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Wait won’t dampen enthusiasm for JCC campus
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Wait won’t dampen enthusiasm for JCC campus

Delays in completing the new Jewish community campus taking shape in West Windsor can’t dampen Lee Rosenfield’s excitement about the project, and his eagerness to see it actualized.

“I can just see people chatting over a cup of coffee and a bagel overlooking the beautiful setting after exercising, or dropping off their children at the Early Childhood Center, or using the wireless connection,” said Rosenfield, the chief executive officer of the Matthew and Staci Wilson Jewish Community Campus and the Betty and Milton Katz JCC of Princeton Mercer Bucks. “It will be a real unifier for the community.”

When completed, the campus will house the JCC, the offices of the Jewish Federation of Princeton Mercer Bucks, Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Mercer County, and the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Mercer.

Rosenfield spoke with NJ Jewish News on Nov. 7 with snow coming down from the nor’easter that added insult to the injury of Superstorm Sandy. Using his cell phone because his work phone was still out of commission, he said he had hoped the JCC would be up and running by the end of this year. Although that won’t be happening — Rosenfield explained that construction and financing delays have postponed things — the project, initiated some 13 years ago, is steadily taking shape.

“We’re pretty far along,” Rosenfield said. “A significant amount of the building has already been completed.”

In the summer, a pre-opening membership drive was launched. Rosenfield said ultimately he’d like to see about 2,000 “membership units,” but the initial goal was 900. “We already have 380 memberships,” he said.

The membership fee won’t kick in, of course, until the facilities begin operating and programs get under way, and Rosenfield said he looks forward to being able to give people a firm starting date. But he is buoyed by the level of optimism in this growing group. “We’ve come so far already,” he said. “Now we want the whole community to rally, to step up and support this project.

Even Sandy added to his hopes. Rosenfield wrote in his biweekly bulletin, “It is my hope and prayer that in the future when such natural disasters strike us that we will be able to convene on the new campus as a place of refuge, safety, and communal gathering. This is exactly the point of why we are building this institution.”

To learn more and see photos of the project, go to www.jccpmb.org.

 

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