Fit Families: Katz JCC inspires fit minds and fit bodies.
A state-of-the-art comprehensive wellness complex. Cutting-edge parent-child programs like baby massage and signing. An exercise arcade to encourage teen workouts. A NAEYC-accredited, state-licensed Early Childhood Center. Pilates, yoga and Zumba. Cultural programming and day trips. The Katz Jewish Community Center has been a South Jersey staple for more than 60 years—but it definitely hasn’t stood still. Today, the Katz JCC is a vital community resource, offering not only educational, health and wellness programs, but also social and recreational opportunities that the entire family can enjoy.
“The JCC truly offers something for every family member, regardless of age or ability,” says Debbie Orel, the Katz JCC’s membership and marketing director. “We run the gamut from classes for newborns and their parents to teen activities and even community special events for the entire family.”
Educational Programs for Kids
There’s no question that the JCC wholeheartedly embraces kids of all ages. It starts with the very youngest at the NAEYC-accredited Sari Isdaner Early Childhood Center, where the highest quality of care is offered for infants 6 weeks old through kindergarten age. “Our curriculum is play-based, child-directed and emerges through the interests of each child,” says Gail Cohen, the JCC’s early childhood director. All children enrolled in school enjoy weekly gym and music classes, while children ages 3 and older also receive swim lessons.
Additionally, the JCC offers enrichment classes for children ages 3-6, which include Pre-School of Rock, Kinderlanguage, Mad Science and more, which are open to the entire community to enjoy. Also open to the community are a variety of parent/child classes including Baby & Me Workout Challenge, Abrakadoodle art classes and more.
For children in kindergarten through eighth grade, the Just 4 Kids after-school childcare program, which includes transportation from area school districts, offers enrichment activities that include homework help, swimming, cooking, art and science. Participants in sixth to eighth grades have an elective afternoon where the program’s structured activities are offered on a choice basis to suit an older child’s interests and independence.
Health & Wellness
The JCC offers the entire family a facility like none other in the area. The fitness center has the newest cardiovascular and strength training equipment that include a 15-inch personal TV. The two full-sized gymnasiums offer men’s, teen’s and children’s basketball leagues, while the indoor and outdoor pools offer lap swimming, family playtime, water aerobics, competitive swim teams and the nationally known Lenny Krayzelburg Swim Academy. There are also ball fields, playgrounds, outdoor lighted tennis courts and an outdoor fitness course.
The JCC is always looking to stay on top of the latest fitness trends. In ActiveZone, the JCC’s exergaming arcade, kids and adults alike are encouraged to exercise while playing popular video arcade games.
For those who prefer to work out in a group setting, the JCC offers more than 150 free adult group wellness classes each week. These include the ultra-popular spinning classes, held in a temperature-controlled indoor spinning studio with 26 new bikes. “Group fitness lovers will enjoy our talented and creative instructors, as well as classes both on land and in water for all abilities and interests,” adds Jayne Miller Morgan, the JCC’s assistant fitness director. “We have a wide variety of classes including TRX total resistance training, Body Pump, Zumba and Groovics. We also have many mind and body classes including yoga, tai chi and Pilates.” In addition to certified personal trainers, the JCC has a nutritionist on staff to help create a nutrition plan to match an individual’s fitness plan. The JCC’s Spa Complex, open to individuals 18 and older, offers separate men’s and women’s upgraded locker facilities complete with a steam room, sauna, whirlpool, TV lounge and even massage and skin care services.
And kids aren’t left out either. Whether your little athlete is into gymnastics, karate, soccer, basketball or cheerleading, the JCC’s skilled staff will help them excel. Older kids can stay healthy in the fitness center, pool, walking track, or through programs such as an annual 5K run, kids’ triathlon or Kid Fit Challenge.
Something for Everyone
Additionally, the JCC offers a wide variety of Judaic and cultural programs, social events and day trips, arts and culture activities, and “60 and Better” offerings. The JCC is proud to be one of the largest providers of programs and services for individuals with special needs of all ages. Youth and teens with special needs can participate in a swim team and basketball league, as well as a variety of recreational and social programs.
The Katz JCC facility and its programs are open to men, women and children of all ages, races, religions and abilities.
The Katz Jewish Community Center
1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 6 (August, 2012).
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