Facility Updates

Update 11-10-17

Power at the main campus is restored along with internet, email and phones. 


Update 11-8-17

On Friday, November 10 from 9:00 AM-11:00 AM the electricity will be shut off to allow our temporary chillers to be disconnected from the generators they're currently running and switched to permanent electricity. 

  • We will open on Friday at 5:00 AM and remain open until 9:00 AM. We will re-open with regular schedules and programs at 11:00 AM. 
  • There will be no group exercise classes, personal training, massage or babysitting during this time. 
  • The gymnasium will be open for Friday basketball from 7:00 AM-9:00 AM as usual.  
  • From 9:00 AM-11:00 AM our computers, email and phones will not be operational. 
  • Laykie's Café at the J will be closed all day on Friday.
  • Adult Modern Dance will be held at 11:00 AM
  • Due to the power outage, we will be canceling this Friday's Open Gym at 10:00 AM. Tot Shabbat will be delayed 15 minutes and start at 11:15 AM.
  • When we lose power, we do experience quick drops in water levels in the pool. We will work as diligently as possible to get the Indoor Pool re-opened as quickly as possible once power is restored and water levels and chemical levels can be restored to normal levels.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience as we make these critical repairs.


Updated 10-27-17

Thank you Jewish Federation of Greater Houston
We were informed earlier this week that the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston made a grant of $1 million to the J to support the repair and renovations costs for all of our facilities. More than $17 million has been raised to support Hurricane Harvey and relief efforts, and we are grateful to the Jewish Federation for its partnership and to all of the donors that have contributed to the fund.

Weingarten Building Updates
The boiler is now fully operational. The water temperature in the indoor pool is heating up, and hot water is available throughout the building. Swim lessons will begin on Sunday, Oct 29. The availability of hot water enables us to move warmer air throughout the building, and we hope that you will find the temperature comfortable.

The exterior and interior elevators are not operational, and the projected time table for repairs is 6-8 weeks. Apparently, due to extensive flooding and damage, elevator parts are hard to come by, and the manufacturer is having trouble meeting demand.

Meals on Wheels will continue to operate at St. Philips United Methodist Church, and we will continue to hold classes and programs at Godwin Park. We recognize that the lack of accessibility is problematic and thank you for your patience and understanding.

Laykie's Gourmet Café at the J
We are pleased to announce that Laykie's Gourmet Café at the J will re-open at 11:00 AM Sunday, Oct 29. 

Boniuk Family Indoor Tennis Center
Our Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School transitioned to the Merfish Teen Center on Oct 25, and we look forward to re-opening of the Boniuk Family Tennis Center on Sunday. We very much appreciate the support of our tennis members and patience over these past two months.

Fitness Center
We hope that you have had a chance to enjoy our temporary fitness center in the auditorium and take one of our fitness or mind/body exercise classes.  Our friends at the Y have generously extended the opportunity to use Y fitness facilities through Dec 31. We know everyone joins us in expressing our grateful appreciation to leadership of the Y for opening their doors.


Updated 10-24-17

We're Boiling Over with Excitement
We are excited to announce that the boilers for the Weingarten Building are now online. Hot water is available for showers in the general locker rooms and Men's and Women's Health Centers.Towel service has also resumed. The Indoor Pool will be heated, and you may also notice warmer air temperatures around the building. Laykie's Gourmet Café at the J will also be re-opening soon - look for an update later this week.

Bertha Alyce School to Re-Open at Merfish Teen Center
We're putting the finishing touches on our classrooms, and we can't wait to welcome students to our temporary home at the Merfish Teen Center tomorrow morning! A special thank you to our Tennis Members for allowing BAS to use the Boniuk Family Indoor Tennis Center, which will re-open on Sunday, Oct 29.

Updated 10-20-17

Due to the need to make critical electrical connections in the Weingarten Building, we will be shutting off the electricity tonight. Our computer servers and email will be down as well. The Weingarten Building, including the indoor pool, temporary Fitness Center, gymnasiums and Houston Gymnastics Center, will not have power effective as of 6:00 PM tonight. We will re-open these facilities Sunday at 8:00 AM. The Tennis Center will not be affected.

The power to the Weingarten Building will be restored by mid-afternoon Saturday. Laughter on the 23rd Floor will take place in the Kaplan Theatre as scheduled Saturday at 8:00 PM. The new boilers are on site and will come online after these electrical repairs are completed. We will send an additional update when a specific date is known. 

Updated 10-19-17

Tennis Center Re-Opening
We are happy and excited to announce that we will be re-opening the Boniuk Family Indoor Tennis Center on Sunday, October 29. In celebration, we are planning a membership appreciation event to welcome our tennis members back to the Tennis Center. It will be a morning of food, prizes, free drills and lots of fun from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM. More information regarding the re-opening will be sent to tennis members via email.
We are very grateful to our members for allowing Bertha Alyce School to use our tennis facility and thank you for your support and understanding.

Boiler Installation
The boiler is being installed that will provide hot water to the showers and warmer water for the indoor pool. Final installation will be completed on Friday at which point we will provide you with an update Friday afternoon. Thank you for your continued patience.

Updates 10-15-17

We are planning to re-open the Weingarten Building on Monday, Oct 16. 

Parking and Accessibility
Please enter the J through the main lobby doors or use the ramp outside of the Kaplan Theatre. The main lobby doors will be open to parallel the hours of the temporary fitness facility in the auditorium. You will not be able to access the building from the fitness center or the doors by the indoor pool.

Please check our hours of operation for the fitness centergroup exercise class schedule and babysitting program. For all other programs and activities, please use the main lobby doors or the theater ramp doors. For your convenience, please park in front of the J.

I do want to apologize in advance; neither of our elevators are operational. We are waiting on final quotes to repair or replace the elevators while at the same time finalizing permanent repairs to provide sufficient electricity to operate the entire facility.

Feel free to contact our member services department for their assistance to help minimize any physical challenges to access the building and programs.

There is an entrance adjacent to the outdoor pool that will enable you to access the indoor pool without having to use the steps. If you are not familiar with this access point into the indoor pool, please contact our member services or aquatics staff for assistance.

Locker Rooms, Health Centers and Indoor Pool/Merfish Pool 
The installation of the boiler is running a few days behind schedule. Locker rooms and health centers are available to use to change clothes, as restrooms and the health centers are available for rest and relaxation. Water is available to shower, but it will not be hot. Due to the lack of hot water for laundry, we will be unable to provide towel service.

We will open the indoor pool on Monday, Oct 16 at 5:00 AM. The water temperature is approximately 81 degrees. Based on the cooler overnight temperatures predicted for Houston this week, the aquatics staff felt it would be more comfortable swimming indoors at the J than outdoors at Merfish. We will keep you posted, but we hope to have the boiler operational by Oct 19 or 20.

Bertha Alyce School Transition to Merfish Teen Center and Re-Opening the Boniuk Family Indoor Tennis Center
Based on the timing to complete the renovations at the Merfish Teen Center and to have the child care licensing approve the temporary space, please make note of the following:

  • The BAS program will remain in the Tennis Center through the end of Tuesday, Oct 24 and will open at the Merfish Teen Center on Wednesday, Oct 25 at 7:00 AM. We will start to move items prior to the 24th, and we will be announcing a time for an open house at Merfish on Sunday, Oct 22 for BAS families to tour the facility.

  • Clean up of the Boniuk Indoor Tennis Center will begin on Wednesday, Oct 25 with the goal of re-opening on Sunday, Oct 29.

  • Our goal is to complete the renovations to BAS by mid-December.

Program Updates

Laykie’s Gourmet Café at the J
Once we complete the permanent repairs to the electrical systems, I know that everyone will look forward to the Café at the J re-opening. Our goal is to re-open at some point the week of Oct 23. 

Facility Operations
In February 2017 we began updating the infrastructure to replace and update the major heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems on the campus, most of which were totally destroyed in the flooding. 

One of the goals of the upgrade had been to moderate the inside air temperature and air flow. I recognize that at times during the next few weeks the inside temperature may be cold and ask for your patience as we work on regulating the systems.

In closing, last week we emailed a number of updates that contained information on fall class program fee and membership adjustment credits. If for some reason you did not receive the email, please contact Melissa Gordon in our member services department at

Thank you for your continued patience and support, and we will continue to provide you with program and facility updates.

Updates 9-28-17

  1. Our goal is to open the Weingarten Building on Monday, October 16 and begin to resume business operations, daytime and evening classes and other programs. Further details on class programs and schedules will be announced next week.

  2. The Fitness Center flooring and most of the fitness equipment will need to be replaced. We will be setting up a temporary fitness center in our auditorium that will open on Monday, October 16 at 5:00 AM. Members will continue to be able to utilize YMCA facilities until our Fitness Center re-opens. Our goal is to be able to re-open our Fitness Center in mid to late November.

  3. We are replacing the boiler that provides hot water for showers in the locker rooms and also heats the water for the indoor pool. Our goal is to have the boiler operating by mid-October at which point we will announce a date when the locker rooms, health centers and indoor pool will re-open.

  4. The plan is to transition the Bertha Alyce School program from the Boniuk Tennis Center to the Merfish Teen Center to be operational at Merfish on Monday, October 23. We will then take a few days to clean the Tennis Center and courts and re-open as soon as possible.

  5. We will also be creating volunteer opportunities to help on Sunday, October 15 with some projects around the J and the transition of BAS to the Merfish Teen Center the following weekend. Please watch for details.

Thank you for your continued patience and support, and we will make every effort to meet the timetable outlined above and re-open your J so you can start to enjoy programs, facilities and services again.

Updates 9-24-17

The swimming pool at the Merfish Teen Center is now operational and is available to our members to swim laps beginning on Monday, September 25. Please click here for the schedule and additional information regarding the hours, parking, what to bring, etc. The water temperature is 82 degrees; the temperature in the indoor pool is generally 86 degrees.  

The environmental air quality testing was completed, and we are waiting on the final report in order to begin accessing parts of the facility for additional programs and re-open our business offices. We now have air conditioning and electricity in many parts of the J, which is enabling our staff and contractors the opportunity to complete the assessment on water damage and allow us to determine a schedule to re-open the Fitness Center.

Work at the Merfish Teen Center is moving along very well; our plan as soon as Merfish is completed is to transition the BAS program to the Merfish Teen Center and then re-open the Indoor Tennis Center. I hope to have additional updates available to you by Wednesday regarding our plans and time table to re-open the Indoor Tennis Center and Fitness Center. Thank you for your continued patience.  

Plans are moving forward to open the Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Festival on Saturday, October 28, our Symposium program on October 10 and classes the week of October 15. Our Melton program is also planning to open the week of October 15.

Updates 9-18-17

We have some good news to share in today's update. We have generators running and have AC and electricity in parts of the Weingarten Building. We are working area by area to check the mechanical systems. We've already had one air handler motor catch fire and burn out.

We will have a much better idea in the next few days when we can re-open the Weingarten Building. We estimate it will be at least another 7+ days as we are waiting on environmental air/quality testing.

We've made great progress at the Merfish Teen Center. Crews have installed drywall in most of the classroom wing and are working their way toward the front of the building.

Regarding the Fitness Center, once we have power restored, we can perform a full evaluation of the equipment. Marathon Fitness, our long time Precor vendor, will be assisting us with this process. Once we have performed this assessment, we can then determine what repairs or replacements will be necessary to get the Fitness Center back up and running.

Update 9-10-17

We are working this week to set up temporary generators to get electricity to the Weingarten building and operate temporary chillers that will provide air conditioning. We will also bring in a temporary boiler to have hot water available in restrooms, showers and heat water for the indoor pool.

Please note that the Boniuk Indoor Tennis Center will house the Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School for approximately 4 weeks, starting Monday, September 11. The Boniuk Indoor Tennis Center's electricity, water and air operates independently from the main campus, so the Indoor Tennis Center is fully operational.

As soon as we get the building powered up we will perform safety checks, clean and complete the necessary environmental and air quality assessments prior to re-opening.Currently, our best guess is we will remain closed for an additional two weeks. We will know more once we get power to the Weingarten Building and complete any additional assessments.

West Houston will open on Monday and repairs to the Merfish Teen Center will begin this week.

Program Update
Many of our programs will start this week at off-site locations including KidZone at Shlenker, competitive gymnastic team training at various southwest locations and free drop-in JTA tennis program utilizing the outdoor tennis courts.

Our semester based programs, including after school classes, swim lessons, gymnastics classes, tennis, dance, and sports programs for children will begin the week of Sunday, October 15. *Exceptions are Meyerland Soccer and children's theater productions.

We'll keep an updated list of program details here.

Please note that on Monday we will have staff answering our main number and can assist you with any program or membership needs or questions.


Update 9-7-17

Boot Camp at Godwin Park
We're bringing fitness to you! Our fitness instructors and personal trainers are holding a free boot camp in Godwin Park every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6:00 AM and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a 9:30 AM until further notice. This is a free class to anyone in the community who wants to get back into a workout routine. 

Boniuk Indoor Tennis Center
Our tennis staff team met to begin planning to get tennis programs back up and running. We’re working on a plan to potentially have indoor courts available for limited times on evening and weekends. More details to come soon.

Our Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School staff have started the transformation of some of the indoor courts into temporary classrooms while repairs are made at the BAS building.

J Members Welcomed at YMCA of Greater Houston
Thanks to the generosity of the YMCA of Greater Houston, all Evelyn Rubenstein JCC members are able to use Y facilities to exercise, swim, take fitness classes, etc. When you go to any Y in the Greater Houston area, please take your J membership card and visit the Welcome Center to sign-up for complimentary membership. This offer is available as long as our facilities are closed.

West Houston Campus
Recently we were able to access our West Houston campus and assess the effects from Hurricane Harvey. Our facility staff and electricians were able to inspect the building and have deemed that the building is safe for our staff and families to return. The Ellen Boniuk West Houston Early Childhood School will resume their school year beginning Monday, September 11.

Update 9-6-17

Thanks to St. Philip's United Methodist Church, our Meals on Wheels program is back up and running for our homebound seniors. Check out our "Floating Dumpster" and Joel Dinkin's Facebook Live interviews with the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. 

Get all the details of today's update on our blog.

Update 9-5-17BAS Remediation

In tonight's facilities update we've got photos of the remediation in progress, an update on the pools, KidZone, big thank yous to the YMCA of Greater Houston and Westheimer Transfer & Storage and more. If you're not receiving our email updates, you can sign up here.

Get all the details on our blog.

Update 9-4-17

Flood Damage

The J did sustain some significant damage due to the storm which we outline in the link below. We have already begun the recovery and mitigation process in many areas and will work tirelessly until we are fully up and running again.

Get all the details here.


Update 9-1-17

We have started repairs to the J and Merfish Teen Center. We will remain closed indefinitely. The water damage to the garden level of the J was extensive, and we are still trying to understand the full impact.

Flooded PlaygroundThe central plant, which includes all of our electrical panels, boilers and mechanical equipment flooded. Please note that we will delay the start of all fall classes and will provide you with additional updates next week regarding many important programs and their status. This will afford us some additional time to plan and better understand the scope of damage and timetable to complete the critical repairs.

To our families enrolled at BAS, we are evaluating a number of plans and working with childcare licensing to determine our options. We will not be able to provide any programs Sept 5-8 and will communicate with you early next week. Remediation work has begun in BAS. The power remains shut off in West Houston. While we have not been able to assess the damage, we are investigating options.

Thank you for your continued patience.

Update 8-30-17

PlaygroundThe Weingarten building on the Levit campus has sustained significant water damage on the lower level, front playground and mystical garden. There was some water damage in the fitness center and preschool gymnastic facility.

We have limited power in the building that is impacting our ability to clean the entire building and certain parts of the building do not have air conditioning.

At this point, we do not have an estimate when we will re-open. My goal is to re-open the fitness center and one of our pools and gym as soon as possible. We have transitioned our Meals on Wheels program to Interfaith Ministries to be able to serve our vulnerable older adult population. We are assessing BAS and have communicated to our BAS families that re-opening BAS is my top priority.


Update 8-28-17 | 8:00 PM

Mystical GardenThe lower level of the Weingarten building on the Levit campus including the front playground and Mystical Garden has taken in a great deal of water. We are coordinating efforts with Centerpoint to shut off the electricity to be able to have a remediation company pump out the water.

Other parts of the J have had minimal damage, and we will remain closed through this week. The Merfish Teen Center took in about a foot of water as well.

Power is out in BAS. We have not been able to make a complete assessment, but getting BAS fully operational as soon as possible is our top priority.

The J's Tennis Center, which was not damaged, along with the Jewish Federation will be mobilized to coordinate supply contribution and distribution, and we will launch this initiative in the next few days. Watch for further updates.


AtriumUpdate 8-26-17 | 9:00 PM

The J will remain closed on Sunday, August 27
Shabbat Shalom. We hope that you and your family are safe and out of harms way. Based on the unpredictability of the weather and concerns regarding safety for our staff and members, the J will remain closed on Sunday, August 27. Please take care and stay out of harms way. We will communicate with you Sunday evening regarding our plans for Monday, August 28.

Update 8-25-17 | 3:30 PM

The J will close today, Friday, at 6:00 PM, and will remain closed on Shabbat
In consideration for the safety of our staff and members, the J will close today, Friday, at 6:00 PM, and will remain closed on Shabbat, Saturday, August 26.
We will continue to monitor the storm and its impact on our community. At the conclusion of Shabbat, we will provide further information about the status of the facility and programs for Sunday, August 27.

We will begin accepting supply donations as soon as the J reopens, with the expectation that there will be some level of flooding in our community. You can drop off supplies in the lobby of the JCC, and we will continue to accept donations and provide supplies to those in need as soon as we are operational.

Update 8-25-17 | 10:00 AM

J Camp PM Care will not be available today. All campers should be picked up between 3:30 PM-4:00 PM.

While we anticipated the Outdoor Pool Complex to be closed as of 3:00 PM today, do to thunder and lightning in the area, the pool is now closed. 

Update 8-24-17 | 3:15 PM

The outdoor pool complex will be closing as of Friday 3:00 PM in order to begin preparations for Hurricane Harvey. The indoor pool will remain open regular hours along with the rest of our facility. We will continue to watch the storm and if any changes or closures are needed, we will provide further updates.

As we continue to monitor Hurricane Harvey's path, we continue to be concerned about its impact on our community. As we've done in the past, the J will respond to community needs in any way we can. We are prepared to again become a hub for recovery and supplies, should the need arise. We'll provide updates as the storm progresses and we are able to determine what resources are needed and how the J, and other Jewish agencies, can best provide support.

Update 8-24-17 | 12:00 PM

We are currently monitoring the progress of Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico. As we receive updates, and in the event of inclement weather, we will keep you informed regarding the status of our programs and if our facilities will be open and available for use throughout the weekend.

Please visit this web page and follow us on Facebook for updates.


Ways to Help Adults 60 and Older After a Disaster from "Care for Elders" at the J

Thank you for helping. Our older residents are least likely to ask for help and most likely to tell you that everything is fine. It’s important to physically visit when possible. If they need help, here are some steps you can take:

Option 1

Let them know about 2-1-1. By calling 2-1-1, they can be connected with special community resources that may be able to help with:

  • Applying for and navigating City, County, and FEMA programs
  • Basic needs, such as food, clothing, housing, and medical resources
  • Connecting people to available local supports

Option 2

Call 2-1-1 for them if they cannot or won’t even though they clearly need help. There are trained staff members who can follow up, and a case manager from a local agency may be assigned who will check on them and offer resources.

2-1-1 will need the person’s name, zip code, approximate age and general description of need.

Option 3

Call Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-800-252-5400 or visit for a person 65+ or disabled if:

  • The situation is dire and/or
  • There is abuse, exploitation or neglect (including self-neglect/unsafe living conditions).

APS will send someone to offer in-home services or help find a safe place. If possible, APS will need name, address, phone number, and approximate age.

Everyone has a legal duty to report if they see an older or disabled adult described above. Call even if you only have some of the information. Reports are confidential.

When you talk to residents, remind them to register with FEMA (Federal).

For FEMA, call 1-800-621-3362, visit or from a smartphone.

To report storm damage, call 311 (City of Houston).

While no one can replace what has been lost, please let older residents know that there are people available to make the process as easy as possible. Remember, older adults who are competent also have the right to refuse services.

Need additional help? Call Care for Elders at 713-595-8178.