The Simon Family JCC offers a calendar of bold perspectives and community enrichment for members and guests. With record number attendees for Camp JCC and speakers such as Dennis Ross, the JCC serves as a gathering place for fun, education, and social networking.
The JCC’s diversity of programs and events guarantees there is something for everyone. Many people—Jewish community leaders, as well as staff—make these events possible. Corrie Lentz, Simon Family JCC assistant director for development and fundraising, is one of those people. Jewish News recently spoke with her about her involvement:
Jewish News: What’s your why? What makes you passionate about the JCC?
My why begins with my namesake, Corrie Ten Boom. During the occupation of Holland in World War II , Corrie’s family protected the Jewish people by offering a safe-house. Her entire family perished in the concentration camps. She was the only survivor. After the war, Corrie dedicated her life to being a vocal advocate for the Jewish people and Israel through the message of reconciliation and forgiveness. I am honored to carry her name and to serve the Jewish community through fundraising.
How does your role impact the J?
My role as assistant director of development is to make certain the legacy of the Simon Family JCC continues for future generations. There’s so much to love and support at the J including our state-of-the-art fitness facility, Kids’ Connection Enrichment Program, Camp JCC, Yahad Camp for children with special needs, as well as the amazing Jewish and Israeli art featured through cultural arts programming. The J is such an important place for our community. Helping to ensure its future and access for all people to participate is an honor.
What are some of the more memorable moments from the past year?
The most memorable moments for me revolve around the opportunity to collaborate with my colleague, Robin Mancoll, through the Israel Today series. Robin and her team brought Israeli chefs Nir Margalith and Guy Horam of Puzzle Israel to Tidewater for a whirlwind week of engaging events that offered hundreds of people a glimpse into the vibrant and beautiful culture of Israel through cuisine. I was lucky enough to be part of the team that put together One Night as a part of Puzzle Israel’s time here, which served as another outreach and a fundraising dinner for Camp JCC and JCC youth athletics. Being a part of moments like these and building our community are among my most treasured.
Why were they impactful?
Our mission is to bring the values of the Simon Family JCC to the greater Tidewater community. The events with Puzzle Israel created multiple opportunities for our community and friends to celebrate Israel in a unique way, while still celebrating the values of the J; encouraging tolerance and inclusivity while promoting enrichment and unity for the Jewish and general community. These moments fall in line with the upcoming theme of the Simon Family JCC Fundraising campaign, which focuses on community and togetherness.
What’s on the calendar at the J for next year that you’re excited about?
I’m excited about the full line-up of events, in particular the artists that will be featured in the Leon Family Art Gallery and the 25th Virginia Festival of Jewish Film. I’m excited to see the conversations that begin due to these thought-provoking artists.