CEO Letter - 8.13.21

By Jenn Ross


The foundatio­­­­n of a strong society is built upon the education we offer to our children. I am proud to come to work every day knowing that we play a pivotal role in this effort. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, the JCC has provided a safe place for children to interact and learn.

Top notch service begins in The Brenner Family Early Learning Center, a Keystone Four STARS facility, serving children ages six weeks through Pre-K.  It is exciting to be part of a center which has served multiple generations since the launch of our program. I just celebrated my fifth anniversary as President and CEO, and I cherished sharing my tenure with a class of students who started when I did and graduated from Pre-K in June.  Congratulations to all of them and welcome to our newest participants.

We also welcome our new early learning center director Kristen Tasker who joined our team on July 19.  She had large shoes to fill when Chana Tillman left to move to a new community. Thank you to Chana for her many years of service and best wishes in her future.  During this transition, I have spent significant time in the ELC, much to my delight.  It has been a pleasure getting to know your children and spending time with them as they grow. I am so grateful for our amazing, hardworking team of teachers who enrich their lives.

Our ongoing youth programming including school day Aftercare, holiday break programming, JCC Summer Camp, swim lessons, Girls on the Run, Iddy Biddy and teen basketball, have kept us connected with our community’s youth during this challenging pandemic.  I am thankful for Lori Rubin, Terri Travers, MarkJoe Kasian and other dedicated team members who provided these additional opportunities.

It is a pleasure seeing students from The Silver Academy, who continually grow into community leaders of tomorrow. I hope they enjoyed a well-earned summer and I’m excited about their return.  We are fortunate to have this excellent organization in our community, whose mission states that, “The Silver Academy's unique philosophy and integrated curriculum stress the values and traditions of our rich Judaic heritage and American democratic ideals, while preparing students to meet the challenges of contemporary society.” The creators of that statement could not have foreseen the additional disruption of a global pandemic. Mazel tov to Samara Sofian and the teachers and faculty, who went above and beyond in that mission.  Welcome back to your 2021-2022 school year!

You can support children attending the Brenner Family ELC and The Silver Academy through EITC (Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program) as an individual or business. View our “ways to give” page of for more information.  Donations to the Annual Campaign also support the ELC and all JCC youth programming. Thank you if you already support one or both initiatives.

We have been able to offer youth programming by following the guidance of our Medical Advisory Team and our national JCC Association.  It is vital that we work together to ensure the safety of the children we serve.  Many are too young to be vaccinated. Please respect our policy of wearing a mask when entering and exiting the JCC, in all public spaces apart from the fitness center, and during mask-required hours.  Thank you!

Best wishes to all students of all ages on another year of learning, socializing, and growth.

As always, I appreciate your feedback and can be reached at or 717-236-9555 x3104.