Rosen JCC History
Founded in 1994, the Jack & Lee Rosen Jewish Community Center (Rosen JCC) began as a satellite branch of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Orlando. But after becoming incorporated as an independent organization in 2015 and with donations provided by Harris Rosen and The Harris Rosen Foundation in 2009 and 2016 respectively, the organization has expanded to include a state-of-the-art community center, a school, fitness center, multipurpose theater and more in Southwest Orlando.
With a strong and well-earned reputation to uphold, the leadership at the Rosen JCC continues to work daily to fulfill the organizations mission of building community, strengthening family life, and promoting Jewish values.
Dr. Reuben Romirowsky, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) says it is important to note that one does not have to be of Jewish faith to call the Rosen JCC home. The Rosen JCC takes pride in its diverse local community and embraces and welcomes people of all faiths and backgrounds.
“It is not just a Jewish institution. We affirm our faith tradition, but our motto is ‘Better Together’ because we share more together than we have differences and if we celebrate what we have in common we are all going to be happier and successful,” says Dr. Romirowsky. “It’s a simple motto but to be better together you have to believe that you’re not better alone.”
So, in an intentional effort to rebrand, the Rosen JCC has initiated a Town Square Concept. As such, the organization is looking to be a convener for the community, providing a space for families to access programs and services that add value to every stage of the lifecycle. This vision is a radical pivot away from what is traditionally known as a Jewish Community Center.
Town Square Concept
Historically, the Rosen JCC’s business model was founded on the relationships built with families and their little ones from 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months) to 6 years old (the accredited early childhood program). As the organization continues to grow, Dr. Romirowsky says there is a growing need to cater to the diverse lifecycle needs of families living in Orlando so that connections built with community members do not cease to exist once the youth move on to primary school.
An example of this would be the Brain Fitness Academy, a program the Rosen JCC has developed in partnership with the Dr. Phillips Y for those middle-aged and older.
“The Brain Fitness Academy is a program for cognitive decline and it’s a statement of intention that people in middle and later life need a program to help them prevent further deterioration before there is more dementia or worse Alzheimer’s,” says Dr. Romirowsky.
Sustaining and maintaining the accredited early childhood program amid innovation is a challenge, but Dr. Romirowsky says he is proud of the parents and board members who are willing to adjust so that the Rosen JCC can fulfill its larger sense of purpose. Still, the Rosen JCC is the same caring community it has always been, promoting diversity, inclusion, respect for all and giving back to the community.
A Space for All
“There is no judgment. There is no stigma. You’re welcome here, you are supported and there is no barrier to coming through our doors,” says Dr. Romirowsky. “We love the notion that there’s something for everybody and while there isn’t something for everybody right now the goal is to have enough for enough people that fills in some of the gaps that currently exist as the community is literally growing in front of our eyes.”
The Rosen JCC is always looking to partner with other nonprofit and corporate organizations that share the vision and mission they have as a town square.
“It’s not about being bigger, but it’s about having more impact on more people,” Dr. Romirowsky says. “We hope that at some point this is a one-stop-shop for multiple programs and services that either can be housed here or supported here and in other locations in the community.”
For more information visit: RosenJCC.org or call 407-387-5330.