Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

A 'thank you' to all who contributed to the JCC project

 


Dear Editor:

Now that the Roth Renovation Project nears completion with a fabulous new courtyard playground, I would like to thank all community members who generously donated to the project.  Along with the playground, the revitalized campus features a renovated pool area, a resurfaced and relit outdoor basketball court, resurfaced tennis courts and auditorium improvements. All of these components make the whole campus greater than the sum of its parts and promote sustainability as a vibrant and vital community hub.  

When my wife, Caryn, and I moved to Orlando in 1999, we were grateful to meet many friends through the JCC, Federation and our synagogue. Having the JCC allowed us to see our children have fun while learning to be Jews and part of the Jewish community. A perfect example was this last Saturday evening when we dropped our son at the J for basketball and our daughter for a movie, and we attended the Jewish Film Festival sponsored by the JCC and Federation with friends we met through the J.

I am confident that we share the universal  desire of project donors to facilitate present and future generations being part of a strong, vibrant Jewish community.

I wish to thank my  RRP Committee co-chairman Andy Kleiman and committee members Jodi Krinker and Mark Chaet for being great to work with. This project was birthed at the JCC board that carefully and passionately reviewed options for vitalizing the campus.  The committee members met their responsibility in getting the project accomplished.

Special thanks goes to Tomer Taggert and Matt Klein who assisted in negotiating the financing with the Jewish Capital Alliance (JCA), and for making sure that the J was properly budgeted.  I can report that the budget attached to the loan called for $360,000 in pledges and we received $360,000 in written pledges. Scott Richman, who succeeded Tomer as President when Tomer’s family made Aliyah to Israel, has my thanks for supporting this Project while also working to achieve remarkable growth at the Rosen Campus. 

This was the JCA’s first project and its professionalism and support were vital. Howard Lefkowitz and Ed Kleiman made invaluable suggestions, and Dan Williams really worked cooperatively with the JCC’s Executive Director David Wayne.

It should also be mentioned that the Federation board responded positively to our project mission, and that chairmen Michael Soll and Ryan Lefkowitz donated generously to the project.

This community is sometimes distracted by one issue or another, that we seem surprised that every outside visitor to the campus remarks with astonishment on our busy and full campus. The vision here is to have JCC’s creative and dedicated staff work with our members, the Federation, JAO, HMREC  and the synagogues to use the campus even more. We already have very successful Summer Swim Parties that enable young families to form bonds while the kids have fun in a shaded kiddie pool and resurfaced main pool. Going forward, Federation can expand the “Shalom Orlando” concept by holding a pool and basketball barbecue.  Synagogues can have a pool and sports parties for its members.  The JAO can field a swim team. There can be basketball parties after the synagogues have Sunday school or hold services. Many possibilities, and I personally look forward to seeing community members work toward their realization.

Daniel H. Coultoff

Lake Mary

 

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