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How The J makes a difference

The new year that just started with Rosh Hashanah is an ideal time to assess recent accomplishments while also looking ahead. While we still face challenges as we continue to emerge from the pandemic, the outlook for the Levite Jewish Community Center looks bright. 

Keep reading to find out why The J is on solid ground…

Meeting member needs

We are dedicated to serving the Jewish and broader communities through programs that address needs across the lifespan. In 2021-22 alone:

  • Our nationally accredited preschool served more than 250 students.
  • Our camps and youth athletics served some 700 children in ways that developed social, emotional, and physical health. 
  • Our fitness center is open to more than 4,000 individuals who are at various stages of their health and wellness journeys.  

Other programs that are making a post-COVID comeback include enhanced senior programming, Jewish-focused programming, and theater.

A welcoming history

The LJCC is where it is today thanks to our history of welcoming everyone. Founded in 1906 to support assimilating Jewish immigrants, we then became one of the few places to welcome women as members and board members. Later, we challenged Birmingham’s segregation laws by opening our facilities — including pools — to all races. In addition, we have been a charter member of United Way of Central Alabama since 1923.

This approach to justice perhaps best manifested itself in the $128,000 in scholarships that allowed some three-dozen families to access our services regardless of their financial situations. 

Bridging communities

When Jews were not allowed access to other facilities, we were the place for Jewish gatherings. We want to continue to be that place while serving as a bridge between the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Programs such as Jewish Life 101 classes, the Jewish Food and Culture Fest, and The J’la (which showed how attractive a dressed-up J can be) have all played a crucial role in bringing people of diverse backgrounds together for life-changing experiences.

A solid foundation

Over the past three years, we have focused on our financial health by bringing our cash debt position down to almost $0. In addition to diligently reducing expenses, we accomplished this significant feat through close collaboration between the board and management; by utilizing resources offered through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES 2020) and the Coronavirus Response and Consolidated Appropriations (2021) acts; and by diversifying our revenue through new development channels. 

Yes — The J has seen some rocky times. But our work over the past year has ensured and will continue to ensure a sustainable future for The J.