SJCC Closed until further notice. Find updates and program information here

COVID-19 Updates

March Break Camp, Passover Camp, PD Day Programs

All payments have been refunded.

Memberships

All payments have been suspended, and accounts will not be charged.

JCC Summer Camps

We are forging ahead and planning for the summer while at the same time considering the possibility of a shortened program, as long as it is safe to do so. Based on guidance from the City of Ottawa and Health Canada, we will make a final decision by mid-June. In the unfortunate circumstance where we do have to cancel the entire summer of camp, the option of a full refund will be available.

The JCC Summer Camps team is meeting regularly and will keep you updated on our plans as they progress.

General Refund Information

A full refund will be issued for all programs that have officially been cancelled by the SJCC. Not all programs have been officially cancelled at this time as we remain hopeful that we will be able to welcome you back to the SJCC soon. If, and when, the program you have registered for is cancelled, you will be notified and given the option of a full refund or credit to be used toward a future SJCC program.

May 22

I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying this fantastic weather! Hopefully we get a little rain for all the plants, flowers, and grass. We’re into week 10 of all this craziness, and to me, it still feels like a bad dream.

I’m in constant contact with colleagues, both locally and throughout North America. From a purely JCC perspective, we are in far better shape than many communities. Many JCC’s and communities are suffering, especially some in the US. I do think our Government has done a commendable job of keeping people and businesses whole.

The Jewish Federation of Ottawa (JFO), our biggest funding source, has done an outstanding job of assessing local needs and maintaining positive communications with constituent agencies. The JFO announced this week an Emergency Campaign for Community Resilience. This $2.7M effort will support agencies providing essential services, and, support agencies like the JCC, to stay afloat as we slowly look to restart our business. To offer some perspective, our lost revenue from membership and programs, averages to more than $300,000 monthly. Please consider supporting this Emergency Campaign. Click here to make a donation.

We’re busy working on the protocols necessary to reopen. We’re waiting for standards from Government, but have also formed a Task Force to design our own protocols. I suspect that we will go beyond Government recommendations to help ensure your safety when we reopen. We expect a phased reopening. Although it is hard to speculate at this point what that might look like we do know that we will suspend towel service and keep the locker rooms closed for the short term. We continue to plan for summer camps in the hopes that we will be given the green light soon.

In terms of our wonderful facility, we are prepping the outdoor pool with the notion that we will be able to operate this season. We are currently performing our annual maintenance on the indoor pool so that when we reopen, we won’t have to close this facility in August/September. I know that once we’re able to reopen we will have to enforce protocols and strict limitations on the number of people utilizing facilities. I trust you will be patient as the safety of our members and staff is our primary concern.

As for the fitness centre, spinning studio, and gymnasium, my guess is that these facilities will be part of the last phase of our reopening plan. The fitness centre is getting a bit of a redesign. We’re removing several pieces of equipment to create more space. We’re also replacing all free weights and benches, and installing a new rubberized floor in the cardio section of the facility. We’ve purchased all new spinning bikes. Maximum class size for spinning will be reduced to 13 participants. We will also have limits on other group fitness classes when we’re able to resume programs.

As you can see we’re keeping busy to make sure that when we reopen we can serve you in a safe manner with the quality services and facilities you have grown to expect.

Please contact me if you have any questions bsohn@jccottawa.com

Enjoy the warmth and the sunshine! We hope to see you soon. All the best!

Barry Sohn,
President/COO

May 6

I hope you and yours are staying well and enjoying the nicer weather we’ve been experiencing.

I am grateful to all of you who have emailed offering support and positive energy. We still don’t know when we might be able to reopen but I am encouraged by the recent comments from Government that we might be able to begin thinking about reopening in June/July. I’ve participated in several meetings to discuss reopening strategies and designing protocols to ensure safety for members and staff. This will, of course, be a top priority for us.

I’m happy to report that we are making some changes to our Fitness Centre and SpinFit Studio that will be completed prior to our reopening. We’re replacing the flooring in the cardio section of the fitness centre (the flooring in the weights section was replaced a few years ago) and replacing all free weights and benches. In addition, our SpinFit Studio is being upgraded with brand new Schwinn AC Power Spinning bikes. We’ll be looking at more renovations down the road.

Lastly, we’ve had numerous internal conversations about whether or not we will be running our wonderful summer camps this year. It’s still too soon to make a final decision but we remain optimistic and will make a decision by mid-June (hopefully sooner).

In the meantime, you all stay healthy and well.

I enjoy seeing many of you during my numerous walks with my dogs every day.

All the best!

Barry Sohn
President, COO

April 20

I hope everyone is staying well and enjoyed the unique nature of this year’s holidays.

It’s hard to believe that we’ve now been closed for over 5 weeks. It is impossible, at this point, to speculate when we might reopen. Many of you have sent emails expressing your desire to help by continuing to pay membership dues and/or offer donations to support the JCC. These kind gestures are greatly appreciated. We have decided at this point that since we suspended all payments (membership/programs) on March 24, it is easier for us to manage our system by maintaining the suspension of all payments. For those of you wishing to offer financial support, we would love to hear from you when we reopen.

For those of you who participate in our Summer Camps, we posted a notice on our camp web site page stating that a final decision, whether or not we can run any of our wonderful Camps, will be made by mid-June. As for our Outdoor Pool, we will be doing necessary maintenance beginning in May and hope we will be in a position to operate for at least part of the summer. It remains to be seen.

I want to thank everyone who supported our 7th Annual Biathlon fundraiser. This year, due to the pandemic, our Biathlon became a phantom event. Despite not being able to swim and spin, we raised almost $11,000 for our scholarship fund. That will be put to good use once we reopen. A special thanks to Sabina Wasserlauf for her leadership in chairing the Biathlon, and Carla Gencher our Health & Wellness Director for coordinating the effort.

Our roof replacement project was 80% completed this past fall. The only remaining area to be replaced is the area over the gymnasium. That was scheduled for this coming fall, but given current circumstances, it’s unclear if we will be able to proceed. I am still hopeful we will begin renovations of our fitness centre and locker rooms before the end of the year. There is so much more that we don’t know, than we do know, that makes planning difficult. We were in the early stages of trying to raise $5,000,000 for capital renovations. To date we have raised $2,300,000. Hopefully, we can get back to this before the end of the year. These are certainly challenging times to be fundraising.

The main thing is that we all stay healthy. I’ve seen some of you on my walks with my dogs or shopping in the neighbourhood. It’s great to see that people are staying positive. We miss seeing you at the JCC and hope that when we’re able to serve you again, we’ll be able to welcome you all back in a safe and healthy environment.

Stay healthy and well!

Barry Sohn
President, COO

April 1

I hope you and your families are well. 

I’m writing from my office. It’s an eerie quiet as our wonderful JCC building remains empty. We had our first all staff virtual meeting yesterday via Zoom. It was great to see everyone and there was a lot of positive energy.

Many of you have emailed me regarding the well-being of the JCC. Thanks for your good wishes. It’s tough being a programs and services based agency and being closed. We decided to suspend payments as we understand that everyone is challenged to navigate through these uncertain times. The new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy should be a positive resource for us. We will be applying and hope that this will allow us to keep staff reasonably whole. Hopefully this is also a resource for many of you.

We’ve begun to connect with you through our Facebook page and website. Last Friday Ganon had their first virtual Shabbat program with 70 families in attendance and starting this week we will open it up to all community members with young children.

I’ve appreciated emails from members who are generally staying positive and letting me know how much they miss the Centre. It’s the old adage that you take things for granted until you don’t have them. I am staying hopeful that we can reopen by May and begin to determine the “new normal” in delivering quality programs and services. The main thing is that we all stay healthy! I have received a few emails from members requesting a key to the building. I wish I could.

Stay healthy, stay fit, and do your best to enjoy the Passover and Easter holidays! For all my SpinFit friends and those of you who are walking/jogging these days to stay fit, here’s a playlist suggestion for a 40- 45 minute workout:

  • Seaside Bar Song- Bruce Springsteen
  • Riverside- America
  • Fire- The Pointer Sisters
  • Die A Happy Man- Thomas Rhett
  • The Way You Do The Things You Do- The Temptations
  • It’s A Shame- The Spinners
  • Sign of the Times- Harry Styles
  • Abbey Road Medley (the last 8 or 9 songs)- The Beatles
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Eric Clapton
  • Runaround Sue- Dion

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns, bsohn@jccottawa.com

Warm Regards,

Barry Sohn
President & COO

March 26

Dear Soloway JCC Members,

We sincerely hope that all of our SJCC families are staying healthy during this time.

We recognize the financial challenges that everyone is experiencing right now and, therefore; effective immediately, all payments will be suspended for Membership, Ganon Preschool, Summer Camps, After School Care and After School Programs as well as any other post dated payment in our system.

We will continue to be in touch with updates as they become available. Please check our web site and follow us on Facebook for the latest information.

We look forward to opening our doors to you again in the near future.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me at bsohn@jccottawa.com

Barry Sohn
Soloway JCC President & COO

March 23

Dear SJCC Members,

First and foremost, I hope that you and all the people you care about are healthy and well! This has truly been an unprecedented phenomenon.

As we continue to navigate through uncharted waters, I wanted to provide an update regarding the JCC. As you can imagine, being a programs and services based agency, the closure has adversely impacted the core of our business. The lost revenue by being unable to provide the quality programs, services, and facilities that we all take for granted, costs the JCC significantly every week we remain closed. Staff are trying to stay connected with each other and with you by posting links for workouts and child activities on our Facebook page.

We have taken significant measures during this closure to deep clean and disinfect all areas of the building. We continue to maintain the swimming pool with the hope that we will reopen soon after the March 31 State of Emergency deadline expires. If the State of Emergency is extended, or if we determine that it is unsafe to reopen, we will remain closed.

The safety of our members, staff, and guests is our main objective. As I indicated previously, all membership expiry dates will be extended to reflect the closure period. This will happen at your time of renewal.

I will attempt to keep you updated as we travel this path together.
Please accept our deep gratitude for your support of the JCC. Together we will weather this storm.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact me bsohn@jccottawa.com

Virtual hugs to all. Stay healthy!

Barry Sohn
Soloway JCC President & COO