Frequently Asked Questions

JCC Without Walls Frequently Asked Questions

Why did the JCC close?
Essentially, it was clear that there was no longer a need for the organization to exist in the same capacity in which it had been run previously. A great deal has changed in the Jewish and general community since the JCC 1st occupied the Wallenberg campus, including but not limited to:
– Changing demographics of the Jewish population

– How, when and where fitness, recreation, educational, social, sports and extracurricular activities are conducted shifted tremendously with technological advances, people staying in college longer, getting married and having kids later in life and so on.

– Our location and facility were no longer convenient or conducive which impacted membership, programming, donations and revenue.

– Increased competition in fitness, recreation, youth and adult programming.

– Growth of Jewish community and increase of local Jewish organizations offering programs & activities.

– The cost of maintaining an ageing facility of that size was simply unrealistic and not a feasible business model

Why did it take the board so long to make the decision to close the JCC?
Although it was evident to some that the JCC needed to close and or restructure it was extremely difficult for many folks to move beyond the emotions tied to the physical facility. The JCC campus held and continues to hold a special place in the hearts and minds of a significant portion of the Charleston Jewish population as it represents THE place where they, their children and grandchildren were able to fully participate in countless activities and programs at time when they were not able to do so elsewhere or their observance of Judaism precluded their participation in activities elsewhere as they were conducted on the Sabbath, Jewish holidays, and or were simply not a environment that could or would accommodate observant Jews.
Why does there need to be a JCC Without Walls?
To provide programs, services, experiences for the Jewish community including the affiliated and unaffiliated as well as the community at large. Jewish Community Centers are essential organizations that represent all Jewish people and breadth of needs. JCC’s do not require, mandate, or expect adherence to a specific facet of Jewish life.
What's the mission of the JCC WoW?
The Charleston Jewish Community Center Without Walls offers diverse, inclusive and vibrant programming centered on the goal of building relationships through a Jewish lens for the entire community and fostering lifelong engagement for all.
What does a JCC Without Walls do?
The Jewish Community Center Without Walls is committed to community building opportunities for all. The heart of JCC WoW is inclusivity. JCC WOW will continue to provide programs focused on entertainment, social action, culture, Israel advocacy, education, awareness, togetherness and much more. Partnerships with community organizations and businesses are another important aspect of what a JCC Without Walls does.
What happened to the money from the sale of the JCC and the furnishings and content?
– First, all bills, loans and debt including the mortgage were paid off. This was in excess of a million dollars.

– Following that, over 90% of the remaining funds went into a restricted fund at Jewish Endowment Fund (JEF) at the Coastal Community Foundation. This means that the corpus of this money will not and cannot be touched. The only funds that could be disbursed are interest. And this is only if and when interest is earned.

– Seed money was granted to start Wow with the explicit agreement and understanding that this was for 1 year of operation only, Sept. 2015 – Aug. 2016

– As to furnishings and content- any equipment and furnishings owned by the JCC that could be sold were and some items are now in the new JCC WoW office on Orleans road.

How will you know if the experiment of a Charleston JCC Without Walls worked?
The board is evaluating based on a wide array of criteria including but not limited to:

Community impact

Financial viability & potential for longevity

Fulfilling the mission

Determining if the JCC WOW is meeting the defined needs in a meaningful capacity

Success of programs and events

Strength of partnerships

Feedback from event attendees, partners, board, staff and community at large

How can I learn more about what the JCC is offering?
For more information, share ideas or to become involved in JCC WOW please contact us at 843-571-6565 or visit us online and like us on Facebook