Our community building means so much to so many who believe it should be maintained, improved and cherished for generations to come. Become part of this effort. Building community. Building strength. Building momentum and building a future. Your gift to the Building Campaign will help preserve this important resource for our community.

  • BUILDING Community

    "The fire and the closure that followed reminded us what this building was all about. The significance of our community building was not in the four walls, but in the activities that brought people together, all under the same roof. It was people of all ages doing what they love, learning new skills, smiling and greeting each other - that’s the force of our community building." Dr. Norm Ravski, former President of the Jewish Federation of Greater New ...

  • BUILDING Strength

    "The construction process at the Beckerman/Lender building following the fire provided an opportunity to make several important modifications to the building, which will allow the JCC to better serve the community. We worked hard to strengthen and secure the future of this tremendous community resource. " -Scott Hurwitz, President of the JCC of Greater New Haven


What was the cause of the fire?

A defective element in one of the men's sauna heaters sparked the fire. It was a recently replaced mechanism.  All safety measures and procedures had been followed and the fire was ruled accidental. Thanks to the caring and expertise of trained staff, the building was evacuated quickly and there were no injuries reported. 

Where did the fire damage happen?
The fire started in the men's sauna. It impacted the men's and women's spas and locker rooms as well as the room directly above it and some of the administrative offices.  Smoke and water damage affected the entire building and its infrastructure. Every element of the building from walls, floors and ceilings to duct work, wiring and plumbing was impacted, not to mention supplies, furniture and equipment.  

What did the insurance cover?
Our insurance policy paid for cleaning, repair and construction expenses needed to bring the building to its condition before the fire. It also paid for improvements needed due to changes in code. And fortunately a supplemental business interruption policy covers some lost revenue. However,  improvements which were necessary to maintain our relevant and competitive position in the marketplace were not covered. Furthermore, it will not pay for gaps in revenue which are expected beyond August of 2018 as we build back lost business revenue. 

What improvements were made? 
The post-fire construction process provided opportunities to make improvements at a lower cost. For example, since the Beckerman Gym floor required complete replacement,  we chose to install a multi-sports floor in one of the two gyms, to allow for for expanded program opportunities such as floor hockey. Improvements made include the new welcome desk which also functions as a security checkpoint, the refinishing of the Vine Family Auditorium, the new Café 360 and the adjunct Terrace Room, new paint, cabinets, shelving and floors at the Beverly Levy Early Learning Center, a new MakerSpace and a STEAM center, the Fleischman Family Center, the Cube- a co-working space, new Hoos Family Art gallery, new configuration for the fitness center, lounge and studios, upgraded locker rooms and spas, new Rothberg Climbing Wall, upgraded wifi and a new multi-purpose floor at the Beckerman Gym.

How were the improvements decided?
In the weeks and months after the fire we conducted a community-wide survey, town-hall meetings, and focus groups. We initiated our own version of "Shark Tank" with two committees looking at many possibilities.  Ultimately, proposals were then brought to our lay leadership board for approval. 

What was the monetary extent of the fire damage?
Including clean up, repair, lost business revenues, design and construction, more than $6 million in costs will be incurred.

What was the total cost of the improvements?
Approximately $850,000 will be spent on building enhancements.

How are Capital Campaign funds used?
Prior to the fire, the community building was approaching 25 years of service with aging systems without any contingency savings.  The Capital Campaign funds will carry the cost of the new investments, much needed repairs to the facility and provide savings for challenges sure to come.    

How are you recognizing donors?
A beautiful donor wall hang in the main lobby made of different sized glass pieces fit together in a mosaic-like design.  All donors will be acknowledged on the wall.  Gifts associated with a fixed, designated room or space, will have an individual plaque in addition to being recognized on the main donor wall.

Are there any naming opportunities?
Yes, naming opportunities are still available at the giving level of $18K+. Please contact Amy Holtz, Director of Development, for additional information. (203) 387-2424 x254.

Where can I see the names of the other donors?

All donors will be acknowledged on a beautiful glass wall in our main lobby. To view the growing honor roll, please use scroll down this page.