JCC MetroWest Coronavirus and Program Update (3/29): Read More


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JCC Operating Hours

Normal Facility Operating Hours

Sunday - SaturdayCLOSED

Fitness Center Hours

Sunday - SaturdayCLOSED

Gaelen Center for the Arts

Sunday - SaturdayCLOSED

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Sunday - SaturdayCLOSED

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Holiday Hours 2019-2020

Monday, September 02

Labor Day 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Sunday, September 29

Erev Rosh Hashanah 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Monday, September 30

Rosh Hashanah, Day 1

Tuesday, October 01

Rosh Hashanah, Day 2

Tuesday, October 08

Kol Nidre 5:30 am - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, October 09

Yom Kippur

Thursday, November 28

Thanksgiving Day 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Tuesday, December 24

Christmas Eve 5:30 am - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, December 25

Christmas Day 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Tuesday, December 31

New Year's Eve 5:30 am - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, January 01

New Year's Day 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, April 08

Erev Passover 5:30 am - 3:00 pm

Thursday, April 09

Passover, Day 1

Monday, May 25

Memorial Day 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Saturday, July 04

Independence Day 7:00 am - 3:00 pm

Attention Members

March 29, 2020





Dear Friends,

I hope this email finds you well and successfully adjusting to this new way of living, working, and connecting with others. Though our JCC MetroWest building is eerily quiet, our JCC MetroWest staff has been hard at work, creating wonderful new ways for people to connect to the JCC—and to each other— in just our first two weeks:

● More than 420 kosher meals have been delivered to 30 seniors—and growing

● 800 phone calls have been made to isolated seniors and participants in our Special Needs programs by JCC staff and Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest volunteers

● 21,000 people have watched, listened to, and engaged with our virtual program offerings

● Our Facebook Live videos, call-in shows, and Zoom programs have attracted 75,500 views (far exceeding even our wildest expectations!)

● Our newest JCC member was born—and his birth was celebrated on-air—during one of our Facebook Live programs

These numbers speak to the connections people crave and the role JCC MetroWest plays as a conduit for those connections throughout our community. Someone I know suggested, “We shouldn’t call it ‘social distancing,’ we should call it ‘physical distancing,’ because it’s important for us to stay socially connected even though we must stay physically apart.”


Just as our community needs us, JCC MetroWest needs our community—now more than ever. Like most non-profit organizations, JCC MetroWest does not have the financial reserves necessary to maintain our operation at its normal level for the duration of this shutdown. This means we have to reduce all our expenses to a bare minimum until we can re-open. Regretfully, this has required us to take the difficult step of temporarily furloughing 95% of our staff—and dramatically reducing the salaries of the few remaining employees who will continue to work to ensure the JCC is ready to open when the time comes. Those who have been furloughed will be eligible to receive unemployment benefits; however, contrary to popular belief, while these benefits are administered by the government, they are paid for by the JCC.


Here’s how you can help:

1. Effective April 1, 2020, your membership dues for JCC MetroWest will continue to support the critical work, inclusive mission, and professional staff of the J as a tax-deductible donation*.

2. If you are not able or willing to make these payments, you may freeze your membership at no cost starting April 1, and reactivate your membership with no penalty when the building reopens. If you wish to freeze your membership, please fill out this form no later than this Wednesday at 9 AM.

3. You may also decide to give additional funds to ensure that the critical work of the JCC continues. Please support us here.


Please note: if you have previously spoken to our membership team within the last 60 days to change the status of your membership, those changes will remain in effect.
Sadly, we will not be re-opening on Monday, March 30, as we had originally hoped. To be quite honest with you, no one knows when we will be given permission by authorities to re-open. When that time comes, however, JCC MetroWest will be READY. Our entire building has been cleaned, sanitized, and left in a safe and secure condition, which will enable us to re-open as quickly as possible once we’ve been given the go-ahead to do so.


Judaism teaches us about the intersection between the individual and the community. As Jews, it is incumbent upon each of us individually to fulfill the mitzvot (commandments); yet, some of them can only be fulfilled when we gather as a community. Such is the case during this time of physical distancing. By accepting responsibility for our roles as individuals and staying home over the short-term, we are protecting the long-term health and well-being of the larger community—and that, according to Jewish teaching, is more important than all the other mitzvot combined.


Stay home, stay well, and I look forward to seeing you at the J once this crisis is over.


Stuart Raynor

Chief Executive Office

*Please consult your tax advisor about pending tax benefits


Grocery stores that have special hours to accommodate our senior citizen population.

Whole Foods Market
West Orange, NJ

Store Hours: 9AM–8PM · (973) 669-3196
*Senior hours (ages 60 and older)  from 8am-9am.

ShopRite of Essex Green
West Orange, NJ · In Essex Green Shopping Center

Store Hours: 7:30 am- 9pm · (973) 736-9374
*Senior Hours (ages 60 and older)  6:30am-7:30 am.

Please note, ShopRite from Home now has added capacity to respond to needs and they have also implemented “drop at your door” service for delivery orders.

03/15/2020 • 12pm


After careful thought and numerous discussions with both our staff and volunteer leadership, we have made the decision to close JCC MetroWest—including our Fitness and Aquatics Center—effectively immediately. Our plan is to reopen on Monday, March 30; however, we remain mindful that this situation continues to be extremely fluid, and, as a result, that plan could change.

We have made this decision out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health and well-being of our members, our staff and the thousands of people who walk through our doors each day. We recognize and are grateful for the vital role JCC MetroWest plays in our community. As the “town square” of the Jewish community, we are working on ways we can help all of you continue to connect with us—and each other—virtually, as we continue to navigate this challenging time. We hope to provide meaningful and engaging programming that is accessible to you via digital means, and we encourage you to monitor your email, as well as visit our website to learn more in the days to come.

Judaism teaches that pikuach nefesh, the preservation of human life, takes precedence over all other commandments. And so, just as we are guided by the expertise of local, national, and global health authorities during this unprecedented situation, so are we guided by our Jewish heritage and values.

We look forward to the time—hopefully in the very near future—when our building is once again filled with the sounds of people of all ages gathering to learn together, laugh together, share a meal together, work out together and just be together.

Until then, please stay well, take care of yourselves, and keep washing those hands.  Please send your comments and questions to [email protected].

03/13/2020 • 3pm

With new updates about the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, local health authorities are asking community organizations to put protections in place wherever possible.

Here at JCC MetroWest, we have stepped up our already rigorous cleaning and disinfection of our equipment and facility, training of our staff on effective hygiene practices, monitoring of our team member’s health and the provision of additional hand sanitizers.

Following the CDC guidelines, JCC MetroWest is taking new steps in our fitness programming to keep you safe and healthy, effective Saturday, March 14th and until further notice. We continue to stay in contact with public health authorities and follow their guidance. Please be advised of the following:

The Fitness Center hours will be modified to close at 7pm Monday through Thursday. Other than closing earlier these days, all Center hours will be unaffected.
Kid Care services will be suspended as of today, Friday, March 13th.
Due to the close physical contact required, we are suspending all of the Aquatics programming which includes swim team as well as adult/child group and private swim lessons.
Due to the enclosed, close-proximity environment, we have closed our sauna and steam rooms and suspended our massage services.
We are supporting our most vulnerable populations by following the recommendations to suspend certain group exercise classes.
We are temporarily modifying the capacity of each our studios to enable participants to maintain a safe distance from one another. In Studio 1, this means 15 people. In Studio 2 and 4, this means 12 people.  In the Cycle Studio, 17 and in our pool it means 10 for aqua cycle and 15 for all other water exercise classes.
Our objective is to not implement a reservation system across all classes at this time; however, we will be requiring reservations for all cycle classes starting Sunday, March 15th.
In lieu of a reservation requirement for non-cycle classes, we will be instituting a ticket system. Be sure to obtain a ticket upon entering the class. Once the class is full, no one will be allowed to enter. This will be strictly enforced and we appreciate your cooperation.
We will be limiting the use of props and accessories during our classes and reinforcing that all items used are to be cleaned before and after a class by our participants.
We will try, where possible, to offer more group exercise classes to compensate for the reduced capacity, if needed.

Thank you for your patience as we continue working to keep the community healthy.

Pamella Bitner
JCC MetroWest General Manager

03/13/2020 • 2pm

We have been closely monitoring information and updates regarding COVID-19 (Corona Virus) from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the New Jersey and West Orange Departments of Health over the last couple of weeks. While, as of today, we continue to have no known cases in our JCC MetroWest community, we understand through health professionals and officials that gathering together in groups can perpetuate the spread of the virus.

In our community, there is clearly a trend towards closing public and private schools as well as synagogue based pre-schools. Generally, we look to the Livingston and West Orange public schools for guidance. Livingston has already made a decision to close its schools and West Orange appears to be preparing for a decision in the very near future.

For the health and wellbeing of our JCC MetroWest community as well as the broader community, we will be suspending youth programming for two weeks, effective Monday, March 16th. This includes our JCC MetroWest Early Childhood Center, Kids Club after-school program and children’s theater programs.

Our Kid Care services, Metro Marlins Swim Team and swim lessons will cease operations at the end of today, Friday, March 13th.

Additionally, please be advised our Special Needs Services programming will be suspended as of Monday, March 16th as well.

Our goal is to re-open these programs on Monday, March 30th. However, this is obviously a very dynamic situation so please continue to monitor your email messages from JCC MetroWest as well as our website.

Our fitness center, aquatics hall and St. Barnabas Physical Therapy Center will remain open until further notice. Please note our fitness center will be offering a reduced group exercise schedule, where social distancing practices will be put in place and extra dedicated cleaning staff will be activated to ensure the health and safety of our members. A detailed email will be sent to our fitness members shortly with all information.

As part of our reduced schedule, JCC MetroWest will be adjusting our hours as follows for the time being:

Monday – Thursday: 5:30am – 7:00pm
Friday: 5:30am – 6:00pm
Saturday – Sunday: 7:00am – 6:00pm

Additionally, we are postponing or canceling many upcoming events through the Passover holiday. For a full list, please visit our website.

We urge members and guests to please join us in thinking of the health and wellbeing of the community and ask the following questions before coming to the J:

Have you traveled abroad in the last 14 days?
Have you had contact with someone with Coronavirus?
Are you currently experiencing any symptoms such as cough, fever, shortness of breath?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, we ask that you DO NOT enter JCC MetroWest.

We know you have many questions and we will try our very best to answer them to the best of our abilities. For general questions, please email us here and we will respond as soon as possible. For programming questions, please get in touch with your program’s manager. JCC MetroWest staff contact information can be found here.

I am often amazed at the specific application of our weekly Torah portion to our own daily lives. This week’s portion Ki Tisa from Exodus, Chapter 30 gives us some very wise age-old advice certainly more relevant today than ever:

They shall wash their hands and feet, that they may not die. It shall be a law for all time for them – for him and his offspring – throughout the ages.

To the best of health and Shabbat Shalom,

Stuart E. Raynor
CEO, JCC MetroWest


Additional closed programming or canceled events:

  • Kidcare
  • Piano and voice lessons
  • Ceramics classes
  • Painting class
  • Pool Parties
  • 3/22 Family Funday Sunday
  • 3/25 CARES Meeting
  • As of Monday, March 16, Special Needs Services Programming
  • Melton School classes will be facilitated remotely beginning Sunday, March 15


As of today, Thursday, March 12, JCC MetroWest programming will continue as scheduled including:

  • Fitness and Aquatics
  • Early Childhood
  • Kids Club
  • Special Needs Services

Moana Jr. auditions for today and Sunday, March 15 have been postponed until further notice.

All senior programming will close as of Monday, March 16 including:

  • Adler Aphasia Center
  • Margulies Senior Center
  • Littman Memory Center
  • Men, Women, and Couples at Leisure
  • JETS
  • Senior Satellite Centers
  • Women inSync
  • St. Barnabas Lecture: Complimenting Your Heart
  • 4/2 Senior Adult Passover Seder
  • 4/20 St. Barnabas Lecture
  • 4/22 Newark Museum Trip
  • Project Healthy Bones (Fridays) canceled
  • Congregate Nutrition programs at JCC MetroWest and at the JCHC Village Apartments
  • Our Kosher Meals on Wheels Program will continue as usual

For general questions, please email us here and we will respond as soon as possible. For programming questions, please call your program’s manager.  JCC MetroWest staff phone numbers can be found here.

We wish our community good health and safety during these challenging times.



Senior Programming Will Be Suspended

JCC MetroWest will suspend our programs for senior citizens as of Monday, March 16th. The programs closing include the Margulies Senior Center, the Littman Memory Center, Men, Women, and Couples at Leisure, JETS, all Senior Satellite Centers and our Congregate Nutrition programs at JCC MetroWest and at the JCHC Village Apartments. Our Kosher Meals on Wheels Program will continue as usual.

The CDC advises that those over the age of 60 and those with underlying health conditions should practice social distancing and avoid large crowds in public spaces and large gatherings. A public space is any place where groups of people can freely gather. Examples include restaurants, shopping malls, grocery stores, movie theaters, concert halls, libraries, gyms or community centers.

Please note that the Sonia Kurland Memorial Purim Concert on Thursday, March 12th has been canceled and will be rescheduled.

For updated information regarding senior programming please call (973) 530-3448 or (973) 530-3480; outgoing messages will contain daily updates.

Individual senior programming staff can be reached at the following:

Gina Goldman: (973) 530-3448

Bonnie Schechter: (973) 530-3491

Joanne Bramnick: (973) 530-3414

Sharon Gordon: (973) 530-3480

We join our community in hoping for a quick resolution to this urgent situation and we are looking forward to continuing our senior programming once it is safe to do so.

New Jersey Jewish Film Festival Postponed

For the safety and health of our community, it has become necessary to postpone our 20th Annual New Jersey Jewish Film Festival set to begin on Thursday, March 19th.  We will reschedule the films when we know we can do so safely.  We expect that the modified festival will include screenings throughout the summer, September and October.

All purchased tickets will be exchangeable once the new dates are confirmed.

Please contact Sarah Diamond with any questions: (973) 929-2938 or [email protected]

All Other JCC MetroWest Programming To Proceed As Scheduled

All other JCC MetroWest programming will continue as scheduled including fitness and aquatics, Early Childhood and Kids Club; all special events related to those programs will proceed as scheduled as well.

For general questions, please email us here and we will respond as soon as possible. For programming questions, please call your program’s manager.  JCC MetroWest staff phone numbers can be found here.


We continue to monitor the evolving situation with coronavirus and are following all recommendations from the CDC, the NJ Department of Health and the Essex County Health Department.  At this time, there are no recommendations to close JCC MetroWest or to cancel and any JCC MetroWest programs or events.  We will continue to share updated information as it becomes available.  Please check the CDC’s website for the most complete information on coronavirus.


Attention Members:

Your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of your family and our community, is our most important priority. Since our last communication on March 2nd, we have continued to monitor the dynamic situation related to the Corona Virus (COVID-19).  At this point we are asking that all members, JCC MetroWest staff and visitors to our JCC comply with the following:

JCC MetroWest is requiring anyone who has traveled to a country listed by the CDC with a Level 3 or Level 2 advisory to self-quarantine for 14 days even if you are asymptomatic. Please do not re-enter JCC MetroWest until the 14 day quarantine period has been completed and there are no signs of flu-like illness or symptoms such as fever, cough, etc. Click here for additional information.

In addition, all members of the traveler’s family may not re-enter JCC MetroWest until a self-imposed quarantine of 14 days has been completed and there are no signs of flu-like illness or symptoms such as fever, cough, etc.

If you have come in physical contact with individuals who have traveled overseas to any of the countries listed as Level 2 or 3 on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website please do not enter JCC MetroWest.

Travel advice from the CDC is available here and US State Department travel information and advisories are available here. We recommend you review these and other pertinent websites before traveling abroad as you may have travel and return restrictions imposed upon you and your family.  Please note that these restrictions are fluid and can be changed quite quickly by the US government.  Also, note that many airlines have been canceling flights even prior to information posted by the CDC.

Our one and only goal is to keep our JCC MetroWest community as safe and healthy as possible.  Thank you for taking these important steps to assist us.  A list of precautions and actions you can take to help you and your family remain healthy can be found here.

Thank you for your help and support,

Stuart E. Raynor
CEO, JCC MetroWest

Attention Members:

As concern about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows across our community and around the world, I wanted to let you know about the steps JCC MetroWest is taking—and the steps each of you can take—to continue to help ensure your own safety and well-being, as well as the safety and well-being of everyone who walks through our doors each day.

Last Friday, I, along with my JCC colleagues from across the country, had the opportunity to participate in a conference call with representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We at JCC MetroWest are currently following all of their recommendations, as well as those outlined by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) and the West Orange Health Department with regards to virus prevention practices – and will continue to do so.  We have cleaning protocols in place as well as foaming hand sanitizer throughout the building for your use.  Additionally, as recommended by the CDC, we have started planning for possible future scenarios that may require additional action and will keep you informed, should any of those scenarios become necessary.

Though the conversation about Coronavirus seems to be dominating the news cycle, it is important to remember that we are still enduring a very active seasonal flu season. As it stands now, the flu has affected far more of the population than Coronavirus, and if you haven’t already gotten a flu shot, it’s not too late to do so.

We ask for your help in keeping you, your families and the members of our community healthy. Here are some effective methods to protect everyone from respiratory viruses:

  • If you are sick, especially with fever, stay home. If you are not sick, avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. That is about the time it takes to recite the ABC’s or sing “Happy Birthday.” While using hot water is preferred, what is most important is the duration of your handwashing.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (as all our hand sanitizers throughout our building do).
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow—or, better yet, cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Do not shake hands. Wave, do the elbow-bump, or just say, “Hi!”
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces—this includes smartphones, tablets, computer mice, doorknobs and keyboards. Common household cleansers have proven to be effective in preventing the spread of disease. For our Fitness members, this also means wiping off all gym equipment before and after you use it.
  • Trash receptacles are conveniently located throughout the J—please use them.
  • The CDC is recommending that healthy people not wear face masks. Face masks do not protect people who are not sick from being exposed to germs; in fact, they could wrongly convey to the people around you that you are sick when you are perfectly healthy. Additionally, using face masks incorrectly when healthy can inadvertently make you ill.

Until this situation is resolved, we will continue to defer to the CDC and other health professionals for guidance on how best to prevent the spread of infectious disease. We also promise to keep you updated and informed as this situation continues to unfold.

Finally, should you have any questions about any of this, we will do our best to answer them as best we can. In the meantime, we urge you to please follow the recommendations of the CDC as outlined above, as they are the ultimate experts when it comes to addressing public health issues.

Thank you in advance for your help and support,

Stuart E. Raynor
CEO, JCC MetroWest