The JCC of Greater Baltimore furloughed 350 employees in light of the financial strains of the pandemic, CEO Barak Hermann said in a video addressing its members.
The furloughed employees, including all preschool teachers, will continue to receive medical benefits. With help from The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore, the JCC is covering both the employer and employee portion of the furloughed employees’ health insurance.
The HR department will also continue to provide guidance, while the JCC connects employees to Jewish Community Services for more assistance.
A team of 43 JCC staff members were retained to plan for summer camp, open the Rec Park, continue the Virtual-J, and prepare its other branches for reopening, according to a letter by Board Chair Randi Buergenthal and Hermann accompanying the video.
The JCC still receives membership payments from 85% of its members, which does help, the video said. Nonetheless, the overall revenue loss required a response.
The JCC, in collaboration with all of the Associated network agencies, applied for funding as part of the CARES Act. The JCC’s bank notified it that funding ran out while the loan was in process.
“We are hopeful we will receive funding in this round,” Hermann and Buergenthal wrote.
Some JCCs are receiving aid, while the JCC of Greater Baltimore awaits news on a loan within the coming first week of May.
In the meantime, the JCC of Greater Baltimore is focused on planning for the future.
The Virtual-J community continues to offer fitness opportunities, wellness advice, activities for youth, arts and culture engagement, and weekly pre-Shabbat gatherings online.
“While we are heartbroken for our staff, we remain laser-focused on our commitment to do everything we can to meet your needs,” the letter said. “During this unprecedented time in the Baltimore JCC’s 166 year history, we stand resolute in our commitment to all of you.”