About the J
The David Posnack Jewish Community Center is located in the heart of southwest Broward County. Here at the "J", we are dedicated to making a difference in peoples' lives on a daily basis. From infant to senior, year round, the "J" is a place that offers endless possibilities for you and your family to grow. You can choose from a wide variety of programs, services and amenities that will enhance your sense of community, culture, education, enrichment, fitness and so much more.
If you're looking for sports and recreational activities, you can enjoy any of our amenities including a state-of-the-art fitness center, aquatics, basketball, tennis, racquetball/handball, dance, yoga, indoor running/walking track, martial arts, batting cages, personal and group training and so much more. If you're looking for cultural arts and education, attend any of our annual special events such as the Diane & Barry Wilen Jewish Book Festival, Jewish Film Festival and Jewish Music Festival. And if you have little ones in your family, our Susan and Saul Singer Early Childhood Learning Center is a Gold Seal Award recipient for the highest quality in childcare programs. You can feel confident that your child will thrive and learn in a safe and loving environment.
We welcome people of all ages, faiths and cultures to join our center.
Ask us how you can become a member today! Schedule a tour.
A Message from the Board Chair
I am honored, humbled and excited to be the new board chair or better said, “chairwoman” of the David Posnack JCC.
When I was 6 years old, I gave a gift of $2 from my piggy bank to help relieve the plight of a needy family, whose hardships I had read about. My gift was inspired by my mother who taught me the values of social responsibility, giving back and tzedakah at an early age. She was remarkable in her lifelong dedication to helping others, and she wanted me to be a “giver” too. Experiences like this shaped my life and will impact some of the goals I hope to achieve during my term as board chair.
In a similar vein, my parents made an important decision that led me to this day — they enrolled me in nursery school at the Memphis JCC. The JCC was a new agency in town and the nursery school class was a new program with no awards or ratings on social media, but my parents took a major leap of faith. As it turned out, the Center’s little nursery school class gave me an educational jump start and a lifelong involvement with the JCC. I went on to summer camp at the Center, was on the swim and diving teams, was president of a pre-teen club and got my first job as a JCC camp counselor. Growing up, it was a treat for my family to go to the Center on summer weekends to swim, and the Center was a huge part of our lives.
So, it was only natural that when my husband, Barry, and I moved to Hollywood, Florida, and became parents ourselves that we would seek out the JCC. Barry became involved when the J was still housed in a small building on Hollywood Blvd; I became active when my sons, Jeff and Craig, attended camp, and I went on to become camp committee chair in 1988. In 1990, I was elected to the board of directors and love this place so much I have hung around ever since.
Why did I agree to be board chair? Because of two things: passion and impact.
I am exceedingly passionate about what we do here. The J is where children receive lifelong benefits from our outstanding early childhood education, camp, after-school programs, and youth leadership programs; where people with special needs participate and are nurtured; where we feature great cultural arts programs including authors on the New York Times Best Sellers list. The J is a place that provides Israeli and multicultural programming; hot lunches and social services for seniors; bereavement, caregivers and Parkinson’s support groups and health, wellness and recreation programs and facilities for all. This is a place that teaches Jewish values and traditions, that provides community engagement and works cooperatively with other community agencies, synagogues and organizations. This is a place where new ideas are welcomed and implemented; a place that makes every effort to remain relevant over time, but that values its history; where staff and lay leaders work as a team! This is my happy place, and I hope it is yours!
I also said yes because I want to make an impact. Together with our board, staff and membership, I want to make a positive difference in our community and enrich people’s lives now and in the future. In addition to strengthening and expanding our programming; upgrading facilities; and maintaining a self-sustaining financial model via operations, philanthropy and legacy campaigns, I want to revitalize the social service aspect of our agency upon which the JCC movement was built.
Specifically, I want to sharpen our focus on building a caring community with an initiative called JCares. My plans include:
1) Increase volunteerism. Our volunteer corps spiked when we hosted the JCC Maccabi games and ArtsFest in 2015, but numbers have dropped in the aftermath of the games. I want to put some excitement back into volunteering at the Center. We need celebrity readers in the preschool, servers in the senior lunchroom, helpers on Giborim U field trips, in classes and at Sunday socials and more. Volunteering will not only help those we serve, but research shows that it also has social, emotional, and physical benefits for the volunteer. Volunteering is good for your health and hands-on volunteering will give you more insight into how we touch lives and into why our work matters so much.
2) Expand programming for individuals with special needs. This includes Giborim U which we started in February 2017 and provides yearlong activities that focus on life skills, sports and wellness, socialization and the arts for all ages. We need to expand services for individuals with special needs outside of our walls.
3) Enhance care for our seniors. We can directly increase their quality of life with social work services, a lunch program that serves up healthy food, a recipe for “schmoozing,” and cultural and educational programs.
4) Infuse mitzvah projects. I want to accomplish this throughout the J and work cooperatively with other organizations outside the J for worthy causes. In departments throughout the center, I want to highlight projects that board members, staff and JCC members and the community can participate in to perform acts of tikkun olam (repairing the world) and make a difference. Collaborative projects led by staff and lay leaders will be encouraged. We will build team unity, encourage giving back, and provide a sense of meaningful accomplishment.
5) Increase monies available for scholarships. I want to increase funds to help those in need of assistance to access our quality early childhood, after-school and camp programs and our Giborim and Giborim U programs for children and adults with special needs.
6) Share impact stories. We must fully celebrate the power of how we change lives and help people “live up” to their potential, meet their goals, grow and learn in our programs and connect with others. We can highlight impact stories on our branding posters; create an “Our Impact” tag on our website; share our impact in the community through the media and a new annual state of the center report that I would like to initiate.
In his New York Times best seller, Give and Take, Adam Grant, psychologist and professor at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, highlights how helping others drives our own success and happiness in business and in life. I urge you to include this book in your reading list if you haven’t read it already. Learn how giving time and/or money to help others can make us happier people and more successful leaders. Doing good for others is good for you, personally and professionally, and good for organizational performance.
Our J has accomplished so much, but we must always strive to be better. As a JCC, we are non-denominational, inter-generational, open to all and have the ability to touch more lives than any other Jewish institution because of the breadth and scope of people who walk through our doors. Let’s take this opportunity to support our interest in Jewish life and values and run with it!
With warmest regards,
Diane Wilen, Ph.D.