The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is a community comprised of hundreds of extraordinary individuals, all representing something essential. Members of our capable staff put together Shabbat dinners, coach kids in the gym, and work with individuals with special needs. JCC members represent the vast array of programs, each impacting them in myriad ways. As you scroll through the videos below, keep in mind that each serves his or her purpose in the mosaic that makes up our vertical village on the Upper West Side. Each person featured here has a role to play, and his or her own way, makes our community better.

Series produced by Leah Rosensweet and Angelica Ciccone.


Coach Shereef
If you spend time in our third floor gymnasium, odds are, you know Coach Shereef. Not only has he taught children important sports skills, he's become the role model he would have loved to have during his own childhood.


Christian Lajara
For the past 14 years, Christian has taught infants, children, and teens to swim at the JCC. He also lost over 200 lbs, but what he gained is the real story.

To read our story about life on the pool deck that appeared in our Summer 2019 Program Guide, click here.


Kerin Robins
For 8 summers and counting, Kerin's brought her infectious spirit + positivity to JCC summer camps. While our campers learn many important values from her, she's learned a thing or two from them as well. Kerin was with the JCC Day Camp @ Pearl River until the summer of 2015. In 2016, we moved into our new home, Camp Settoga.


Orit Spanier - In Loving Memory
Battling an illness can be an isolating experience. Thanks to her dedicated JCC aquatics students, who called themselves her "Mermaids," Orit never had to feel alone. Orit Spanier passed away Feb 6, 2019. May her memory be for a blessing.


Zurisadai Robert
As a membership supervisor and one of the first faces people see when they come to the JCC, Zurisadai's message is simple--that we don't want you to leave! Become a JCC member today:


Nadia Sachs
In the decade-plus that Nadia Sachs has been taking ceramics at the JCC, she has created over 100 beautiful pieces of art. But more important, she's found a family. We had the pleasure of talking to Nadia in her UWS apartment.

To read our story about Senior ceramicists in action that appeared in our Winter/Spring 2019 Program Guide, click here.


Hannah Schrader
Few exemplify the JCC journey better than Hannah Schrader, who has been a part of the JCC community her entire life. To learn more about BBYO and other teen programs visit:



Allison Pillinger Choi
Member Allison Pillinger Choi co-founded Experiment in Dialogue, a JCC-hosted group that allows people with diverse viewpoints to come together over dinner and find common ground. Learn more about Allison and Experiment in Dialogue:

To read our story about EID that appeared in our Fall 2018 Program Guide, click here.


Rabbi Abigail Treu
Rabbi Abigail Treu works to build community by connecting people with programs that will enhance their lives Jewishly and spiritually.

ImmerseNYC is a pluralistic, feminist, community mikveh project that facilitates deep ritual experiences and educational programs. To learn more about ImmerseNYC, visit

To read our story about ImmerseNYC that appeared in our Fall 2018 Program Guide, click here.


Eve Landau
The Joseph Stern Center for Social Responsibility's mission is to engage people to become more effective civic actors through education and advocacy, and features programs including The Democracy Project, Volunteering, the JCC's Greening Initiative, and more.

Learn more about the Center and its exciting initiatives here.

To read our story about The Joseph Stern Center for Social Responsibility that appeared in our Fall 2017 Program Guide, click here.


Sarah Heller
Serious physical obstacles haven't kept JCC + Adaptations member Sarah Heller from participating in 50+ marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, and more. For her, every day is a gift to be cherished.

To read our story about Sarah Heller that appeared in our Fall 2018 Program Guide, click here.

For more information visit:


Sarah-Kay Lacks
Since 2004, Sarah-Kay has developed free and low-cost Shabbat and holiday celebrations for our community and beyond.

To read our story about Shabbat Shabbang that appeared in the Winter/Spring 2017 Program Guide, click here.


Sammy Kanter
As our 20s + 30s and Out at the J director, Sammy Kanter brought the 20s + 30s community together for Shabbat dinners, holiday celebrations, sports leagues, Israel programs, and more. He also led Out at the J, strengthening our LGBTQ community.

To read our story about Out at the J that appeared in our Fall 2017 Program Guide, click here.

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