Trager Family Jewish Community Center (JCC) – Towne Post Network
The Trager Family Jewish Community Center has something for all ages
Screenwriter / Renée Larr
The Trager family’s new Jewish Community Center (JCC) opens its doors this spring. The $43 million facility is located behind the current facility on Dutchmans Lane. It features a year-round indoor aquatic facility, a modern 37,000 square foot fitness space offering more than 75 weekly group fitness classes, more than 50 cardio machines, a new performance hall, a learning center for preschoolers and a multipurpose center. auditorium space that will serve as the new home of CenterStage.
Members of the Trager family have long supported the Jewish community of Louisville and the new establishment. The Trager family doubled their initial pledge of $1.5 million to $3 million, earmarked for the construction of the new building.
The new facility was designed to embody the values of the Jewish community. It was designed with useful spaces that reflect Jewish culture and welcome anyone, regardless of religion. The JCC partnered with architectural firm GBBN to create the new building.
It is divided into three main areas – heart, mind and soul, according to Susan Kwasny, director of fitness at JCC. She calls the main hall the heart of the building. The ceiling features a large screen of hexagons that create the Star of David. The heart then opens up to the body, the state-of-the-art fitness center as well as indoor and outdoor water aerobics. The Early Learning Center nurtures the minds of young children.
The project had been under construction for 18 months. On March 10, Governor Andy Beshear attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the new building.
“The ribbon cutting was wonderful,” says Kwasny. “The presence of the governor showed how important this project is for the whole community. We want to serve both the Jewish community and the general public. We wanted to make sure it was a place where everyone felt welcome.
The fitness center is more than just a place for members to work out, Kwasny says. “We want to be a multi-purpose center,” she says. “We want to provide fitness opportunities, aquatic opportunities, arts and preschool programs. We want to be a one stop shop for families.
The fitness center includes a dedicated performance room with TRX straps, squat racks, barbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls and more. The center is equipped with new Peloton bikes, 45′ of indoor grass for strength and conditioning, and an elevated indoor track. In-house services include personal training, massage services, physical therapy and nutritional coaching.
The indoor and outdoor pool facility is open year-round and includes a 25-meter six-lane pool, a large recreational pool with a slide, a vortex pool, steam rooms, saunas and a whirlpool. ADA-accessible zero-depth entry improves access for all ages.
The Trager Family JCC offers programming and enrichment opportunities, including high-level kindergarten preparation and care for the youngest members of the Roth Family Education Center. Camp J offers summer and winter day camp opportunities for children to grow and learn. Club J offers after school pickup with activities to keep kids having fun, doing homework and being active every day.
The Shapiro Auditorium is home to one of Louisville’s most renowned theater programs, CenterStage. CenterStage offers quality community theater and spectacular musicals. The theater allows local artists, creators and musicians to practice their passions. Aspiring young actors participate in arts education programs.
“We’ve had a home in the old building for over 20 years and our program is over 100 years old,” says Erin Jump, Educational Program Coordinator. “The space is state-of-the-art, with built-in sound. We’re using a lot of our old equipment and getting new draperies and lighting, which makes it feel like a whole new space. We can’t wait to make art together in the new neighborhood.
J Arts & Ideas Acting Out is a professional touring children’s theater troupe that travels to schools and community centers across Kentuckiana to present educational and relevant musical theater to students of all levels. The program will use the auditorium for production, planning, preparation and rehearsal.
J Arts & Ideas Academy is a musical theater training program for young people that allows students to discover and develop their talents as performers. Each child will work with theater professionals in three disciplines, including acting, singing and dancing.
“Our Academy children and their families are extremely active behind the scenes in our experience,” says Jump. “We‘I’ve been moving things to the new space and checking it out. We‘We will have our first show in the new auditorium in May. The kids can’t wait to get in there. »
Jump says the CenterStage board worked tirelessly to plan the space so they could showcase the programming. She says they paid attention to the technical elements, the lighting and sound, and the audience experience, to ensure the best use of the space.
The JCC’s Active Adults programming offers year-round nutrition, fitness, recreation, education and cultural activities that promote health, social connections and independent living for active and older adults. They also offer weekly movie screenings, book clubs, games, songs, and craft activities.
“We serve communal kosher meals Monday through Friday for seniors in our cafe,” Kwasny says. “We also provide the only Kosher Meals on Wheels service in Kentucky.”
St. Matthews resident Bud Schardein has been a member of the JCC for nearly 50 years. He says he and his wife Sandy raised their kids there, and now his grandkids are members too. He also says that there is something for everyone regardless of age at the JCC.
“I was raised to believe in inclusive facilities and clubs that would allow membership and welcome everyone,” says Schardein. “For me, the JCC has always been like this. No one is judged on their religious affiliation or their financial situation. Everyone, no matter who they are, is welcome as long as they are a good person. It’s a place that welcomes good people and diversity.
Schardein served on the capital campaign committee to raise funds for the new building.
“I’m not a Jew by faith, but I have Jewish ancestry on my father’s side and many friends in the Jewish community,” Schardein says. “I felt honored to have been asked to be part of the project to help raise funds to build the new center. It’s such a unique place where members support other members.
Leaders of the Jewish Federation of Louisville say the Jewish community and everyone involved in the planning of the new building kept Jewish value, “tikkun olam,” at heart every step of the way.
The Trager Family Jewish Community Center is located at 3600 Dutchmans Lane in Louisville. For more information, call 502-459-0660 or visit jewishlouisville.org/the-j.