Two JCCs, One Huge Party

There are already a handful of bridges that cross the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and St. Paul and the one with the biggest toll is the one between the two Jewish communities. Slowly, but surely, the Twin Cities’ Jewish communities are finding ways to reduce the toll.

The Sabes JCC in Minneapolis and the St. Paul JCC have been at the forefront of this effort and are about to celebrate the partnership with “It’s About Time,” a combined celebration on Dec. 3 at the JW Marriott at Mall of America. The event is the first Twin Cities-wide JCC annual event bringing the two communities together.

tcj_oct-24-nov-ad_tcjewfolk_benefit-2016_web“This will not be your typical benefit,” said Joshua Wert, CEO of the Sabes JCC. “No long speeches, no silent auction, no sit down dinner.” He added, “This will be a big bash – a short program followed by a party with lots of amazing food, drinks, and time to gather with friends.

If that’s not enough, the JCCs have added an After-Party featuring entertainment by The Purple Xperience, the Prince tribute band led by Dr. Fink (former member of Prince and The Revolution!)px_hi-res_promo

Event registration and cocktail hour is from 6-7 p.m., with the event beginning promptly at 7. An expansive gourmet dinner buffet starts at 7:45, with surprises planned throughout the night.

“People have been saying for generations that we need to come together and we’re taking that bold step,” said Michael Waldman, Executive Director of the St. Paul JCC. “This event is the culmination of three years of hard work between our two JCCs. It started simply with reciprocal membership. Today you see our collaboration throughout many of our programming areas. Hey, we now have one cultural arts season!”

The event honors community leaders Mike and Etta Barry of Minneapolis, and Wendy and Steve Baldinger of St. Paul. The four met on a Harry Kay Leadership Institute-sponsored Israel trip and it led to a long commitment to lay-leadership in the Twin Cities Jewish Community. Mike and Wendy served as Minneapolis and St. Paul Federation board presidents at the same time, when they made the decision to have the president of one of those organizations serve on the board of the other – a tradition that continues to this day.

As the camp director & children’s youth director at the Sabes JCC years ago, Etta recalls, “We tried to do the Maccabi Games together, but could not make it happen so we each JCC sent their own team. Now it’s a combined team! That was 30 years ago…look how far we have come.

Wendy remembers a time when, as a long-time St. Paul JCC member, she had to pay non-member fees for tickets to the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival. But that is in the past.

“We don’t have to look back,” she said. “These are all things that will get better and go better over time as more people get used to doing more things together. When the ocean rises, everyone’s ships rise higher and we want that for the Twin Cities. As the community improves, we all will.”

A Special Note – the JCCs are offering a special ticket prices for 40-and-Under. For tickets and registration visit click here: