UJA-Federation of NY, the JCC’s central partner in this endeavor, took note of an emerging need for Harlemites who self-identify as “Jewishly under-engaged” to have a storefront to call their own—one that could become a hub of Jewish life in the historical, dynamic, vibrant neighborhood of Harlem. After a rigorous community scan process facilitated by The Public Good between March and November 2016, JCC Harlem: An initiative of Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan in collaboration with UJA-Federation of NY opened a 6,000-square-foot space, at 318 West 118th St., in January 2017. The community scan process has closely instructed our inaugural program offerings, from a focus on early childhood and school-age children’s programs to the significant need for inclusive, accessible (financially and otherwise) Jewish ritual and holiday experiences that include the entire family. We also offer programs in the areas of health and wellness, arts and culture, service learning, and much more. We intend to continue the process of assessing community needs and creating programming in response to those needs in perpetuity.
JCC Harlem is a community space on West 118th Street that is welcome to all. An initiative of Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan in collaboration with UJA-Federation of NY, JCC Harlem creates unique and diverse access points to Jewish and communal life for members of the Harlem community. We are an institution that is at once both intentionally Jewish and committed to facilitating experiences between those who identify Jewishly and those who identify otherwise—in service of connecting, growing, and learning within an ever-changing Jewish landscape.