund. Again, your contributions during this time are tax-deductible.

Lastly, there are additional options listed on the form should you need to consider another choice as it relates to the status of your membership. Please feel free to reach out to Anna Shabtay at ashabtay@columbusjcc.org with any questions or to discuss your individual situation.

Please use the form below to indicate your choice by Sunday, March 29th to allow any changes to take effect by April 1st. If we do not hear from you, we will proceed with Option 1 – with your payments going directly to the J Sustainability Fund (and an extremely grateful thank you). Here you will find the complete fee policy passed by our Board of Directors.

Our Community
We are enormously grateful for the generosity and donor support from our members – not only right now, but for the over 100 years that our JCC has been here for the Columbus community. We are here because of the investment our community makes in us. And it’s an investment that we will never take for granted.

We can’t wait to welcome you back in our doors again!

Thank you for your consideration,

Rick Meizlish, JCC Board President and Mike Klapper, JCC CEO

March 15, 2020

Dear JCC Members-

On Friday, we announced that the JCC Diamond Family Fitness Center facilities will remain open at this time, with additional cleaning and safety measures implemented. However, in a press conference on Saturday, Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton shared new information regarding the accelerated spread of COVID-19 in Ohio. We have been closely monitoring their 2pm daily updates. Given the likelihood that the virus can be passed to others by individuals exhibiting few or no symptoms,they reinforced the importance of social distancing measures and the responsibility of every citizen to take measures to protect themselves and others.

As of 5:00PM Sunday, March 15, the JCC of Greater Columbus will be closed. Our current plan is to reopen on Sunday, April 5.

Resuming operations will be evaluated at that time as developments unfold. In keeping with the practices of other organizations in our community and the recommendations of public health officials, we are taking this action to increase social distancing in order to slow the rate of transmission of Coronavirus in our community.

We realize that you will have questions regarding membership and program fees and we will be prepared to respond to those questions in the coming days.

During the time when program operations are suspended, many departments will continue to be engaged in support operations, online community opportunities, and developing plans for the future.

As information is changing daily, we will update www.columbusjcc.org/healthandsafety and our Facebook page at facebook.com/columbusjcc with any new information.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times.

March 15, 2020

Dear JCC
Preschool Families:

On Friday, we announced JCC Early Childhood
Services will be closed for three weeks beginning Tuesday, March 17,
proactively adhering to the same guidelines Governor Mike DeWine announced last
week for grades K-12.

In a press conference on Saturday, health
officials shared critical information regarding the accelerated spread of
COVID-19 in Ohio, including a case in Franklin county, and they reinforced the
importance of adhering to social distancing measures to slow the spread.In response to heightened
urgency and to be consistent with schools in the area, we are amending our
Early Childhood Services closure date to begin Monday, March 16. 

We apologize for the late notice, but we are
responding to the latest guidance provided by public health officials to keep
our community safe.

Limited Early Childhood staff will be at each
site on Monday from 7:00AM-1:00PM should you need to pick up any of your
child’s belongings that might be needed while the JCC ECS sites are closed.

As promised, we will keep you updated on any
further developments. 

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Mike Klapper, CEO
Rick Meizlish, Board President
Nikki Henry, Children’s Program Director

March 13, 2020

Dear Members, 

The leadership of the JCC of Greater Columbus has been working closely with city, state and community officials as well as the CDC to ensure we are doing everything possible to protect our members’ and staff health and fulfill our responsibilities to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

Last night, our JCC Executive Board met to discuss the COVID-19 declaration from Governor DeWine regarding the temporary suspension of K – 12 schools and the restrictions placed on large gatherings. After much thoughtful deliberation, the JCC leadership made the difficult decision to close our Early Childhood Services for a three-week period starting close of business on Monday, March 16. 

Additionally, the JCC Board of Directors has decided to temporarily suspend all group related programs and activities effective at 6pm today, March 13: 

Youth and adult sports classes, clinics and leagues 
Group and individual swim lessons 
JClub afterschool program, schools’ out days, and spring break camp 
All Senior Adult programs 
Babysitting and JZone 
Free and paid group exercise classes 
Water fitness classes 
All cultural arts programs (Gallery Players, Author Series, Film Festival events) 
All rentals and large communal events 
Birthday parties 
Membership tours 
Outdoor playgrounds 

The Diamond Family Fitness Center and pool (for adult lap swimming only) will remain open with procedures in place to limit the number of members by temporarily restricting use of machinery to ensure adequate distance. No minors under the age of 13 are allowed into the facility and minors between 13 and 18 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult while at the JCC. The JCC will continue to implement our thorough cleaning standards and ensure that hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes are readily available. 

It is without a doubt that these decisions will create hardships for our members. After a long discussion, the Board of Directors determined that we needed to support the directive by health officials to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow down the spread of the Coronavirus through ‘social distancing’. 
As these are unprecedented times, we will need to make additional announcements about all of the issues surrounding these decisions. We will update www.columbusjcc.org/healthandsafety and our Facebook page at facebook.com/columbusjcc with any new information and the availability of online programs. 

We are at a point in time that none of us could have imagined even a month ago. In the Talmud, we are taught Kol Yisrael arevim zeh bazeh – we are responsible for each other. Protecting the health and safety of those who visit our facilities and fulfilling our responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 is of the utmost importance. If you are not feeling well, do not come to the facility. Please do not congregate in large crowds.  

We thank you for your continued patience and support. 

Rick Meizlish, JCC Board President and Mike Klapper, JCC CEO 

Franklin County Public Health
Ohio Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Overview – Centers for Disease Control
World Health Organization COVID-19 Advice For The Public – World Health Organization
Travel Tips: Coronavirus – U.S. Department of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC)

March 12, 2020


Gallery Players of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus considers the health and well-being of our patrons, artists, staff and volunteers our highest priority. We are continuing to monitor and evaluate the development of the coronavirus (COVID-19). In accordance with Governor DeWine’s directive to not allow large gatherings, at this time, Gallery Players will be temporarily suspending performances, events, and rehearsals until further notice.   

Ticket holders for the current production of She Loves Me may move tickets to a future show, retain a credit for future shows, or receive a full refund. Please email Gallery Players Artistic Director Giselle Siegel at gsiegel@columbusjcc.org if you choose to pursue one of these options.   

An additional option is the donation of your ticket to our theater program. Ticket sales allow our community theater to continue the mission of producing theater of the highest artistic expression, reflecting a Jewish perspective while exploring our common humanity.  All artists involved in the current production will be compensated for their time and talent. Our artists rely on us, and we rely on them.   

We will continue to monitor the ever-changing situation and send an update on our future productions: Jewish Theater Lab and Amadeus later this month. 

We apologize for any inconvenience, and we greatly appreciate your continued support of Jewish theater in Columbus.  Stay healthy and we hope to see you at a future performance soon.   


Giselle Siegel 
Gallery Players, Artistic Director

March 11, 2020

Dear Members,   

The JCC of Greater Columbus is committed to the safety, health and well-being of our staff, members, and participants. We are always vigilant with our protocol and the measures that we take to minimize the transmission of infectious disease here at the JCC and ensure the ongoing health of the members of our community. As the world monitors the news about the spread of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to assure you that the Board of Directors and the senior leadership team at the JCC is keeping up to date on the situation, listening to recommendations coming from appropriate authorities, and taking proactive steps to minimize disease transmission. 
We have been in contact with and have reviewed recommendations from the Ohio Department of Health, Center for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) and Columbus Public Health Department. Last Friday, our senior leadership team participated in a call with the CDC specifically for JCC’s to discuss this global concern. 

The following are the specific steps that we are taking in our ongoing effort to prevent the spread of illness: 

– Our cleaning personnel will continue to use a high-level antiviral cleaning agent to properly disinfect the entire facility on a daily basis. 

– We have reviewed our daily cleaning and sanitation protocol for all program areas and have modified and enhanced daily procedures where necessary and appropriate, and we have taken steps to ensure that we will have the necessary supplies to do this. 

– Our staff are being reminded and retrained on procedures for sanitizing toys in the ECS classrooms, toys in the babysitting room, equipment in the fitness center, as well as high use surfaces and equipment/supplies throughout the facility. 

– We will be making sure that all of our youth program participants (ECS, J Club, youth sports, after school classes) will engage in frequent and proper hand-washing and that we remind them about proper usage of tissues and their disposal for runny noses. 

As the staff at the JCC works hard in the above-mentioned ways, there are steps that our valued members and participants should take to aid in our efforts to promote and maintain a healthy environment here at the JCC: 

– If you are not feeling well and exhibit any symptoms of illness, please refrain from using the JCC until all symptoms have subsided. If you have a fever, please make sure that you are fever free for 28 hours without the use of fever reducing medication before returning to the JCC. 

– If your children are enrolled in any of our youth programs, please do not send your children to the JCC if they are sick. If you are an ECS family, please adhere to our “return to school” guidelines for your children after an illness. Also, if you are called to pick up a sick child from any of our programs please arrive in as timely a manner as is safely possible. 

– If you are planning to do any personal travel in the coming months and during the upcoming spring break season, please take a moment to familiarize yourselves with information about the areas where infection rates are high and the chance for disease transmission is heightened. You can find information on the CDC’s Coronavirus Disease Travel Page HERE.  

– If you work out in the JCC Diamond Fitness Center, please use the sani-wipes provided to wipe down your equipment both before and after use. 

– Please wash your hands frequently, consider carrying hand sanitizer to use if soap and water is not readily available, cover your mouth and nose when sneezing (if a tissue is not readily available use the upper part of your arm/sleeve), and properly dispose of tissues and paper towels in appropriate trash receptacles. 

– Please do not leave any JCC towels that you have used in public areas, locker rooms or in the fitness center, but instead make sure to properly place them in the designated baskets. 

For any of you who would like more information about the Coronavirus, frequently asked questions, or how to mitigate the transmission of the disease, I am providing the following links for your review: CDC Coronovirus Fact Sheet 1 and CDC Coronovirus Fact Sheet 2.For those of you wondering how to discuss this topic with children who may be anxious about what they are hearing, the following article is a wonderful tool for parents: Talking Tools for Parents.    We will continue to monitor this situation and will follow guidelines as they are disseminated from local, state, and national authorities. We will maintain our commitment and diligent efforts to mitigate exposure to and transmission of infectious disease within the JCC community and ask that each of you please do your part in continuing to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone. As always, please feel free to contact us with any specific questions or concerns. 

Rick Meizlish, JCC Board President and Mike Klapper, JCC CEO 

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