New preschool boosts plans to revive JCC

New preschool boosts plans to revive JCC

SHIFTING GEARS, Chabad of the Shore in Elberon will open its new preschool in what was the early childhood wing of the now shuttered JCC of Monmouth County.

The announcement breathes life into efforts by Save the Monmouth JCC to revive the facility in Deal, which closed in 2012 following bankruptcy proceedings.

In a release, Save the Monmouth JCC chair Donald Epstein said locating the preschool in the JCC building “is the first of multiple efforts that are under way to restore the community center.”

Chabad’s Preschool of the Arts was originally slated to open on Route 36 in West Long Branch, said Chabad codirector Chani Schapiro. When the opportunity arose to partner with Save the Monmouth JCC, plans were changed.

Epstein said that he hopes to have portions of the building — excluding the physical fitness facilities — repaired and reopened for various community functions and services in July.

“The old JCC and its operations are closed; however, an opportunity to invest in the future and reestablish a vibrant community center is on the horizon,” Epstein said. “Meetings and discussions will occur over the next 60 days with numerous community groups to determine a long-term direction and plan for the facility. It is anticipated that these meetings will culminate in various strategic partnerships in a renewed effort to support the JCC and provide services to the community. This will also include the creation of a new governing board of the JCC.”

The Preschool of the Arts, which is being designed to reflect the Reggio Emilio philosophy of early childhood education, will host an open house in mid-July at the JCC. Contact director Robin Wander at 732-229-2424 or or visit

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