A New JCC in Westchester

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Harold & Elaine Shames JCC on the Hudson in Tarrytown. (Photo courtesy of the Shames JCC, via Jewish Week)

On the site of the former General Motors Training Facility in Tarrytown, the first Jewish community center to be opened in 40 years in Westchester County just had its ribbon-cutting, reports Merri Rosenberg in The Jewish Week.

The Tarrytown Harold & Elaine Shames JCC on the Hudson, as the $6.5 million, 75,000-square-foot facility is named, offers a fitness center, aquatic center with two pools, dedicated spaces for children and teenagers, a full gymnasium and a variety of studios and classrooms for expanded program offerings. The next phase of the project will include an auditorium, café, music suites and administrative offices.

As Elliot Forchheimer, executive director of the Westchester Jewish Council, said, “The opening of the expanded Shames JCC on the Hudson is bringing enormous enthusiasm to the Rivertowns area, one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in Westchester. The JCC will become a focal point for the local Jewish community as a place for people of all ages and interests to gather together, to celebrate their Judaism together and all within a world-class facility.” 

According to  UJA-Federation of New York’s 2011 Jewish Community Study, the Jewish population in the Rivertowns grew by more than 19 percent between 2002 and 2011, compared to 5 percent across Westchester and 9 percent in the eight-county New York City region.

Situated as it is in one of the key “river towns” of Westchester, the Shames JCC is already drawing substantial interest. The facility had already signed up 1,000 members by the June 7 ribbon-cutting, and is expected to have 1,800 by June 2018 and ultimately 2,200-2,500 members.

Go to The Jewish Week to read what the new JCC’s executive director, Rabbi Andrew Ergas, has to say about how the center hopes to appeal to millennials, boomers and Generation Xers.

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