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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Annual Meeting Award Winners

Posted by: Alley Franke on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 9:00:00 am Comments (0)

The J's Annual Meeting on October 20 included several awards.  Congratulations to:

  • Stan and Joyce Zeldin – Lifetime Membership Award
  • Ace Allen and Keith Wiedenkeller – Hesed Award (program of loving kindness)
  • Stacey Belzer – Program of the Year Award – Never Grow Up
  • Jacob Mooney – Howard T Jacobson Emerging Leader Award
  • Scott Slabotsky – Otzma Award (Board Chairs' award for an outstanding volunteer)

  • Pictured left to right: Stan and Joyce Zeldin; Keith Wiedenkeller; Stacey Belzer; Ace Allen; Jacob Mooney; Scott Slabotsky
Tuesday, October 22, 2019

We're Hiring!

Posted by: Mary Beth Rohlf on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (0)

Supervisor, Member Experience Desk

The J is seeking an enthusiastic, people-focused supervisor for our Member Experience Desk.  This full time job comes with great benefits and an evenings/weekends schedule.

The ideal candidate has supervisory experience; great customer service skills; ability to train staff members; and attention to detail for managing schedules and payroll.

To learn more and to apply, visit www.thejkc.org/careers or contact Mary Beth in Human Resources.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Shemini Atzeret + Simchat Torah

Posted by: Mary Beth Rohlf on Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (0)

Holiday Closings + Quick Facts

The J is closing at 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 20 for Shemini Atzeret and is closed entirely on Monday, October 21 for Simchat Torah.

Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah come at the conclusion of Sukkot. Shemini Atzeret means the “Eighth Day of Assembly,” while Simchat Torah means “Rejoicing in Torah.”

Shemini Atzeret is mentioned in the Bible, but its exact function is unclear. In Second Temple times, it appears to have been a day devoted to the ritual cleansing of the altar in the Temple. With the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, this function of the day became obsolete. Simchat Torah is a celebration of the conclusion of one and the beginning of another annual cycle of readings from the Torah.

While Shemini Atzeret’s significance is somewhat unclear, Simchat Torah conveys a clear message about the centrality of Torah in Jewish life. It is both a source of Jewish identity and a precious gift from God. Simchat Torah is the day on which the whole community gathers to come into direct contact with the Torah and to express our joy in having received it.

Check out My Jewish Learning for more info.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

National Boss's Day is Tomorrow!

Posted by: Mary Beth Rohlf on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (1)

Have a Great Boss?  Tell Him or Her!

Tomorrow is National Boss's Day - a chance to show gratitude and appreciation for great bosses.

You might think supervisors and managers get lots of positive feedback about their roles, but they often hear from their staff members only when there are problems.

Take a moment tomorrow to send your boss some kudos.  Tell him what you appreciate about his management style.  Tell her what you've learned from her.  

Thanks to all of our competent and caring leaders here at The J!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Work Anniversaries October 13-19

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)

Happy work anniversary to these J Team members:

  • Bonnie Pennington - Heritage Center (20 years)
  • Susan Schumaker - Aquatics (20 years)
  • Marilyn Harrison - Heritage Center (12 years)
  • Regina Butel - Fitness + Sports (6 years)
  • Alan Karchmer - Group Fitness (4 years)
  • Rene Shannahan - Child Development Center (3 years)
  • Samantha Dorsey - Persona Training (1 year)
  • Colleen Wilson - Child Development Center (1 year)

Thanks for sharing your time and talent with our members and staff!

Friday, October 11, 2019

New Class + Special Employee Discount

Posted by: Brandi Ventre on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 1:30:00 pm Comments (0)

Been thinking about getting healthier and stronger?  Here’s your motivation to take action today!

F.I.T. is for YOU if you’re looking for a built-in accountability group, a customized workout to meet your goals, and individualized methods to meet you where you are in your fitness journey.

F.I.T. is a one-hour, all-out total body conditioning class. Pre-F.I.T. assessments will take place in order to build the workouts around your needs. These will take place the week of October 14th.

  • Tuesdays + Thursdays at 6:30 pm
  • 10 participants max
  • 8-week session x 2 days a week: $249 for non-employees.  Employees who sign-up before October 17 receive an 18% discount, which brings the cost of this great new program to $205.

 Included in the cost:

  • MyZone Belt to track progress at every workout ($100 value)
  • F.I.T assessment and goal setting
  • 16 F.I.T. Group Workouts - 2x's per week for 8 weeks
  • Private MyZone Group for accountability
    Weekly challenges and incentives

Questions?  Contact Brandi Ventre, Manager of  Group Fitness.


Pumpkin Spice Winner

Posted by: Mary Beth Rohlf on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 1:00:00 pm Comments (0)

Thanks to everyone who played our Pumpkin Spice - Love it or Leave It? contest.

Congratulations to Brian Woeppel.  He was selected by the random number generator for a $25 gift card of his choice.

Watch J Net for our next contest!


Sukkot 101

Posted by: Mary Beth Rohlf on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (0)

The J closes at 6:00 pm on Sunday, October 13 and is closed on October 14 for Sukkot.

Sukkot is named after the booths or huts (sukkot in Hebrew) in which Jews are supposed to dwell during this week-long celebration.

Much of the imagery and ritual of the holiday revolves around rejoicing and thanking God for the completed harvest. The sukkah represent the huts that farmers would live in during the last hectic period of harvest before the coming of the winter rains. As is the case with other festivals whose origins may not have been Jewish, the Bible reinterpreted the festival to imbue it with a specific Jewish meaning. In this manner, Sukkot came to commemorate the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert after the revelation at Mount Sinai, with the huts representing the temporary shelters that the Israelites lived in during those 40 years.

Many of the most popular rituals of Sukkot are practiced in the home. As soon after the conclusion of Yom Kippur as possible, one is enjoined to begin building the sukkah, or hut, that is the central symbol of the holiday. The sukkah is a flimsy structure with at least three sides, whose roof is made out of thatch or branches, which provides some shade and protection from the sun, but also allows the stars to be seen at night. It is traditional to decorate the sukkah and to spend as much time in it as possible. Weather permitting, meals are eaten in the sukkah, and some may elect to sleep in the sukkah.

This information is from My Jewish Learning.  Read more.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Pumpkin Spice Takes Over Fall - A Contest

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 8:00:00 am Comments (24)

Pumpkin Spice - Love It or Leave It?

Google "pumpkin spice" on the Target website and you'll find page after page of pumpkin spiced products:  Cheerios, cookies, pretzels, air freshener, muffin mix, popcorn, almonds, caramels, protein bars, granola, cookie butter, Kit Kat bars (!?) and - believe it or not - Pumpkin Spice Greenies for dogs!

Where do you stand regarding the pumpkins spice phenomenon?  If you love it, tell us your favorite pumpkin spice product in the comments section.  If you can leave it, leave that as your comment.

We'll do a random drawing on Friday, October 11th at noon.  Winner gets a $25 gift card of his/her choice to spend on pumpkin spice - or not!


Your J Name Tag

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (0)

One of the many ways we're promoting our J Values is by providing name tags for all employees.

Choose your favorite J Value to appear on your tag and wear it every day.  This helps us get to know each other and connect in a more personal way with members.

If you need a name tag, visit the main Reception window Monday-Thursday 8:30 am  to 5:30 pm  and Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Yom Kippur: The Most Solemn Day

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Monday, October 7, 2019 at 7:05:00 am Comments (0)

Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement) is the most solemn day in the Jewish calendar. At the conclusion of the day, according to tradition, God seals the Books of Life and Death for the coming year. The day is devoted to repentance for sins committed over the course of the previous year.

Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Tuesday, October 8, which is why The J is closing early at 6:00 pm.  Yom Kippur ends at sundown on Wednesday, October 9.  The J is closed on October 9.

On Yom Kippur, Jews are instructed to remove themselves as completely as possible from the everyday world in order to devote themselves to their relationship with God.  The most common way to demonstrate this devotion is to fast.  It is traditional to dress in white on this day as a symbol of personal purity.

There are more and longer synagogue services on Yom Kippur than any other day of the year.  During the course of the holiday, a major component of the liturgy is the repeated communal confession of sins, the Viddui. The day closes with a unique and emotionally powerful service called Neilah, during which the liturgy imagines the gates of heaven closing at the end of the High Holiday period. Neilah, during which it is traditional to stand since the ark is opened, ends with a long blast of the shofar or ram’s horn, understood by many as signifying God’s redemptive act in answer to true repentance.

This information comes from MyJewishLearning.com.


Work Anniversaries October 6-12

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Monday, October 7, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (0)

Happy Work Anniversary to These J Team Members

  • DD Gass – Camp + School-Age Services (6 years)
  • Debra Brown – Heritage Center (4 years)
  • Angie McCormack – Personal Training (2 years)
  • Kimberly Hattrup – Fitness Floor (1 year)

Thanks to all of you for sharing your time and talent with The J and our members!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Congratulations, Renee Heflin!

Posted by: Director of HR on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 4:17:00 pm Comments (0)

The random number generator landed on Renee Heflin as winner of our National Taco Day contest!  Renee wins a $25 gift card of her choice.

Watch J Net for our next contest and thanks to everyone who provided a recommendation for best tacos.


Your Interest in an Alternate V'ahavta Shirt

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)

It is wonderful to see the rainbow of J Values t-shirts every Wednesday - it's a great visual reminder of what's most important at The J.

Some employees have asked about an alternate shirt - one in a women's cut, a v-neck, long-sleeved, etc.

We are contemplating offering an alternate V'ahavta shirt.  It would be the same color and design, but a different cut, style or fabric.  

If you're interested in purchasing an alternate shirt, please email Mary Beth  and indicate what type of shirt appeals to you.

We'll let you know if we move forward on this idea.  Thanks for your input!


Onsite Flu Shots - Free with Many Insurance Providers

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7:30:00 am Comments (0)


Flu Shot Clinic at The J

Friday, October 11, 2019

9:00 a.m. to Noon

Board Room

  • FREE for participants on any Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Humana, UnitedHealthcare or Coventry plan
  • $32 for participants who are not on one of these plans
  • Medicaid and Medicare cannot be processed by our vendor

Bring your insurance card to your appointment

Wear a shirt that allows easy access to your upper arm

Children must be age 3+

To sign up, visit:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0E4CACA62EA2FF2-jewish


Eighteen Years of Service Celebrated

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (0)
  •  Why Do We Mark 18 Years?

    Eighteen is the value of the Hebrew letters chet and yud, which together spell the word chai – life.  For this reason, 18 is considered the luckiest number and we are lucky when employees choose to spend 18 years at the The J.

    Employees celebrating 18 years of service were recognized at the All Employee Meeting and received pavers, which will be installed in the Belzer Garden to permanently commemorate their service. Mazel Tov to these dedicated J Team members:

    • Marilyn Bruce
    • Carmen Dudley
    • Janice Malin
    • Marc Schlosberg
Thursday, October 3, 2019

National Taco Day? Yes, Please! (A Contest)

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (21)

Name Your Favorite Taco and Be Entered to Win $25

October 4 is National Taco Day!  Seems like a good reason for a contest and the sharing of restaurant recommendations.

Name your favorite place to get tacos and you'll be entered to win a $25 gift card of your choice.  Contest ends Friday, October 4 at 4:00 pm.

If you'd like to learn more about the tasty taco, check out this article in Smithsonian Magazine:



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Onsite Flu Shot Clinic: Save The Date

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 5:00:00 pm Comments (0)

As a new wellness benefit, we are hosting an onsite flu shot clinic:

Friday, October 11, 2019

9:00 a.m. to Noon

Board Room 

  • Flu shots are FREE if you’re on any of The J’s Blue Cross Blue Shield plans.
  • Flu shots are FREE if you’re on a plan with Humana, United Health Care, Coventry or Anthem.
  • Flu shots are $32 if you do not have one of these insurance plans.



Work Anniversaries September 22-October 5

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 8:00:00 am Comments (0)

Happy Work Anniversary to These J Team Members:

  • Lauren Gladish – CDC (6 years)
  • Andy Tann – Heritage Center (5 years)
  • Renee Heflin – Admin (3 years)
  • Kenneth Tretiak – Youth Training Zone (2 years)
  • Margaret Price – CDC (1 year)
  • Telma Weisman – B’nai Jehudah CDC (1 year)
  • Gwendolyn Foy – Aquatics (1 year)
  • J ill Maidhof – Jewish Experiences (33 years)
  • Dawn Aronoff – Aquatics (21 years)
  • Brent Bettis – Fitness and Sports (5 years)
  • Stacey Belzer – Family Engagement (2 years)
  • Diana Zugenbuhler – Senior Adults (2 years)
  • Leyann Dahlgren – MED (1 year)
  • Nicholas Servi – Fitness (1 year)
  • Elizabeth Schoetz – B’nai Jehudah CDC (1 year)

Thanks to all of you for sharing your time and talent with The J and our members!

Friday, September 27, 2019

A Decade of Service

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Friday, September 27, 2019 at 8:00:00 am Comments (1)

Ten Years of Building Community

These dedicated employees have been part of The J Team for 10 years! 

We recognized their milestone service anniversaries at the All Employee Meeting on Sunday.  Thanks for giving your time and talent to The J and to helping us build community through long-term relationships.

  • Natasha Boyer
  • June Crane
  • Sandra Greason
  • Judith Kass
  • Janice Potter
  • Laura Shingleton
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

What's a Great Grand Prize?

Posted by: Janice Malin on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 10:00:00 am Comments (4)

In November, we'll hold our annual giving campaign to raise money for United Way and Jewish Federation.  Payroll deduction makes giving easy and supports two organizations that provide important services to our community.

During the campaign, we'll have daily drawings for small prizes and everyone who donates at least $192 will be entered into the Grand Prize Drawing.

We need ideas for a Grand Prize valued between $300-$400!  What item or experience would motivate you to donate about $8 per paycheck next year?

Share your ideas in the comments section below.

Thanks and stay tuned for more information about our campaign.


Who'd You Invite to Your Sukkah?

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 9:00:00 am Comments (1)

Our Teambuilding activity at the All Employee Meeting included choosing three people to invite to the team sukkah.

Click here to see photos and the creative invitation lists!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Five Year Service Anniversaries

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 9:00:00 am Comments (1)

One of the things that makes this a great place to work is that many employees dedicate years of service to The J.  Employees who are part of The J Team for years are able to form long-term relationships with our members and with each other.  These relationships help us build community, which is one of our J Values.

Celebrating 5 years of service are:

  • Kaitlin Birnbaum
  • Darren Dutterer
  • DD Gass
  • Mitch Gold
  • Jane Helzer
  • Traci Ismert
  • Marlena Jackson
  • Michelle Lanaman
  • Andi Madouras
  • Hannah Rank
  • Peggy Ruiz
  • Twylla Sanders
  • Mary Shipley
  • Daniel Snow
  • Krisandra Spell
  • Andy Tann
  • Susan Tribble
  • Brandi Tryban
  • Machaela Whelan


Monday, September 23, 2019

Photo Album from All Employee Meeting

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 4:00:00 pm Comments (2)

Click here to see photos from the 2019 All Employee Meeting.

Congratulations to our 2019 Employee of the Year: Kandice Gerdes!

Thanks to the many employees celebrating service anniversaries.  We'll recognize them throughout the week on J Net.


Construction Contest

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 8:00:00 am Comments (15)

Thanks to everyone who attended the All Employee Meeting last night.  It was a great chance to celebrate and recognize and learn.

The theme of the night was "Construction" and we heard about many new amenities, improvements, programs, etc. that will come as a result of our expansion.

In the comments section, share what aspect of the expansion most excites you.  Everyone who comments by 5:00 pm September 25th will be entered to win a $25 AMC gift card!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Upcoming Holiday Closings

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 at 7:00:00 am Comments (0)

The J has altered hours FIVE times in the next FIVE weeks!

Be prepared by viewing/printing/sharing this helpful document from our Marketing Communications team.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Winner of Friday the 13th Contest

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 12:01:00 am Comments (0)

Congratulations, Desirae Stirling!

Thanks to everyone who entered our Friday the 13th J Net contest.  Desirae Stirling, a teacher in our Child Development Center, won the drawing for a $25 gift card of her choice.  She's not superstitious...she's lucky!


Work Anniversaries September 15-21

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

Happy Work Anniversary to These J Team Members:

  • Madeline Silver – Aquatics (14 years)
  • Daniel Snow – MED (5 years)
  • Hannah Rank – Aquatics (5 years)
  • Brandi Ventre – Group Fitness (3 years)
  • Lisa Reeves – B’nai Jehudah CDC (2 years)
  • Mitch Lorenze – J Baseball (1 year)
  • Jackson Rupp – J Baseball (1 year)
  • Alexis Wacker – Soccer (1 year)
  • Devon Shaut – The Park (1 year)

Thanks to all of you for sharing your time and talent with The J and our members!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Jim Sluyter Celebrates 20 Years at The J

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Friday, September 13, 2019 at 12:00:00 am Comments (1)

Congratulations to Jim Sluyter, our President + CEO, for reaching his 20th anniversary as a J Team member.

Jim was serenaded by CDC students at Shabbat this morning and presented with handmade cards from each classroom.

Thank you, Jim, for your leadership and commitment to The J.  Can we sign you up for 20 more?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Why is Friday the 13th Unlucky?

Posted by: Mary Beth Sloan on Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 9:00:00 am Comments (18)

According to biblical tradition,13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles (one of whom, Judas, betrayed him). The next day, of course, was Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

This seating arrangement at the Last Supper is believed to have given rise to a longstanding Christian superstition that having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen – that it was courting death.

About 25% of Americans say they’re superstitious.  Are you? 

In the comments section below, either share that you’re not superstitious or tell us what sends shivers down your spine…black cats?  Walking under ladders?  Breaking a mirror?  Everyone who comments will be entered into a lucky contest for a $25 gift card of choice.  The drawing will be held Friday, September 13th at 4:00 p.m.

From www.history.com

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