CEO Letter 11.19.21

By Jenn Ross


I am proud to share that our JCC has been chosen to participate in JCulture 2.0, a program that aims to make JCCs more welcoming, inclusive, and respectful spaces. Lori Rubin, Christine Cutuli, and I participated in an immersive training focusing on important issues such as having psychologically safe workspaces, bystander response, embracing empathy in the workplace, power and identity, providing and receiving feedback, preventing unlawful harassment, and policy review.


This training was delivered by Ta’amod in partnership with JCC Association and supported by a grant from the Safety Respect Equity Coalition.  The three of us will continue to receive monthly trainings and connect with other JCCs involved in this cohort.


We will be passing this knowledge along to our staff through training over the course of 2022 and hope to share this knowledge with other partner agencies and synagogues so that our entire community will benefit from this experience.


The training can uplift any workplace, but was particularly appealing to me because it was rooted in Jewish values. For example, Kavod Habriyot (Dignity for All Beings) is the inherent belief that all people have value and should be treated as such in the workplace and in the world. By giving our team members the tools to apply Jewish values like Kavod Habriyot in their work, we can more effectively carry out our mission.


Our JCulture cohort was asked to review Christine Porath’s Ted Talk focusing on respect in the workplace prior to our training and watched a small segment as part of it together to inspire conversation. As we head into the upcoming holiday season, this talk may help set a healthy mindset prior to potentially challenging family dynamics or heated conversations – I encourage you to view it at


Another great resource was the recent Kulanu conversations on intergenerational conflict and political polarization.  Thank you to Kesher Israel Congregation and Chisuk Emuna Congregation for hosting the sessions, and to the nearly forty members of our community who engaged in deep work with the intention of building understanding and dialogue. If you ever have an opportunity to attend a Resetting the Table program which was the basis of these sessions or Braver Angels conversations, I encourage you to participate. Both have enriched my life and made me a better listener.


I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Chanukah!  I can be reached at or 717-236-9555 x3104.