The Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Scranton has always been a place for members to have fun, make friends, and socialize. But recently, with new renovations, new classes, and a new swimming pool, it offers even more opportunities for members to enjoy being a member. The annual community open house, which was held on Sunday, January 17 from 11am to 3pm, gave non-members a chance to see what the JCC has to offer.
In the first floor, kids played basketball in the gymnasium. This gave them the chance to think about being part of the Youth & Biddy Basketball Leagues, which began on December 27 and will continue through mid-March. The leagues are available for boys ages 10-13. Biddy leagues are available for boys and girls ages 6-9. Youth league games are on Sundays 12:30pm and 1:30pm. Biddy league instructions and games are held on Sundays, 3pm-4pm. Cost is $30. The member discount rate is $20.
Downstairs in Physical Education Foyer is where The Spa and The Health & Fitness Center are located. The Spa has two racketball/handball courts, including the Scott J. Tepper Handball Court. Lessons are on Sundays 11am-1pm and Wednesdays, 7pm-9pm.
There are more activities that promote physical fitness in the Health & Fitness Center. On this side of the foyer, there is the brand new, 4,000-sq.ft. Albert & Ann Margolies Fitness Center. This state-of-the-art facility features the most modern exercise equipment known to man. It has the latest kinds of treadmills. It also has Cybex ARC Trainers, which have TV screens that turn on as a person exercises on it. The ARC Trainers also monitor miles ran and calories burnt. The fitness center has six flat-screen TV’s hung on the walls so that anyone can watch TV while exercising. These TV sets feature 180 channels of DIRECTV. Headsets are available. For those who would rather read while exercising, magazines are provided. For strengthening biceps and triceps, arm curl machines reveal which part of the arm or shoulder muscle will get toned up from it. Other exercise machines include elliptical cross trainers, StairMaster Stepmills, stationary bicycles, and a Jacobs Ladder.
The Albert & Ann Margolies Fitness Center is dedicated to the memory of Sally Zilenchick-Their, who made a generous donation to the renovation. Staff members of the JCC gave tours of both the Spa and the Health & Fitness Center.
The JCC also has personal trainers and a cancer wellness team, which assists cancer patients and survivors enjoy three 8-week sessions of exercise, water therapy, massage therapy, yoga, and nutrition. Session I is from January 11 to March 4. Session II runs from April 11 to June 3. Session III runs from October 31 to December 23. The cost is $90 per session of up to 24 classes per session. Wednesday evenings have a little program called Yoga for Grief, which uses meditation and relaxation for students to explore and cope with their grief, while being shown compassion and support.
The Jewish Community Center of Scranton also has programs for their senior center. Residents ages 60 and over have the chance to listen to speakers present certain topics. They also get to make arts and crafts. The seniors, who have an adult membership, receive discounts on trips, such as Mount Airy Casino, Shawnee Playhouse and Dinner, Villa Roma Resort in the Catskill Mountains, and Broadway.
The JCC of Scranton also has many programs for children as well UTA Karate Masters Bob and Lorrie teach basic and advanced Tang Soo Do on Mondays and Wednesdays. There is also Kids Yoga with Mindy Hill; a dance program called Dance Expressions, in which kids learn dance moves with Shavy; Science Sunday; School’s out programs. The JCC also a youth lounge, where kids can play foosball, Ping-Pong, air-hockey or Nintendo Wii. During the summer, there will be an 8-week summer camp called Camp Daleville, which will have two sessions. Sessions I runs from June 20 to July 15. Session II runs from July 18 to August 11. The purpose of this camp is for kids to build social skills as well as building self-esteem. The Scranton JCC is one of the main sponsors of Camp Daleville.
Among other renovations of the Scranton JCC is the new pool, for which there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand re-opening party on Sunday, November 15, 2015. This renovation took even months and cost $1.4 million. The pool now has new electric filtration, a new HVAC (heating and air conditioning) system, an extended pool seating capacity, and new windows. These added features make it possible for new swimming programs and classes. Private lessons are given by lifeguards for people age 3 and over. Four lessons cost $55. There are also aquatic classes, which involve exercising in the pool. Deep Watercise is a class involving a high-intensity workout at the deep end. Hydro wellness is also a workout but allows people to use buoyancy and resistance equipment. People can also learn Zumba in the water: Zumba H2O and Aqua Zumba taught by instructor Jessica Johnson. Starting in February, there will be Parent and Child Swim Class. Instructor Tricia Kunz will teach basic swimming classes for parents and children ages 6-24 months.
Besides Aqua Zumba, Jessica Johnson also teaches classes in the multi-purpose room, which is across from the pool room. She teaches: PIYO – a blend of Pilates and yoga; fusion; punk-rope – jump rope with speed and agility drills. Classes for these started on January 4 and run through April 1, 2016. For the community open house, Johnson taught a special session of PIYO.
The Community Open House also had free hot dogs for the people. Radio station Fuzz 92.1 had a stand with free merchandise such as bumper stickers.
The JCC of Scranton is open to all people whether they are Jewish or not. It is also not just for people who want to start a New Year New You regimen. It is for people who just want to have fun, make friends, and socialize.
“We emphasize that everyone is welcome,” said Joe Granza, health and wellness coordinator.