CEO Letter - 3.13.2020

by Jenn Ross


It is inspiring to read about our teen participation in JCC sports.  There is a moving article in this edition written by Mandy Cheskis about her brave battle and journey with breast cancer.  The love and support of coach Terri Travers and Mandy’s daughters Rena and Devorah’s teams and all of the other people involved at the J as staff and members speak to the core of why we exist and matter and how we aren’t just another gym.

Refuah shlemah to Mandy and others recovering.

We are a proud participant site of Girls on the Run, a program which positively impacts girls’ lives by helping them increase their self-confidence, develop healthy relationships, and feel good about themselves, while they train for a 5-K race.  Best of luck to our eight Maccabi athletes who are training now to compete in Basketball and Tennis in San Diego in August.  We are currently recruiting young athletes to participate in the Mid Atlantic Jr. Maccabi Games in Cherry Hill, NJ on May 3.

Congratulations to all of our youth who were also honored earlier this month for their participation in our swim and basketball teams.  Kudos again to Sammy Schwab who got the Harrisburg JCC basketball team on the map in January with a #1 Play on ESPN’s Sportscenter (see our 1/31 edition for more details).

Our adults are amazing, too.  Several adults have been fighting back against Parkinson’s Disease by participating in Rock Steady Boxing at the J.  Earlier in March we celebrated our 2020 Sports Hall of Fame Inductees: Allen Benedict z’l, Phil Bloom, and Rebecca Morrison, and our 2020 Ben Cherry Inspirational Athletes Amy Bobb and Mel Krieger.  These individuals remind us of the importance of keeping fit year round, which is important this time of year as New Year’s resolutions may begin to fade.  We have fantastic trainers at the J if you need some additional help and motivation.

On an interesting national note, Mark Wilf, our current Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) board chair, is owner and president of the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.  Mark dedicates considerable time and energy to his leadership position with JFNA and I am grateful for this support.

Let me know what you enjoy about sports and fitness at the J or what else is on your mind. I can be reached at 717-236-9555 x3104 or