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

JAO and the Roth JCC make the most of proximity


JAO and ECLC students dancing and singing together at the ECLC Shabbat Celebration on Friday, Jan. 24.

On a weekly basis, many of the same faces pass between the Jewish Academy of Orlando (JAO) and the Roth Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Maitland. For more than three decades, the two Jewish agencies have supported one another on multiple levels. From early childhood, after-school, youth, teen, sports to fitness programming, JAO and JCC have made an impact on the Jewish community of Orlando that goes beyond an excellent education.

Just last month, students at the JCC's Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) and JAO came together on two separate occasions to welcome in Shabbat. Kindergarten through fourth graders at JAO spent a Friday morning celebrating Shabbat with the entire ECLC at the Roth JCC's gymnasium. More than 300 attendees sang and danced in the fun and educational event. Students six months and older, staff members, parents and grandparents of students from both schools were all on hand. One week earlier, JAO hosted pre-kindergarten students from the ECLC at JAO's Shabbat celebration in the multipurpose room. Shabbat cantorial leader at JAO, Beth Schafer, led the students through prayers and songs.

The JCC has become an integral part of the physical education experience for JAO students. The center hosted a unique event that allowed them to expand upon traditional sports usually offered to students in physical education classes. Dave Seanor from the Roth JCC and TGA Premier Junior Golf North Orlando visited the JCC on Friday, Jan 10, and taught JAO PE classes how to chip and putt. The instructors gave the students an introduction to the skills needed to play golf, which is returning to the Summer Olympics in 2016. 

To continue developing students' agility and reaction times, Amy McCully from the Roth JCC and All About Tennis Management taught JAO PE classes last month the fundamentals of singles and doubles play on the court. The students are continuing to be passionate about learning new skills from sports experts that could only be made available to them through unique collaborations between JAO and the JCC.

The opportunities for JAO students at the JCC don't stop there. Every Monday afternoon, the JCC's Rene Nicholson leads Jewish Academy Selznick Middle School students in a weekly "fitness wheel" featuring cross-fit type exercises. Exposing JAO students to health and nutrition during their preteen and teen years sets them on a lifelong path to healthy living.

Beyond healthy living activities for Jewish Academy Selznick Middle School students, many after-school opportunities exist in abundance for JAO students at the JCC. The J University after-school program serves 17 percent of JAO elementary school students. With discounted rates, many JAO students also attend Camp J during the summer months.

The Jewish Academy also has a history of its specialized staff coordinating with the JCC's programming. Ann Montgomery, PE teacher at JAO, will be conducting a session on Feb. 17 called "Capture the Chicken." This Jewish Academy favorite is a game like capture the flag but with rubber chickens. Attendees of the JCC's Move It Monday, between the ages of five to 12 years old, can attend this session from 10 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at the JCC.

Even on a marketing level, the JCC and JAO work hand-in-hand to promote programs available to the greater Jewish community of Orlando. At its Camp J Kickoff event this past weekend, the JCC gave a table to JAO to promote its academic excellence and Jewish pride. This continued support for one another allows Jewish community members to learn about programs with fluidity from fliers, events, tours, referrals and newsletters. With such a streamlined collaboration, both established and new members to the Orlando Jewish community can find a network to belong to and contribute to throughout the year.

To learn more about the Jewish Academy of Orlando, visit http://www.jewishacademyorlando.org. To learn more about the Roth JCC, visit http://www.orlandojcc.org.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018