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JCC Warsaw Foundation

We bring together people interested in exploring, defining, and redefining diverse Jewish identities.

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JCC Warsaw is a safe, caring, people-driven and inclusive space which brings together community members and newcomers interested in exploring, defining and redefining diverse Jewish identities through informal Jewish education and Jewish culture.
We encourage intergenerational connections and mutual responsibility.
We enable a sense of community accompanied by joy and trust.

The JCC Warsaw opened in October 2013 in response to the need observed within the Jewish community of Warsaw. We started our operations from running a few cultural and educational programs for children, families and adults, held at different cultural venues around Warsaw. For the past ten years we have had the pleasure to run activities at our JCC building and outside of it, offering over 20 regular programs, 3 annual sleep away camps and several special events.

In June 2021, by an initiative of a group of active members and lay leaders, JCC Warsaw was registered as an independent local Foundation. Becoming an independent organization has meant creating brand new organizational structure, bringing together capable professionals and both already engaged and emerging lay leaders. With the anniversary of the opening upcoming in October 2023, we are at the same time getting ready to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our operations and still working on building a self-sufficient, sustainable organizational structure.

One thing that has not changed throughout the first decade of our activity is that our JCC, frequently called “our little home” by the members, is always open and welcoming for members of our community and their families and friends.
We embrace the community in its entirety, consisting of varied individual Jewish narratives.
We honor all personal stories and emphasize the need of building new connections between all different members of the community.

JCC Warsaw proudly stands as the epicenter of Jewish connections, nurturing vibrant cross-generational relationships that form the bedrock of our community. Through a diverse range of activities and initiatives, we foster bonds that transcend age boundaries. In some cases we start with age-specific programming, which is the case of the Moadon kids' club that offers engaging activities blending Jewish values, culture, and fun, allowing children to explore their heritage in a joyful and interactive way. One of our dreams for the future is to expand Moadon's activities from weekly meetings to meeting also any time there is an adults event.
On some other occasions, we get to bring representatives of different generations to immerse in Jewish experiences together, for example coming from all corners of Poland to join our sleep away family camps. Both Camp Atid and family sleep-away camps equip our members with lasting memories, friendships rooted in shared experiences and a love for Jewish traditions.

Looking back at the first decade of our activity, JCC Warsaw, undoubtedly, has been keeping the Jewish spirit alive despite different hardships coming our way. With such a long Jewish history as the one of Polish Jewry, including the chapter of irreparable losses brought by the Shoah, followed by the communal life suppression under the communist regime, cultivating individual and collective Jewish identities has been no easy feat. While accommodating to the post-pandemic new normal, marked with the society wide trend of withdrawing from social life, we couldn't have seen what was to come in February 2022.
Yet in the light of the invasion in Ukraine and the huge refugee crisis it has brought, both the local Jewish community and the wider Polish society have shown up to help out millions of Ukrainians fleeing war.
Having experienced living as a minority and being driven by the value of tikkun olam - the Jewish concept of repairing what is broken in the world, right after the invasion we have opened the JCC doors to the Ukrainian refugee community and have been sharing our home ever since. Over a hundred families found a safe entry point to their new life in Warsaw thanks to the daycare for Ukrainian kids that we run daily, several hundreds made new connections with each other and with the local Jewish community members joining our kids, adults (focusing mostly on mothers) and family programming. No matter their Jewish background or lack thereof, welcoming new Varsovians coming from Ukraine has become part of our daily routine and despite the fact that the merging process between the “old” and “new” communities may take several years, we are ready and up for this challenge.

Although we are still feeling absolutely heartbroken after the tragic events of October 7th, 2023 we are aware of the fact that our community needs us now, probably more than ever. We know that many of our members are experiencing loneliness and anxiety. In these trying times we want to reaffirm our mission of being a safe, caring, people-driven and inclusive space bringing people together. We offer a place where where people can talk to each other both about their differences and similarities. We are now opening our refugee daycare program also to the children of Israelis who are coming to Warsaw. As a Jewish community center in Warsaw we can firmly say that we are at our best when we are there for each other.