Our Plan to Reopen the J

Monday, May 11, 2020
Posted by: Joel Dinkin, CEO & Lauren Kaufman Blachman, Board President

Dear Members,

As we plan to reopen the J, the health, safety and well-being of our members and staff continues to be our first priority. Our hearts are guided by our values of caring for those we serve, combined with the need to keep you healthy so we can all connect as a community more quickly.

After reviewing information, data, guidelines and recommendations provided by national, state and local leaders, healthcare providers and scientists, we have developed a plan for reopening in the safest way possible. We also recognize the need to be flexible, as information continues to change daily. We are eager to open again, as we have missed seeing all of you, yet meeting our community’s most critical needs takes priority over any other driving force.

Safety is a Partnership
To maximize everyone’s health and safety, it is important to create a partnership with our members and staff, understanding that everyone will play a critical role in maintaining a safe and healthy environment.

We have formed a Medical Advisory Committee comprised of local medical professionals, community leaders and board members to provide guidelines for our reopening. Before we reopen, we will provide you with details regarding how these guidelines will be implemented.

Please note that the steps and timeframes below are subject to change depending on the ongoing review of data, governmental and medical recommendations and what is happening in the community.

Larger View

Step 1: Completed and Ongoing
We’ve been in step one for a number of weeks now. Throughout the pandemic we’ve worked to maintain critical services to our community and maintained critical facilities and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected all areas of our campus.

Step 2: Currently Underway
Our staff have also developed comprehensive health & safety protocols based on the recommendations of the CDC and other health professionals as well as created staff training plans.

Step 3: Estimated for Late May to Early June
We currently anticipate proceeding to Step 3 in late May to early June and will communicate more specific dates in the near future along with hours and the operations, health & safety procedures.

We anticipate opening the outdoor tennis courts, outdoor pool and fitness center in the coming weeks. Please be aware that all of these facilities will not return immediately to full hours or capacity.

We are awaiting further direction from our government leaders to reopen the Bertha Alyce and West Houston early childhood schools, to plan carefully for the return of our youngest members.

Step 4: TBD
We hope to offer Summer Fun at the J as an alternative to J Camps for the summer of 2020 for children ages 3 years through 5th grade. While we are awaiting direction to begin, we will communicate program options and availability later this week to families currently enrolled in J Camps.
We anticipate being able to open our Houston Gymnastics Center as well as Laykie’s Gourmet Café at the J, expand hours of operation for fitness and the outdoor pool, and reopen the indoor tennis center as part of Step 4.

Virtual Classes Continue:
All programs that can be done virtually will continue to be offered online such as adult Jewish learning classes, Arts & Ideas programs, children and family programs, mind/body and exercise classes and more.

Some Services Closed:
Please make note that until further notice, there will be a number of programs and services that we will not be able to offer including group exercise, basketball gym access, guest use of facilities, in-person senior programs and birthday parties and facility rentals.

Ongoing Communication:
The landscape is changing quickly, and we will be in close communication as this plan evolves with the ever changing landscape. We plan to publish weekly updates, so check our website, your email inbox or social media for the latest news.

What will be constant is our dedication to caring for all members of our community and helping you safely reconnect to the people and programs you love. We are grateful for your patience, dedication and caring during this difficult time and will continue to update you frequently.


Joel Dinkin
Chief Executive Officer 

Lauren Kaufman Blachman
President, Board of Trustees


Category: News