With more and more staff members and center members being non-jews, I think the JCC movement needs to begin more traing and education programs. When members walk around our center and ask “what is that rectangle thing on all the doors?” And they have to ask 5 different people before they can even hear the word mezuzah is quite ridiculous. I strongly believe in having non-jews work and be involved in the JCC because I believe they offer different perspectives and bring a lot to the table, but at the same time, I believe we need to do a better job and not only training these staff members, but also get them excited enough to want to explore even the basics of Judaism and to even take that extra step and initiative to learn more on their own. I think this will greatly increase the knowledge of our centers as well as make our members feel better about the staff we hire knowing that they have taken the time to learn. Our JCCs need to invest this time and money, and if they do, I believe the turn around will be amazing.
jason goldstein | addison-penzak jewish community center