Our Mission

ujc-iconThe United Jewish Community of the Virginia Peninsula, Inc., (which includes the Jewish Community Center), is an organization dedicated to serving the Jewish communities of Hampton, Newport News, York County, Williamsburg, Poquoson, Smithfield, Isle of Wight, and Gloucester. We provide educational, recreational, outreach and cultural programs; defend the rights of Jewish people; maintain a program of social services; and raise and allocate funds for the support of Jewish people locally, in Israel, and in 70 countries around the world.

The UJC Goal

The goal of the UJCVP is to create a Jewish community which is respectful of Jewish differences, outreaches to Jews of all backgrounds, and is knowledgeable of and committed to Jewish values and practice. We endeavor to participate and support synagogue and Jewish communal life, making Israel a central component or our identity as a community.

It is always our goal to reach as many Jewish households as possible with a sense of pride; and serve all those who walk through our doors seeking community, connection, and support.

Our core activities include: our NAEYC accredited early childhood center, ACA accredited summer camp, community Hebrew school, Jewish Family Service office, and Jewish outreach and programming. Our doors are open to all!

The United Jewish Community Center is located on sixteen acres in Newport News, Virginia. The campus includes administrative offices, multi-purpose room, kosher kitchen, the Leonard and Sylvia Waters Memorial Library, an outdoor pool, covered patio, a youth lounge, an educational building for the Hebrew School, the UJC Early Childhood Center, tennis courts, the Jack and Eric Luckman outdoor basketball court, and The Greenspon Auditorium/ Gymnasium. Because the JCC is a meeting place for Jews of all religious affiliation and practice, all food served in this building is under the supervision of the Va’ad of the Tidewater.

The Jack and Eric Luckman Outdoor Basketball Court

The most recent addition to our campus is the outdoor basketball court recently dedicated by Lori, Jeff, Suzanne, Courtney and Fran Luckman in memory of Jack and Eric Luckman. The court is for use by all JCC members. It is available for private parties and is also used during our summer camp season. Rental fees upon request.

Leonard and Sylvia Waters Memorial Library

The community is invited to browse through and check-out books from the library located in the office building of the Jewish Community Center. The library houses novels, books on the Jewish holidays, Holocaust related volumes, the Encyclopedia Judaica, books on Jewish humor, philosophy, Soviet Jewry, and others.

Greenspon Auditorium/Gymnasium

The Greenspon Auditorium/Gymnasium went through a complete renovation in 2007 and is available upon request for recreation or for rental. This college sized gym can be used for competitions.

Rental fees are $50 per hour for JCC members and $100 per hour for non-JCC members and non-Jewish organizations (minimum 3 hours). Rental fees to Jewish organizations will be determined by the Executive Director and will include a $25 set-up/clean-up charge.

During the fall and winter seasons, the gym is used for winter camp, girls volleyball, and boys/girls youth basketball. An adult basketball league is again planned for the 2011/2012 season.

Jewish Community Center Membership

What do you get from being a member of your JCC? First and foremost you are supporting an institution that provides Jewish activities to all ages in our community. It is a place where every Jewish person, no matter what his/her affiliation, can come to enjoy programs, learn, meet people, and be a part of an entire community. By joining you are making a statement –– that you believe in the mission of the JCC and that you are willing to be an active part of providing a “Jewish home away from home for our community.”

Your JCC membership along with gifts to the UJC annual campaign helps to fund an outstanding Early Childhood Center, a community wide Hebrew School program, a very vibrant and quality camping experience for our children, lunches and programs for our seniors, activities for children in grades 3 through 12, Jewish and secular educational programs for all adults, and more.

With your membership there are, of course, direct benefits. Your pool membership is included as well as significant discounts on numerous programs. Scholarships based on need are available for all programs. For information, call the UJC office.

Holocaust Writing Competition

The United Jewish Community sponsors the Annual Holocaust Writing Competition funded by the Sarfan/William M. and Gary S. Nachman Philanthropic fund of the UJC Endowment Fund. One of the primary goals of this writing competition is to encourage young people to apply the lessons of history to the moral decisions they make today. Through studying the Holocaust, students explore the issues of moral courage as well as the dangers of prejudice, peer pressure, unthinking obedience to authority, and indifference. This competition provides students an opportunity to think and express themselves creatively about what they have learned.

Students in grades 6-12 from public and private schools in Gloucester, Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg, and York County are invited to participate by submitting either a poem or essay based on a prescribed theme. The 2017 competition received 361 entries. Winners of the competition are recognized and presented their awards at the annual Yom Hashoah commemorative program in the spring.

UJC Annual Campaign

The UJC of the Virginia Peninsula is proud to be a part of the global Jewish world as a member of the national United Jewish Communities Federation system. National UJC represents and serves 155 Jewish federations and 400 independent Jewish communities across North America. It reflects the values of social justice and human rights that define the Jewish people and the values of caring that transform lives and perform miracles. Through our overseas partners, The Jewish Agency for Israel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, national UJC represents and serves one of the world’s largest and most effective networks of social service providers and programs. UJC, JAFI, and JDC professionals and volunteers – dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing Jewish life help meet the needs of all people, Jews and non-Jews, wherever they live.

As part of this world wide network The UJC of the Virginia Peninsula engages in an Annual Campaign which allows us to fulfill our mission of safeguarding the viability and growth of our local community while supporting our Jewish brothers and sisters around the world. Specifically our campaign allows us to:

*Provide essential Jewish Community Center operating funds supporting seniors, youth, early childhood center, Community Hebrew School, Summer and Winter camps, Community Relations Council, and much more;

*Provide support to other crucial UJC beneficiary agencies such as Jewish Family Service, Beth Sholom Village, The Hebrew Academy of Tidewater, local Hillels, and more;

*Provide funds for our overseas partners JAFI and JDC who in turn support vital needs in Israel and around the world.

This annual campaign is planned and executed by a dedicated group of volunteers and professionals who make up the UJC Campaign Council. This year’s Campaign Council chaired by Kenny Murov, will lead the community in our efforts to preserve Jewish life here and abroad. The dozens of solicitors who volunteer endless hours to work on the campaign are committed to reaching as many community members as possible to encourage all of you to support the community vision. When contacted by a volunteer, please answer their calls. Meet with them and dig deep in your pockets to help us reach this year’s campaign goal. Whether your gift is $36,000 or $36, each gift counts!

Super Sunday

Our campaign season is filled with many events that encourage education, and participation at all levels of the campaign. Super Sunday is one of our most important fund raising and community building days and one of the most exciting events of our campaign season. Super Sunday chair people, Scott and Susan Stein bring together scores of volunteers at the JCC to call hundreds of their peers from areas on the upper and lower Peninsula, and areas surrounding Gloucester and Smithfield. In addition, 100 religious school students from all over the Peninsula share a morning together for friendship and learning. It’s not every day that you can improve lives around the world with a single phone call or single answer. If you can’t join us here on campus, please answer the call and help us fulfill our vision for the future.

Community Relations Council (CRC)

The Community Relations Council is the central representative body of Jewish organizations and institutions on the Virginia Peninsula devoted to community relations, information, and action. We believe that religious liberty, free from government promotion, is an indispensable aspect of American democracy.

Please feel free to obtain needed information. The UJC phone number is 930-1422.
All communications with the CRC are and will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Leadership Development

The UJC is proud to be a significant part of developing future leaders for our Jewish community. Towards this end we currently sponsor an ongoing Leadership development group which has 28 participants from throughout the Peninsula. This group began last winter and will continue with a full slate of activities for the year to encourage members to examine their future roles in Jewish organizational life. Topics covered will range from examining local Jewish organizations, Jewish History, Jewish Philanthropy and more. Participants will have the opportunity to join with thousands of other young Jewish leaders from around the country for the UJC Washington 15 young leadership conference in March.