We’d Like to Teach the World to Sing

Since the joint Sabes/St Paul JCCs event a few weeks ago, a melody has been stuck in my head.

I’d like to teach the world to sing…

I can’t be annoyed about it, because what’s also stuck in my head is the message that accompanied the melody. Children, hand in hand, harmonizing a vision of two JCCs working as one. The JCCs’ latest gala video had an impact on me—and I suspect on everyone else.

At a time when many in our community are calling for more collaboration across the river, Minneapolis Jewish Federation is very proud of its role in the JCCs’ new agreement. If you don’t know, Federation has been working for the past few years with both locations to envision a joint JCC experience that best serves our community. Many of you have asked for specifics of late, so I want to share the latest with you about the Barry Family Campus (BFC) and the new JCC management agreement that will begin January 1st:

• In September, Federation took over the responsibility of management and administration of the Campus. BFC staff handling these responsibilities became full-time employees of Federation. Most tenants and BFC visitors have not noticed any change in the level of service because, I am happy to report, the transition has been seamless, thanks to the true professionalism of all involved.

• In December, Federation will become the sole owner of the entire Barry Family Campus land and buildings. We will then be able to tackle future decisions about the use of the Barry Family Campus and the appropriate building facilities with more clarity.

On January 1st, the two-year management agreement between Sabes and St. Paul JCC’s will begin. The objective of the agreement is simple yet powerful: to achieve the greatest possible impact of the two JCCs’ missions and continue to build a strong, stable and unified Twin Cities Jewish community for years to come. Over the course of the two years of the contract, Federation will work closely with the JCCs to determine what changes need to be made at the Barry Family Campus so that the facilities remain the gathering center it has been for decades, while also being affordable and meeting the needs of today’s community. At that point, Joshua Wert will end his tenure as CEO of the Sabes JCC, and we at Federation want to thank him and wish him all the best as he joins the JCC board.

To the average Sabes JCC constituent, nothing changes after January 1. As the JCCs have already communicated, all programs will continue. Federation’s allocation to the Sabes JCC of $400,000 will continue. Federation’s subvention of $541,000 in BFC expenses will continue. What has changed is that thanks to the partnership of both JCCs and Federation, we have a solid plan for moving forward.

Watching the sausage being made is often unappetizing—it is certainly not as heartwarming as listening to camp t-shirt clad youngsters teaching the world to sing. But the moral of this story is that by working together, we are doing what is in the community’s best interest. That is as important as any of the other critical activities powered by Federation.

Shabbat Shalom,

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