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Are Jewish Community Centers a Fifth Denomination?

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Publication Date: January 1995

Publisher(s): Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Gerald B. Bubis

Series: Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 71:2/3

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)

Keywords: Outreach; Religious Denominations; Jewish Organizations

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


The one consistent ideological strand in the 141-year history of Jewish Community Centers in this country has been the ongoing love affair with America. Judaism on demand, rather than demanding Judaism, is the norm in JCC settings. JCC members do not see themselves as members of a denomination. Rather they are seekers after comfort—psychological and physical, associatiottal and familiar—who wish to leam skills, keep well, be entertained, and have their children or parents in a caring and nourishing environment with a vaguely defined Jewish ambiance.