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Hanna Fogel

Meet Steve Harms, the J’s New Board Chair!

A white-haired man standing in front of three rows of photos underneath a "JCC Past Presidents" sign

(Published June 15, 2021) Steve Harms fell in love with the J immediately when he first toured the facility seven years ago. An avid cyclist since riding in the Little 500 while in college at IU, in 2014 Steve suffered a bad accident and shattered his femur (why he now walks with a limp), for which he needed strong and …

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Hello to the Hos!

An Asian family (a man, a woman, two young girls and a young boy) on the deck of the Regenstrief Natatorium

(Published June 1, 2021) Returning to Indy in January 2021 after nearly 12 years abroad, during a pandemic, was almost a blessing in disguise for the Ho family (parents Darren and Steffanie and kids Lauren, Colson and Raegan). “We’re able to take the repatriation at our own pace,” Steffanie said. “Everything’s from home, we’re not thrust back in to mainstream …

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The Erdel Family’s Decade at the J

A mosaic featuring photos of the Erdel family

(Published April 26, 2021) To understand just how at home the Erdel kids feel at the J, one only had to watch them as they arrived at the Sablosky Pavilion, the location for the (masked and socially distanced) interview and photo shoot to prep this piece. Audrey (9) and Evan (7) immediately ran over to picnic tables their Summer Care …

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Filiberto Learns to Swim

Filiberto Cruz Mancera (Hispanic man in his 40s) in the Regenstrief Natatorium

(Published March 25, 2021) Growing up in Mexico, Filiberto Cruz Mancera loved sports. Basketball, volleyball, almost anything athletic – except swimming. When Filiberto was about six years old, his younger brother fell into and was swept away in the strong current of a creek where Filiberto, his brother and an older sister were playing. Filiberto and his sister frantically chased …

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Cathy Kravitz, Renaissance Woman

Cathy Kravitz (Jewish white woman with blonde hair in her 60s wearing an ivory sweater and mask) standing in front of a colorful mural

(Published Feb 22, 2021) Having been a member for over 30 years, Cathy Kravitz is something of a JCC celebrity. As a daily lap swimmer who has also participated in dance aerobics and tennis programs, taught art to the kids in the Early Childhood Education program and even exhibited in the JCC’s art gallery, she has a finger in several …

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Joe Johnson is All Heart

Joe Johnson (a mustached Black man in his 60s wearing a yellow shirt) working out on a machine in the Mordoh Fitness Center

(Published Jan 25, 2021) To look at Joe Johnson, you might not guess that he had a heart transplant just over 11 years ago. The way he tells it, his exercise routine hasn’t even changed that much from before the transplant: “It’s just that I can do more reps now. I got stronger.” Making sure that new heart stays healthy …

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George Heslin, Firefighter-in-Training

George Heslin (a 23-year-old white man with dark hair and large arm muscles) in the Mordoh Fitness Center training to become a firefighter - climbing a Stairmaster wearing extra weight on his back, pushing a heavy weight around the track, and lifting a barbell, all while wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

(Published Dec 28, 2020) George Heslin has enjoyed the J’s facilities recreationally for years — at summer camp as a child and more recently utilizing the gym and the pool as he tried on teaching and culinary careers before realizing they were not what he wanted. But as he embarks upon his journey to becoming a firefighter, the JCC (and …

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Youth Soccer at the J with Coach Jennie

Jennie Carr (white woman in patterned sweater and maroon leggings) talking to a young girl in a yellow JCC soccer shirt, striped leggings and bright pink shin pads and cleats, as other children in yellow and green JCC soccer shirts take a water break.

(Published Mar 10, 2020) Jennie Carr and her family have been JCC members for almost eight years and throughout that time have come in to the facility at least five days a week. The kids have been involved in several areas of the J — early childhood, afterschool care, camp, basketball, martial arts, dance, gymnastics — but the family has …

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A Week at the J with the Calilis

(Published Feb 4, 2020) Between the five of them (mom Laura, dad Rotem and kids Noa, Rahm and Oren), the Calilis are at the J virtually every day: Laura and Rotem work out with a trainer or on their own, the kids participate in one of the many athletic activities the J offers, or they come in as a family …

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The Incredible Gzibovskis: One Year Later

Andy and Laura Gzibovskis standing on a Stairmaster, with other JCC members working out in the background

(Published Dec 1, 2019) A year ago, the J Magazine cover story and accompanying blog post featuring Andy and Laura Gzibovskis (and their two kids, Olivia and Luke) called them “The Incredible Gzibovskis,” touting the fitness journey the family has been on since the beginning of 2018 and the 160 pounds lost between them at the time. Now? “We’re still …

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