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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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Meet the Wippers

(Published April 7, 2020) “Passover is a perfect way to introduce Judaism to those who are not Jewish, because there’s so much participation,” said Hannah Wipper, a lifelong JCC member who was raised proudly Jewish by her Jewish father and Catholic mother. Growing Up Multi-Faith  As a child, Hannah was exposed to both Judaism and Catholicism. She attended Hasten Hebrew …

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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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Donna Segal, Volunteer Extraordinaire

(Published Oct 10, 2019) Donna Segal and her family have been members of the J for more than 50 years. From her daughters attending and later working at summer camp and as lifeguards at the pool to her and her husband using the Mordoh Fitness Center to “rebuild their strength and soul” after they each had life-threatening surgery, Donna has …

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Ms. Kate’s Recipe for the High Holidays

(Published Sep 17, 2019) For ECE teacher Kate O. and her daughter Miriam, the High Holidays mean a solid month of everything being sticky, thanks to Miriam’s love of dipping apples in honey, a Rosh Hashana custom. But even more than that, Kate and Miriam love the communal aspects of celebrating the High Holidays, whether that’s hearing the shofar (ram’s …

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