Community update - From the desk of Judy Alperin Diamondstein

Patience is a virtue, or so my mother said.  But the staff of the Jewish Federation, Foundation and JCC may not be so virtuous.  They have been chomping at the bit to get the job done under some of the most trying of circumstances.
Even as of this writing, our offices have only begun to be connected to computer systems and still do not have telephone access.  While we anticipate those major systems to be finalized early next week as our temporary fitness location opens Monday, January 2nd at 5:00am at 4 Research Drive in Woodbridge, our staff members have applied their ingenuity to overcome those obstacles to continue to provide excellent service and support to the community.  Kol Hakavod!
Ours is also a tale of two cities --- on the one hand we are still grappling with the clean up and scope of the rebuilding project at Amity Road, yet on the other hand, we see the continuity of programming and activities, a beautiful new temporary home for fitness, recreation, camp and membership taking shape at 4 Research Drive and the community banding together with offers of support from synagogues, agencies and municipalities to ensure that life will go on as seamlessly as possible.
While we do not expect to understand the full scope of the work required to restore the JCC building until mid-January, we can already see the mammoth undertaking in progress.  Walking through the corridors and rooms is heartbreaking especially today as the gym floors were ripped up for removal.  And as painful as this process is, the promise of what may come soothes the soul.
What does our Jewish community look like in 2017?  What will it be in 2025 or 2035?  While we do not have a crystal ball, we can study and anticipate trends to help us plan for the best use of the 360 Amity Road location.  We do not yet know how the building will be re-imagined but we do know that it is the Jewish community's building and should offer opportunities for all.  How we maximize the potential of what may occur within the walls of the building and beyond will be our next challenge and we are anxious to begin working on sensible and sustainable solutions.
As the Chanukah holiday continues and brings with it stories of redemption and our ability to bring light into the darkness, we find strength in its stories and their meaning.  At the same time, we also embrace the turning of the calendar to a new year with the hope that 2017 will bring all of us much good health, happiness and renewal.
Please accept my best wishes on behalf of the staff and boards of the Jewish Federation, Foundation and JCC-from our families to your yours-for a wonderful year ahead.
Shabbat Shalom,
Judy Alperin Diamondstein
Chief Executive Officer