The Weinberg Park Heights JCC began partly reopening its facilities Aug. 2.
The decision to reopen the fitness center was taken after the Office of the Mayor gave the green light for health clubs and fitness centers to begin reopening, said Senior Building and Operations Director David Mitncik.
According to Mitnick, a number of new procedures are being implemented for visitor safety. To access the fitness center, members will need to register in advance online and submit to a health screening. A limited number of people will be permitted into the center at any one time, and the equipment has been spaced out to make social distancing while exercising easier. The building has gone through a major cleaning, and staff have been equipped with new cleaning supplies and trained to use them.
Currently, the JCC is also looking for safe ways to resume normal operations at Chef Dan’s Cafe at the J, Mitnick said. Calling them “an incredible partner” with “a resourceful and resilient business owner with a great product,” Mitnick suggested that outdoor dining at Chef Dan’s may be in the cards later on. At present, though, patrons can order curbside pickup via the cafe’s site at chefdanscafe.com.
The JCC is also looking for safe ways to resume youth programming, such as sports and ballet, and the early childhood center, Mitnick said, though he stressed that these would be further down the line. “It’s a big logistical puzzle,” Mitnick said. “It all has to be figured out with great intention and deliberation before we make it happen.”
Mitnick also wished to thank The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore for the support they had given to the JCC and praised JCC members for their positive reception to the transition to virtual programming. He added that the JCC will likely continue to offer virtual programming in some way as the facilities continue to gradually open.
Mitnick emphasized the importance of the JCC and the fitness center to the local community, and how it reinforced both their physical and social health of members. “We’re in the heart of the Jewish community,” Mitnick said. “It’s called the community center for a reason. People see us as that home away from home. And the ability to provide services is so important to us. We want to be here for our members in a safe and appropriate way.”