In an exciting and important new development, the Levite Jewish Community Center is merging its three levels of membership into one. “The change really feels like the right thing for our community,” says Executive Director Aimee Johnson. “No more ‘elite’ vs. ‘plus’ vs. ‘classic’ levels and their competing benefits,” Aimee adds. “Now we’re all together at The J.”
The change means that all amenities — from use of the Fitness Floor, pickleball courts, and Group Fitness classes to enjoying both the indoor and outdoor pools plus towel service (and much more) — will be available to all members. In addition, having just one level of membership will simplify enrollment for families at the Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center.
Although the change will officially take effect on June 1, members can take advantage of any new amenities as soon as possible by updating their memberships online now or on site with the assistance of staff. In the end, some members will pay less in monthly fees while others will see a bump in costs.
“While we’re emerging from the past two years of pandemic in surprisingly good form, we need to make some adjustments,” explains Johnson, who notes that the need to adjust prices is currently in line with most businesses nationally. “Transitioning to only one membership category really turned out to be the best way to sustain our mission and make our numerous membership benefits more accessible to a greater segment of Birmingham.”
Making our mission possible
As stated on its website, The J’s mission is to “enhance Jewish identity by providing programs and activities that promote cultural enrichment, cultivate educational development, and provide for the well-being of its members.” Reviving the May 15 Jewish Food and Culture Fest after a two-year hiatus is a prime example that covers all the bases, as is the planning for a new gala in August. The explosion in pickleball at The J plus post-pandemic revivals of our Group Fitness and Aquatics programs are also significant developments.
“We are coming up with some big, comprehensive plans as an organization,” Aimee explains. “Improving our membership model will help us move forward in a meaningful way for all of our members.”
In addition to condensing our membership options, members will also see a new 2.5 percent fee added to all credit card transactions — an expense that can be avoided by many members through alternative payment methods.
“Our staff will be happy to work with any members who might have concerns about the changes,” says Aimee, who adds a reminder about scholarships that are available to individuals and families who might need help affording a membership.
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