Feb 2020

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News & Highlights

The Y has a Dream

Monday, January 27, 2020


To celebrate Martin Luther King’s legacy, the Y hosted a series of events in the month of January culminating with a large event and service project on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 


We Are Never Alone When We March For Justice and Unity

Thursday, January 09, 2020

With the rise in hate crimes all over the world and in the United States groups have been gathering to march to show their strength and perseverance. The hate crimes against the Jewish community in the past two years have increased and become more violent. Over the holiday of Channukah, multiple incidents of hate against the Jewish community occurred. This drastic string of events caused the Jewish community to stand up and organize a march.


How The Y Helps the Community

Monday, December 09, 2019

Two very different community members, one organization that helps all.

One family who suffered a major loss and with the Y's help was able to grieve, recover and move forward.

One senior who survived the Holocaust, Stalin's Police State and with the Y's help was able to find a home in Washington Heights' Wien House. 

Please read both stories below as they demonstrate how the Y is there for its community as it always has been for the past 102 years, 365 days a year to provide help and care, joy and celebration, grief and support, inspiration and pride – all with kindness.


Paying Tribute to the Tree of Life Synagogue one year later

Monday, November 11, 2019

Last month marked the one-year anniversary for the shooting at the Tree of Life Syagogue in Pittsbugh, the worst anti-Semitic attack in the history of the United States. Twenty-one representatives from 16 different Jewish Community Centers (JCC) paid their tribute to mark this solemn event while providing support to supporters but still recognizing a sense of community and hope that has been built from this tragic event. A detailed description of this event can be found here in an e-mail message from Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association of North America. 

Last year Martin Yafe, our Chief Program Officer, drove to Pittsburgh during the aftermath of this senseless and hateful shooting to pay our respects, while our CEO, Martin Englisher, provided his statement here. 

On October 27th of this year Victoria participated in a deployment to Pittsburgh with 19 of her fellow Jewish Community Center (JCC) professionals from throughout the continent as part of JResponse, a program of the JCC Association of North America which brings the greatest asset of the JCC Movement, its people, to provide relief and recovery efforts after a crisis, disaster, or other time of serious need.

Victoria was among a team who staffed the JCC during the one year commemoration of the Tree of Life shooting, helping to answer phones, interact with community members, staff a blood drive, and do whatever else was needed so the local staff could be free to grieve and reflect with their community. Victoria’s poem reflects the deep impact the JResponse deployment had not only on the Jewish community of Pittsburgh, but on the JResponders themselves.



Lost (and Found) in Inwood

Friday, October 25, 2019

Author Talk Connects the Past to the Present



On a rainy October night, members of the Center for Adults Living Well (CALW) @ the Y were captivated by old photographs projected onto the Y’s big movie screen. For more than an hour, they travelled back in time to when Nagle Avenue was the Nagle family farm.


“We’ve never worked on such a large screen,” said Cole Thompson, co-author of Lost Inwood, published earlier this year. As he and his research partner, Don Rice, usually present their popular history series on the first Tuesday of the month, at Inwood’s Indian Road Cafe, their CALW appearance was a special treat


L' Shanah Tova 5780

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Recently, I received the most beautiful Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur invitation that I can remember from a good friend, Rabbi Aryeh Bernstein. It was a general invitation, but it really spoke to the heart of this holiday season. The first half of the invitation gave the lineup of the different teachers and rabbis who would be leading the service.  But, the second paragraph was all about the participants.  He wrote, "More importantly, everyone in the room will teach, support, uplift, and goad each other to wakefulness, to hearing the cries of all anguished people, sentient beings, and the planet, present in the sound of the shofar, to turning to our best selves and the best that our ancestors have bequeathed us, while taking good, hard responsibility for our own transgressions and those of our ancestors in which we are still caught. That is our aspiration. Come join us. Your voice is precious."


Preparing Young Teens to be Career-Ready.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Y completed another successful year of the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) supporting 771  teens and young adults by placing them in job sites where they were not only able to earn some extra money during the summer but develop skills that will prepare them for their future careers. This year the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the City’s agency that funds SYEP, decided to take a new direction with Younger Youth in the program, where 14 and 15 year-old teens received a more hands-on, educational experience before they get placed at a job site. This fits well with the Y’s own philosophy of how we run our own SYEP, as we understand the unlimited potential a meaningful SYEP experience can provide for the youth we serve when they are given opportunities to learn and grow.


In Memory of Lou Yehuda Strauss (1921-2019)

Friday, August 02, 2019

Recently, the Y community was saddened to find out about the passing of long time Y member and Holocaust survivor, Lou Yehuda Strauss. Lou Strauss shared many wonderful memories here at the Y. His family members mentioned during his funeral how much he looked forward to having lunch with his friends every day at our senior center, Center for Adults Living Well (C.A.L.W), and participating in different activities at the C.A.L.W until his health no longer allowed him to.


Rocks, Water, Rainbows, Plants, and Insects

Friday, July 19, 2019

S.T.E.M Education at Footpaths Nursery Camp

(But Still Playing and Having Fun)

S.T.E.M (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) or S.T.E.A.M (S.T.E.M plus Art) has become a “hot” topic in the world of education but its applicability and relevance to the early childhood world is less well known. With a better understanding of how the brain develops, we now know that three year-olds are quite capable of understanding complex concepts and possess the critical thinking skills that are at the heart of the scientific process. At Footpaths Nursery Camp, STEM is not only recognized and acknowledged but embraced! Over the course of this summer, our campers have been investigating an array of interesting topics including the water and rock cycles, seed and plant growth and the world of insects.


Growing Children's Hearts and Minds in Be Me

Friday, April 05, 2019

As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, I was blessed with Mister Rodgers as the key television personality in my formative years of television watching. I still do remember the opening and closing songs. “It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive...” and while I can’t say that any one episode or sketch stood out for me, years later I can attest that the show laid out a blueprint for a healthy emotional intelligence that still might be unmatched in children’s television programming. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood probed the depth of children’s feelings and did not shy away from difficult topics such as love, divorce, and death. I sometimes wish Mister Rogers was required viewing for anyone audacious enough to raise children.


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