The JCC of the Greater Five Towns, dedicated to enriching the quality of life for the Jewish community, has appointed Joel Block as executive director. In his new role, Block will provide strategic direction for the JCC and rely on his expertise in program development and community relations to expand the JCC’s curriculum, strengthen its community ties, and encourage overall growth.

Block served for the past 18 years as executive director and CEO of the Suffolk Y JCC in Commack, a multimillion-dollar, state-of-the art center that serves individuals and families from all walks of life throughout Suffolk County. During that time, Block helped to establish the center as one of the largest JCC’s in the country. He worked tirelessly to create an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and respected, and he has received international and national awards for his community outreach efforts.

A HAFTR and HALB alumnus, Block is a graduate of Yeshiva University. He began his career at the Hartman Y in Far Rockaway but it was his role as executive director with the Suffolk Y JCC that allowed him to provide inspirational leadership to his staff, the board of directors, and the community.

“Rina Shkolnik and the dedicated board of directors and compassionate staff of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns have built a remarkable organization,” says Mr. Block. “As we look to the future, we will work together with our community partners to strengthen our role as a resource, common meeting place, and Jewish communal center. Our focus will be to expand our programming for people of every age and continue to meet the ever evolving social service needs of our community.” v

JCC Upcoming Programs

All programs take place at 207 Grove Avenue in Cedarhurst unless otherwise stated. For general information, please call 516-569-6733 or visit Unless otherwise noted, please call Yulia Gross, ext. 214 or e-mail for more information or registration for classes. Fall classes start the week of September 29.

Yoga Class with Miriam Abrahams. Thursdays, 9:30—10:30 a.m. Runs until July 25. All levels welcome. For registration information, please contact Rachayle Deutsch at ext. 222 or

Caregivers’ Support Group. Monday, August 5, 7:30 p.m. [Please note the group usually meets on the first Tuesday of the month. Entrance through side door.] This group is for people who are caring for an elderly loved one and who may find themselves trying to meet the demands of work, family, and caregiving, all at the same time–meeting everyone else’s needs but their own. Share your experiences with others. For further information, contact Judy Goldberg, LCSW at ext. 224.

Russian Language Lessons. The Russian Division will be offering individual or small group Russian language lessons for people of all levels and ages upon request.

Fall Session: Beginners Ballet, ages 6+. Tuesdays, 5:00—6:00 p.m. 10 classes.

Fall Session: Math, Brain Teasers, Grades 6 and 7. Wednesdays, 5:30—6:30 p.m., Temple Israel of Lawrence, 140 Central Avenue in Lawrence. 10 classes.

Fall Session: Math, Grades 2 and 3. Wednesdays, 4:30—5:30 p.m., Temple Israel of Lawrence, 140 Central Avenue in Lawrence. 10 classes.

Beginners’ Hip-Hop, ages 6+, Thursdays, 6:00—7:00 p.m. 10 classes.

Chess Club for Children, ages 6—8. Wednesdays 6:15—7:00 p.m., Ages 9+ Advanced Chess. Wednesdays 7:00—7:45 p.m. Sessions take place at Temple Israel, 140 Central Avenue in Lawrence. This class, instructed by a chess Senior Master, will teach the basic principles of chess and improve analytical skills while allowing students to compete and have fun. v


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