COVID-19 Updates

Friday, May 22


Dear JCC Community,

It is with tremendous excitement and cautious optimism that we begin the process of coming back together again. We are proud of our virtual programming and community outreach that has continued to engage, inspire and connect, yet we want nothing more than to reopen our doors and welcome you all back to The Shaw JCC. The current guidelines set forth by Governor DeWine and the CDC allow for the JCC to begin opening a portion of our facility and services. Our top priority is always the health, safety, and security of our members, guests, and staff. We will be reopening the JCC in stages and err on the side of caution as we expand our offerings and bring on additional services.

Phased Reopening

We will begin a phased reopening of the JCC starting on Monday, June 1. The first stage will include fitness floor equipment, the indoor pool (lap swim only), tennis, outdoor pickleball, personal training, massage, and Reiki services. The outdoor pool is scheduled to open in mid-June, along with expanded programming, including some group exercise, Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba, as well as an Alternative Summer Experience for school-age children. Further details will be available soon.

In a combined effort by the agencies on the Schultz Campus, we have established a Health and Safety Task Force comprised of health care and other industry professionals. The Task Force provides guidance and oversight regarding the policies and procedures necessary to ensure we are maintaining best practices during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with the Task Force, we will continue to monitor the CDC and local health resources as we look to expand our offerings. Please keep checking our Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest updates.

The JCC experience will look and feel different than what you are accustomed to. The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to raise our already demanding standards to an even higher level, with new protocols designed for the health and safety of our members and staff. All areas will require reservations in order to maintain social distancing and comply with occupancy requirements. A separate communication will be sent with details about our reservation process. Other changes during Phase 1 include:

  • Checking temperatures and doing a brief health screening upon facility entry;
  • Requiring face masks for staff and members while in the building, except on the fitness floor;
  • Establishing physical distancing standards;
  • Enhanced facility and equipment sanitization;
  • Limited access to parts of the building;
  • The childcare/babysitting room will not be open;
  • Whirlpool, locker rooms, sauna and steam room will not be open – locker and towel fees are suspended.

Effective June 1, we will be operating under the following modified hours:

Please Note: The fitness floor will be closed 1:30-2:00 pm for deep cleaning and sanitation.**Senior- only hours on weekdays will be from 2:00-4:00 pm for both the fitness floor and indoor pool.

We want to take this time to thank you, our community, for your support during our closure. So many of you reached out to us and offered your support in many ways while we were closed. So far, we’ve gotten through this together, and that is how we will persevere and recognize success in the coming months. We suspended your membership fees during our closure. As we reopen on June 1, we will reinstate the normal draft of your membership dues, minus fees for locker and towel service.

We ask for your patience and partnership as we adjust to this new way of life in the safest manner possible. Thank you for your continued support of the Shaw JCC!

John Keverkamp, Executive Director 
Shaw Jewish Community Center

Tuesday, March 24

Dear JCC Community,

In our continuing commitment to keep you updated with rapidly evolving information, please see the following updates regarding your membership. Although the building has been forced to close, and day-to-day operations have been paused, our staff members are hard at work creating valuable content for the benefit of our members. Some examples are:

  • Early Childhood staff and teachers have created virtual classrooms and online activities
  • Fitness staff are making videos available via our Facebook channel @shawjcc and on our website at These include strength training, yoga, Zumba®, meditation and wellness recommendations
  • For our seniors, we will be launching some virtual SilverSneakers® classes on SilverSneakers GO and SilverSneakers On-Demand

Membership Dues
Effective April 1, 2020, and throughout the duration of the closure, the accounts of members who are billed monthly will automatically be frozen and membership dues will not be charged. Membership billing activities will resume concurrent with the reopening of the Shaw JCC. 

Alternatively, you can choose to continue to support the critical work of the Shaw JCC by converting your monthly membership payment to a charitable contribution to the Shaw JCC’s Staff and Service Sustainability efforts throughout the duration of the closure. Please email if you would like to opt in to this program or make a one-time contribution.

Annual members who are paid in full will have their membership extended for a period equal to the time the JCC is closed. These members will also have the opportunity to contribute to the Shaw JCC’s Staff and Service Sustainability efforts by emailing For those of you who are able to currently pay your monthly dues in full, we would encourage you to do so to help us meet the financial burden of the closure and the loss of program revenue. We will, of course, also extend your membership.

We want to thank everyone who has already demonstrated their commitment to our mission and staff. We are blessed to partner with members who recognize that our staff family delivers exceptional service, during regular operations and in times of trouble, with a tremendous amount of heart and expertise. 

In the days ahead, the Shaw JCC staff will continue to ramp up online resources, content and engagement opportunities. Follow us on Facebook @shawjcc, on Instagram @shawjcc, and visit for more information and updates.  

We are a resilient organization and are committed to providing you, our members, with the highest-quality service, even in uncertain times. You are exceptionally valued, and we will get through this together, one day at a time. 

John Keverkamp
Executive Director
Shaw JCC of Akron

Mark Baer
Board President

Friday, March 20

Dear Community,

While we navigate this difficult time—together—I wanted to address the community through the below video and offer our continued support. It is up to each of us to support each other, practice social distancing and do our part in protecting the community. Also, we must not forget to take care of ourselves during this time of uncertainty. That’s why in the coming days we’ll be offering virtual events and resources to help you and your family remain connected to each other and to the community. Remember, you are not alone. We are here for you. We will navigate this together.
Watch a video message from Todd
Please know that we are committed to opening our doors as soon as possible, and we will pick up right where we left off, providing best-in-class services to our membership of all ages. As a nonprofit organization, our ability to continue programs, retain our amazing staff and plan for the future is 100% dependent upon our community staying by our side—we are in this together.

Thank you to the community and our members for your continued support.
Todd Polikoff
Chief Executive Officer
Jewish Community Board of Akron

Tuesday, March 17

Thank you for your patience over the past few days and for giving us time to determine the details of how to implement the JCC’s three-week shutdown. Early Saturday, we made the very difficult decision to temporarily close the entire JCC facility in anticipation of further mandated closings by Governor DeWine. This is new territory for all of us, and we are working around the clock to absorb the latest information and make decisions that prioritize our community’s health. We are reaching out to respond to the questions we’ve received from our JCC members.
Our doors will open as soon as possible, and we will pick up right where we left off: providing best-in-class services to our membership of all ages. As a nonprofit organization, our ability to continue programs, retain our amazing staff, and plan for the future is 100% dependent upon our community staying by our side, just as we are here for you. 

Q: Why does the JCC have to close?
A: The fluidity and scale of this situation is simply unprecedented. This is part of an effort to slow the spread of the virus so that large numbers of people don’t get sick all at once and overwhelm the hospital system. For additional details on why this is important, please review the CDC’s latest guidance that people throughout the United States should avoid gatherings of 50 people or more, as well as the Ohio Department Of Health website

Q: What date will the JCC reopen?
A: We are continually monitoring the situation, talking with public health authorities, connecting with other JCCs, and consulting with local institutions in our industry. At the core of all decisions is the health and well-being of our community, our members, and our staff. Please keep in mind that our JCC programs host some of the most vulnerable populations. Our current plan is to reopen the JCC on April 4. Leading up to that date we will reevaluate the situation based on the guidelines of local, state, and federal authorities, including the Governor’s orders to temporarily close recreation centers.

Q: Will the JCC offer programs and classes online?
A: We are working to offer resources, information, and possibly even classes and programs to our membership via online tools. We are looking into live streaming with our Mandel Early Childhood Education Center teachers via Facebook Live and using other mediums like YouTube, Zoom and Instagram. Be sure to follow us on social media:

Q: What happens if the closure extends further?
A: The situation and related precautions are evolving daily, sometimes even hourly. The Shaw JCC staff and board are working diligently to consider all available information and to make decisions that prioritize the health and welfare of our community. Please note that near the end of March we will send another communication to provide further details.

We hope this answers your most pressing questions. We will stay in active communication with you as we determine next steps. Your patience is appreciated while we work to prioritize health and safety.

Sunday, March 15

As of today, there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 at the Shaw JCC or any of the other agencies on the Schultz Campus. However, in response to the Governor’s announcements, we have made the difficult decision to close the Shaw JCC and the Schultz Campus from 6:00 pm, Sunday, March 15 through Friday, April 3. This includes all programs and activities that take place at the Shaw JCC with the exception of the Mandel Early Childhood Education Center (ECE). The ECE will remain open until close of business on Wednesday, March 18 to allow families to make any necessary arrangements and then will be closed through Friday, April 3. Parents who can are strongly encouraged to keep their children home prior to the closure if possible. Thank you for understanding.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our professional team and our community, the JCBA offices are currently operating remotely. The majority of our business practices are up and running, with the exception of meetings and events. Please note that this altered work arrangement may result in a delayed response to your email. Thank you in advance for your understanding.