Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Associations

(redirected from Jewish Community Centers of North America)

Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Associations

Young Men's and Young Women's Hebrew Associations (YMHA, YWHA), organizations that promote health, social activities, recreation, acculturation of new Jewish Americans, and Jewish culture among Jews of all ages. The first YMHA was founded in Baltimore in 1854. A YWHA was organized as an auxiliary of the New York City YMHA in 1888, and the first independent YWHA was formed in 1902. During World War I, the organizations were instrumental in organizing support for Jewish servicemen overseas by enlisting rabbis for service at military posts. Out of this effort, the Jewish Welfare Board (JWB) was formally established in 1917, subsuming the YWHAs and YMHAs. After the war, the JWB broadened its range of services in the United States and abroad, and was eventually renamed the Jewish Community Centers of North America. JCCs serve some 1 million members (1999). Despite the name changes, some local branches retain the designation YMHA or YWHA.
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Arnoff served in senior leadership roles in the Jewish community for much of the past two decades, holding positions including chief executive officert and president of JCC Association, the chief convener of the Jewish Community Centers of North America; director of culture, community and society at Shalem College; and, executive director of the 14th Street Y in New York City.
has spearheaded the relocations of a number of not-for-profit organizations, including the Institute for East/West Studies, the Foreign Policy Association, the Harlem Educational Activities Fund and the Jewish Community Centers of North America. The company oversaw the process from creating a strategic plan to finding space and negotiating leases.
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