STATEN ISLAND, NY -- A new Jewish Community Center in Staten Island, NY, is making changes to its policies to address the concerns of its Orthodox Jewish members. The JCC in Seaview decided to open on Saturdays, which is the Jewish Sabbath. On Saturdays, Orthodox Jews are not allowed to start or stop electrical equipment such as treadmills, work, exchange money or exercise to the point of exertion.
The new JCC is meeting their members’ needs by setting separate hours for women and men in the pool, implementing a system so that no money changes hands on Saturdays and not scheduling any Saturday sporting events at the fitness center. “We feel it's the right thing to do,” says Lewis Stolzenberg, executive director of the JCC. “We want to make this place very welcoming for everybody. And most Jewish people on Staten Island will recreate on Saturday.”