The Sabes and St. Paul JCCs announced Sunday morning that they would be closing for at the end of the day due to the spread of coronavirus. No reopening date has been established.
The email that was sent out announcing the move stressed that no cases of the disease, which officially reached pandemic status last week, had been connected to either JCC.
“We are confident this is the right decision on behalf [of] our members, staff and visitors,” CEO Michael Waldman wrote to members. “In deciding to close, we are complying with the State’s recommendation and doing our part to reduce the rate of transmission.
“We will also be doing everything possible to reopen quickly, from deep cleaning to staff training and, of course, staying closely in touch with our public health authorities. The JCC will open again when, guided by health experts, our leadership determines it is safe and prudent. In the meantime, many of our staff will be impacted. You already know the extraordinary dedication of the teachers, trainers, presenters, and countless others who are the lifeblood of this place. We will be doing everything we can to ensure continuity for them, and to make it possible for them to be back in place the moment our doors reopen.
The closure includes all facilities and programs at both buildings — including the early childhood centers, and the Heilicher Jewish Day School at the Sabes building.
The JCCs will be open on Monday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for members and parents to get belongings that will be needed during the closure, although Waldman asked that if people don’t need to come in, they stay at home.
“This is a terribly painful decision. The role of the JCC has always been to be the place that people can gather, connect with one another, and exercise their bodies, minds and souls,” Waldman wrote. “It is a place where people welcome and take care of one another. That continues to be our mission. In the coming days, we will be working to find creative ways to keep connecting people with each other, whether that is through distance learning or exercise broadcasts or check-ins with isolated people in our community.”