Jewish Council for Youth Services
ANNUAL REPORT 2016
growing up jcys
Education Recreation Le a der ship Civic Service Jewish Values Philanthropy
Guided by Jewish values and culture, Jewish Council for Youth Services provides educational and recreational programs for Chicagoland’s children and, through board service, develops the next generation of Jewish civic leaders.
Table of Contents
Message from Leadership................................... 2-3 JCYS History............................................................. 4-5 Early Childhood Education................................. 6-7 Summer Camps....................................................... 8-9 Specialty Programs........................................... 10-11 Leadership Development............................... 12-13 Board of Directors....................................................14 Past Presidents & Directors for Life..................15 Program & Financial Data............................. 16-17 Donors................................................................... 18-29 Award Recipients............................................... 30-31
A Message from Leadership
The Jewish Council for Youth Services was founded in 1907 as the Young Men’s Jewish Council with a mission of supporting Chicago’s Jewish youth with recreational and educational opportunities through summer camp experiences. Throughout the years - and from generation to generation - our programs and services have changed and evolved to meet the demands of our community. Today, JCYS serves over 10,000 individuals of every race, religion, and socio-economic background through our four early childhood education centers, eight summer day camps, our overnight camp, and multiple specialty programs.
Our New Family Center Through a lead gift from the Michael and Karyn Lutz Family Foundation, JCYS responded to the increased demand for our services in the City of Chicago and opened a brand new family center in the growing Wicker Park neighborhood. Operating alongside the Michael R. Lutz Family Center in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, this new Michael R. Lutz Family Center is a second home for families in the city, and provides a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn, play, and grow through preschool education, after-school programs, and summer day camp. The registration list is growing, and the doors opened for children and families in the fall of 2016.
Growing Up JCYS This year’s Annual Gala in May honored the legacy of Past President Ken Solomon, the leadership of his son and fellow Past President David Solomon, and the commitment and generosity of the Solomon family. We remember Ken for his unparalleled commitment to Young Men’s Jewish Council, recognize his wife Ellen for being a constant source of support for the agency, and thank all the Solomon family members who have participated in the agency’s growth and success over the last 40 years. David Solomon embodies this year’s Gala theme, “Growing up JCYS”. As a camper at Northshore Day Camp in Morton Grove in the 1970’s, David and his brothers watched as his parents dedicated their time and resources to Young Men’s Jewish Council. David followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the Jewish Council for Youth Services Board in 1995, and in 2002, he became President of JCYS. David, his wife Tanya, their son Matthew, and their daughter Mollie, who were campers at JCYS Sunflower Day Camp, continue to serve JCYS and are involved as leaders in other charitable and philanthropic endeavors, making a difference in their local communities. Over 300 board members, board alumni, civic leaders, and friends joined us to celebrate the evening. Proceeds were allocated to the JCYS Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to JCYS families each year.
JCYS Board President Adam Tarantur JCYS Executive Director John Thomason
Helping Camp Red Leaf Support Others The only American Camp Association accredited camp serving both children and adults with disabilities in metropolitan Chicago, Camp Red Leaf fulfills a vital need for safe, enriching, and yearround programming for individuals with special needs through week-long summer camps, weekend respite care, and travel camp adventures. One of many of JCYS’s specialized programs, Camp Red Leaf is growing by leaps and bounds as demand for our services increases. Already this year, Camp Red Leaf doubled the number of respite weekends it provides so that more and more families can enjoy the benefits of the program. Summer camp sessions were sold out and had waiting lists. We look forward to expanding Camp Red Leaf in the coming years and doing even more through this program to meet our mission. If all of this weren’t enough, our core early childhood programs served 751 children at our three family centers in Lakeview, Highland Park, and Buffalo Grove, and, along with our overnight camp in Ingleside, provided a variety of summer camp experiences to 663 children. Please look through this Annual Report to read more on how JCYS continues to extend its services and values from one generation to the next.
Adam Tarantur President, JCYS Board of Directors
John Thomason Executive Director, JCYS
JCYS – first known as “Young Men’s Associated Jewish
Charities” and later as “Young Men’s Jewish Council” – was founded. The agency’s initial
purpose was to engage a group of young male leaders in securing financial support for various Jewish charities
While the leadership experience continued to be a key part of the agency’s mission, JCYS sought a new direction – to directly serve the youth of Jewish immigrants who desperately needed social and recreational services. The organization chose to pursue this goal through
JCYS’s summer camp near Wooster Lake was renamed upon
the passing of Illinois Governor Henry Horner who was Young Men’s Jewish Council president
in 1915 and integral to the summer camp’s
beginnings. Camp Henry Horner continues to be a retreat campers and youth enjoy throughout the year.
Women started to play a larger role in the workforce
and JCYS responded by adding preschool programs and parentchild activities. The agency experienced significant growth with the addition of the George W. Lutz Family Center in Highland
Park and the Michael R. Lutz Family
Center in Lakeview.
For over a century JCYS has responded to the varying needs and shifting demographics in the Chicago area. Our programs and services have evolved to meet the demands of the community but our commitment and dedication to service and those we serve has remained constant.
Continuing the agency’s mission of service, Camp
Red Leaf was founded to offer programming to children and adults with
The agency changed its name from “Young Men’s Jewish Council” to “Jewish Council for Youth Services” to honor the growing role of women
in the organization and better reflect the age group most served through its programs.
The range of JCYS programs continued to grow through the addition of TEAMcorps, a program for at-risk
teens. The agency also took on ownership of the former
Elms Swim & Tennis Club in Highland Park,
renovated it, and renamed it the Lillian L. Lutz Recreation Center. The decade closed under
the leadership of the agency’s first female Board President, Phyllis Tabachnick, who was
elected in 1999.
Extending the reach of agency services, the Northwest Family Center
opened as an early childhood education center, offering infant care for the first time in
JCYS history. More summer camp offerings were added, including NSDC Sports, Jon Vegosen Champ Camp, Big City Day Camp, and Camp STAR – making JCYS Chicagoland’s choice for child and youth
Construction of the new Michael R. Lutz Family Center in Chicago’s Wicker
Park neighborhood began in 2015.
The new Family Center opened in the fall of 2016.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
EXPANDING OUR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION REACH
Through a lead gift from the Michael and Karyn Lutz Family Foundation, JCYS responded to the increased demand for our services in the City of Chicago and opened a brand new family center in the growing Wicker Park neighborhood. Operating alongside the Michael R. Lutz Family Center in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, the new Michael R. Lutz Family Center is a second home for families in the city, and provides a safe, nurturing environment for children to learn, play, and grow through preschool education, after-school programs, and summer day camp. The registration list is growing, and the doors opened for children and families in the fall of 2016. For the 2016-17 school year, early childhood education will be offered for children ages 15 months – 4 years. As our center grows, after-school programming for Grades K – 6 and summer camps for ages 15 months – Grade 8 will be added. Center Director, Marissa Gray, thinks holistically about children and their families, focusing on serving the family unit as a whole and not just the individual child.
George W. Lutz Family Center Highland Park, IL
Opportunities abound with Parent & Child Toddler transition groups, Traditional, Half & Full-Day Preschool, Kinder Concepts, and Kindergarten Enrichment. Programs are individually tailored to nurture children and grow with them. Using a variety of curricula and activities from arts and imaginative play to science, music, and nature, JCYS establishes a love of learning in each child.
Northwest Family Center Buffalo Grove, IL
Developmentally appropriate, play-based curriculum encourages children’s creativity, fosters self-esteem and socialization, and establishes a love of learning. Through Infant & Toddler Care, Preschool & Kindergarten Enrichment, Kids’ Night Out, dance, and sports programming, JCYS helps children build a strong foundation for the future.
Michael R. Lutz Family Center Chicago, IL
Unique curriculum provides children with the tools and resources to explore and discover the world around them. Through Half & Full-Day Preschool and an active Parent Organization, the Chicago Center provides a true community experience with Shabbat Family Dinners, children’s concerts, weekend activities, and parent-led afternoon classroom programs.
Camp Henry Horner Ingleside, IL
This day and overnight camp on 180 wooded acres on the shores of Wooster Lake features a ropes course with zip line, sports fields, a lake front, arts and crafts, performing arts, outdoor education, and a heated outdoor pool.
North Shore Day Camp & NSDC Sports Highland Park, IL
Campers enjoy daily swimming instruction and sports, music and drama, and arts and crafts, along with weekly field trips, overnighters, and Friday Fun Days.
Big City Day Camp Chicago, IL
Campers explore Chicago with weekly field trips offering unique behind-the-scenes experiences. This urban camp provides diverse activities with professional sports coaches, artists, musicians, and yoga instructors.
Horner Grove Day Camp Buffalo Grove, IL
A traditional day camp for children six weeks to six years old. Campers explore special interests in nature, karate, tumbling, sports, music, drama, arts and crafts, and swim lessons.
Sunflower Day Camps Highland Park & Chicago, IL
An introductory summer camp experience with two- to five- yearolds enjoying age-appropriate water activities, in-house field trips, arts and crafts, music, games, and playing with their JCYS friends.
jcys SUMMER CAMPs
Camp Red Leaf
For over three decades, Camp Red Leaf has opened its doors – and arms – to embrace thousands of children and adults with developmental disabilities. As the only American Camp Association accredited camp serving both children and adults with disabilities in metropolitan Chicago, Camp Red Leaf’s programs increase self-esteem, promote interaction, improve social skills, and encourage independence in a natural environment. Camp Red Leaf summer camp programs, weekend respite care, and travel camp served 633 campers in Fiscal Year 2016. It served an additional 754 campers in continued partnership with eight different organizations that serve youth and adults with disabilities. Using a vast natural environment, campers hone motor skills and coordination through team sports and recreational activities, including boating activities on Wooster Lake and the high and low ropes course at Glickman High Sierra Adventure Center. These team-building activities help campers increase their social skills and develop close friendships. The unique programming and wheelchair-accessible grounds include the Sacks Family Treehouse, Glickman High Sierra Adventure Center, Leibow Lodge, Harriet Gerber Lewis Arts & Crafts Center, outdoor pool, and Wooster Lake. These provide an environment in which all campers may feel comfortable and in control.
Camp Red Leaf Ingleside, IL
Camp Red Leaf serves individuals ages nine and older with disabilities. The highly adaptable programs are designed to increase self-esteem, promote interaction, improve social skills, and encourage independence in a natural, supportive environment.
Camp STAR Highland Park, IL
This award winning treatment program provides a transformative experience for children with ADHD and related disorders and their families by blending behavioral treatment and recreation in the context of a summer camp. Camp STAR is a joint effort of the University of Illinois at Chicago and JCYS.
Jon Vegosen Champ Camp Highland Park, IL
Over 75 low-income families on the North Shore receive scholarships to attend this high-quality, structured summer program which develops confidence, self-esteem, healthy lifestyle habits, teamwork, and an appreciation for athletics and sportsmanship through a combination of tennis, fitness, swimming, and nutrition education.
CHH Outdoor Education & Retreat Center Ingleside, IL
Our lakeside camp offers team-building, meeting facilities, and retreats in a woodland setting on Lake Wooster. Groups come to enjoy the High Sierra Climbing Wall and Ropes Course, and lake front activities with overnight accommodations and meal plans for a truly unique experience.
JCYS has been guiding young professionals in the art of governance, financial management, and business development through the Board of Directors experience since the agency’s inception. Known as a “learning board,” Board Members “learn by doing” with the intention of developing the skills needed for a lifetime of community service and philanthropy. Within the framework of the organization’s child and youth programming, and as a true fiduciary board, the JCYS Board of Directors gain hands-on experience through:
• Establishing the agency’s mission and strategic plan, • Overseeing the agency’s budget and investments, • Approving and monitoring facility improvements, • Championing the agency’s fundraising campaigns, and • Learning non-profit governance. Through exposure to the full scope of the agency’s operations, Board Members become equipped to assume key leadership roles throughout JCYS. Our Board Alumni consist of over 600 members who have gone on to start their own businesses, become top executives within their chosen professions, and develop into strong philanthropic leaders at civic and charitable organizations. 12
As part of the leadership development component, Board Members have the opportunity to meet and collaborate with seasoned Board Alumni to discuss strategy, fundraising and agency projects. This allows Board Members and Board Alumni to forge new relationships while working together on agency business.