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A Parent of Traditions: The Jewish Community Center of Central Jersey

New Jersey is filled with several amazing Jewish community centers. With over 500,000 individuals practicing the religion, it is important that one is aware of the fantastic centers near them.


Children having fun on an outdoor excursion!

The Jewish Community Center of Central New Jersey is one such community. Located in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, the center boasts a wide array of activities for people to participate in. Have you ever wanted to try group exercise classes such as Aquatics, Yoga, Spin Cycling, Weight-Lifting, and Zumba? These classes are unlimited for members. They also maintain personal training sessions that can be done in a small group or a privatized one-on-one arrangement. Additionally, there is a walking class for adults and seniors to remain physically active without the fear of overstraining or improper preparation. All the new fitness trends can be found and supported at the Center.

Beyond exercise, the community also has specific courses for those who have different needs. Everyone is welcome to be a part of these groups. The “La Leche League” assists mothers in breastfeeding by providing support, assistance, knowledge, and a positive group environment. A “Stroke and Aphasia” group also hosts free weekly classes, and assists those who are struggling with the effects of aphasia. Individuals who are battling Crohn’s Disease and Inflammatory Bowel Disease are also welcome to their support group that meets monthly. The participants get to have fun while discussing important topics.

The Center boasts a full exercise room with several options for workout classes

Does your back hurt after a long day at work? Have an old injury that you never took care of? Martine Mayo is the center’s massage therapist and provides a variety of massages at discounted rates for members. One would be able to receive either a therapeutic massage, deep tissue massage, Swedish massage, or a sports massage. After spending some time relaxing, one can either participate in basketball or softball, with Maccabi or basketball for the youth. The pool is also open year-round and available most days from morning to early evening. There is both free-swim and a competitive swim team, as well as instructors on hand to teach members how to swim. There are so many things to do, you’ll never get bored.

Tug of War is one of the many games that children play at camp

The fun isn’t just for adults. The JCC boasts several options in childcare–from taking care of students after school or handling infants, they are a good resource for parents to utilize despite the age of their child. Children who are in kindergarten receive enrichment courses, while teens who are in the seventh grade receive a free membership. There are many opportunities for a child to receive a scholarship. The center is not-for-profit and focuses on building and developing the community to support each other.

They maintain a program called “Camp Yachad” which hosts a variety of camps: Day, Travel, Sports, Performing Arts, and a Year-Round Camp. Kids also have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays, graduations, or bar/bat mitzvahs within in the center. High school students can be a part of the Teen Leadership program and are arranged to volunteer within New Jersey. They can also participate in various workshops, including game nights, film festivals, hosted author talks, and significant lectures. Individuals with special needs are especially looked after and included, and are accommodated to the various activities. There so many wonderful ways to keep the children involved with the community.

The greenery that surrounds the center

Members of all ages are welcome at the JCC. Beyond the physical courses, seniors can also have a lot of fun via the center. There are many events arranged for them, including but not limited to: social workers answering crucial questions, book clubs, social outings, arts and crafts, and several discussions on a wide array of interesting topics. Families can attend amazing trips such as baseball games and concerts as a community. All are welcome and invited to travel on the international visits to Poland and Israel. If they haven’t seen those beautiful countries yet, this year can be their chance!

The JCC strives to build a foundation for the surrounding community. By hosting so many wonderful activities and assisting families in multiple ways, they truly help make their members’ lives easier and more fulfilling.  Every day, a member can do something new and connect with their friends and family around them.

A great opportunity for children to make new friends and create memories that will last them for the rest of their lives

Paricheher Aryafar


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