Jewish community center temporarily closes

In response to the community spread of the coronavirus, the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center will temporarily close all JCC buildings starting at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, with a scheduled reopening on April 17.

The decision to close JCC facilities was difficult, according to Joe Kasle, JCC Board Chairman.

“We’re balancing the choice of closing with our desire to bring the community together in their greatest moments of need. But the unique circumstances of this pandemic – and our opportunity to limit any further spread of the virus – have demanded that we put more distance between our members and facilities.” Kasle went on to say, “The strongest service to our members and mission right now – and to the values of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), is to temporarily close our doors and limit any additional spread or further community impact.” 

The temporary closing of JCC facilities follows Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ March 12 declaration of a public health emergency in the state, and his March 13 announcement of state-wide school closings. On March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared the spread of COVID-19 a pandemic.

“The Jewish community has never needed a building to thrive,” said Mark Shapiro, President and CEO of the JCC. “Although our doors may be closed, we are actively exploring how we can bring our community together – online and beyond – in new, healthy, and meaningful ways. Our team of JCC professionals will work throughout this temporary physical closure, and continue to tirelessly pursue ways to serve our members and guests.”

The JCC remains committed and prepared to meet the needs of the most challenged and sustain its abilities to serve the entire community for years to come, according to a news release. Updates on the reopening of the JCC will be provided on JccMilwaukee.org, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.