All of us that work at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC and call it our second home look forward to each and every day. The J is defined by you, our members, and driving up to an empty parking lot and dark building is both difficult and heartbreaking. On behalf of our entire staff team, our Board President, Lauren Kaufman Blachman, and our Board of Trustees, we hope that you are faring as well as possible during this difficult time. We thank you for your unwavering support and know we will get through this together.
Join us as we do our part to help our community in this time of need. The J is partnering with the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center for a Community Blood Drive. The Blood Center's mobile coach will be stationed at the J at 5601 S. Braeswood, and those interested in donating should schedule an appointment.
We have made the difficult decision to cancel all non-essential programs and close all facilities of the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC, which includes the Merfish Teen Center, Bertha Alyce Early Childhood School, Ellen Boniuk Early Childhood Center, Houston Gymnastics Center, Fitness Center and Boniuk Family Tennis Center beginning Monday, March 16 through Sunday, March 29.
Thursday, March 12 | 9:30 PM
I apologize for the timing of this email, but we are facing unprecedented circumstances that none of us have ever experienced. We continue to search for the best path to take in regard to our programs and services and providing for your continued health and safety.
Please make note of the following:
As a follow up to our email from last week about Covid-19, and given the latest headlines regarding the spread of the virus in Houston, I wanted to update you about the status of our programs as well as share some critical health-related resources.
Our staff and lay leaders will continue to balance providing critical social services, child care and maintaining other programs while fulfilling other needs while ensuring that your health and safety is our top priority. We continue to increase cleaning throughout the J and ask you to be mindful of the CDC recommended published guidelines before participating in any J related activities.
The Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is one of the top headlines in almost every nightly news broadcast and the top subject in a majority of public and private conversations throughout the world. This virus attacks the respiratory system and is highly contagious. The virus was first detected in China but has now spread to much of Europe, Asia and the United States.
As we hear news stories of the continuous spread of this virus on a daily basis, it is important to understand the facts about how to best prevent it from affecting you and your family and community.
The Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center is committed to the safety, health and well-being of our staff, members and participants. As the world community monitors the news about the spread of the new Coronavirus (COVID-19), I want to assure you that the senior leadership team at the J is keeping up to date on the situation, listening to recommendations from appropriate authorities, and taking proactive steps to minimize disease transmission. In fact, members of our senior leadership team participated in a call recently with the CDC specifically for JCCs to discuss this global concern facilitated by the JCC Association.
As your Evelyn Rubenstein JCC President and Chief Executive Officer, we would like to take this opportunity to share some important updates about the J as we look to the future.
Prior to Hurricane Harvey, we were engaged in a master planning process for the Levit campus which would have included significant renovations and updates to our 50-year-old building. Hurricane Harvey forced us to pause our planning and fundraising to focus on reconnecting the community to the J. We set about reengaging programs and completing post-Harvey renovations. The last of the renovations was completed in December, with the installation of the flood gates and wall in front of the Joe Weingarten Building to protect the J from future flood damage.
Throughout the months-long process, we - like many homeowners - found ourselves contemplating our future. We are pleased to announce that, at our February meeting, the Board of Trustees of the J voted by an overwhelming majority to proceed with plans to reinvest in the Levit campus. We also remain committed to expanding our off-site and outreach programs and opportunities for meaningful Jewish engagement across Houston.
As we continue our recovery from Hurricane Harvey, I wanted to provide you with a number of important facility updates regarding ongoing renovations and repairs that are not related to flood damage.
I know that everyone is well aware that the lower level flooded, and it required that we replace our entire central plant. We have been concerned about our ability to mitigate against further flood damage....