Wednesday, December 14

What You Never Knew... an Interview with Joani Rothenberg

by Susan Gabovitch

Question: How many ways can one woman enjoy the JCC?

Answer: Apparently quite a few!

Joani Rothenberg has been a constant presence at the JCC for over 15 years. What does she enjoy doing here? That all depends on the day and time. Joani has always been an enthusiastic participant in our group exercise classes including, but certainly not limited to, indoor cycling, strength training, Piloxing, Zumba, kickboxing and BodyPump. While she loves having such a wide variety of classes to choose from, Joani says her favorite thing about the JCC is about more than the exercise opportunities. It’s the sense of community she gets whenever she steps through the door that brings her back time and again.

Far from just exercising here, she also shares her considerable artistic talent with our JCC community. As you may know, Joani was commissioned several years ago by the Glick family to paint a mural depicting “Life at the JCC.” Her vibrant interpretation of JCC life now hangs in our west lobby. Joani says she discovered what the JCC community truly is while she worked on the mural in the former café area. As she painted, members stopped by to chat and watch her progress – children, grandparents, families and staff – all of whom offered suggestions and demonstrated how they  are invested in the same sense of community as she is.

The completion of Joani’s mural inspired the creation of our Arts Camp with Joani as the instructor for 4 weeks each summer. She works with the children to develop their own understanding of the creative process and helps them identify the beauty and wonder in the world around them as well as within themselves. This past year, the campers created an enormous mural of their own for the annual all-camp Lip Sync show, and they designed and constructed two mosaic benches for the JCC Community Garden.

Joani’s family, which includes husband Jeff, and kids Leela, Maya, Ben and Tal, each contribute to the incredible sense of community that we are all privileged to enjoy here at the JCC. You will have the opportunity to meet the family in the spring when they participate in a family art exhibit in our gallery

Until next time…

More About Susan Gabovitch

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