Meet the Community

The Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan is a community comprising hundreds of extraordinary individuals, all representing something essential. Members of our capable staff put together Shabbat dinners, coach kids in the gym, and work with individuals with special needs. JCC members represent the vast array of programs, each impacting them in myriad ways. As you scroll through the videos below, keep in mind that each person profiled serves his or her purpose in the mosaic that makes up our vertical village on the Upper West Side. Each person featured here has a role to play and, in his or her own way, makes our community better.

Series produced by Leah Rosensweet and Angelica Ciccone.

Meet Udi Urman

Director of the Lambert Center for Arts + Ideas and The David H. Sonabend Center for Israel at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.

Barbara Simon

Learn what this longtime Ulpan instructor loves about Hebrew, learning in community, and the sweetness of teaching. For more about Ulpan at the JCC, visit

The Pucketts

Married for over 50 years, Yvonne and Roger Puckett are beloved NIA instructors. Dancing helps them stay young at heart, and the JCC is where they help others heal. To learn more about NIA, click here.

Coach Shereef

If you spend time in our third floor gymnasium, odds are, you know Coach Shereef. Not only has he taught children important sports skills, he's become the role model he would have loved to have during his own childhood.

Kerin Robins

For eight summers and counting, Kerin has brought her infectious spirit and positivity to JCC summer camps. While our campers learn many important values from her, she's learned a thing or two from them as well. Kerin was with the JCC Day Camp @ Pearl River until the summer of 2015. In 2016, we moved into our new home, Camp Settoga.


Orit Spanier—In Loving Memory

Battling an illness can be an isolating experience. Thanks to her dedicated JCC aquatics students, who called themselves her "Mermaids," Orit never had to feel alone. Orit Spanier passed away Feb 6, 2019. May her memory be for a blessing.

Zurisadai Robert

As a membership supervisor and one of the first faces people see when they come to the JCC, Zurisadai's message is simple—that we don't want you to leave! Become a JCC member today:

Nadia Sachs—In Loving Memory

In the decade-plus that Nadia Sachs took ceramics at the JCC, she created over 100 beautiful pieces of art. But more important, she found a family. We had the pleasure of talking to Nadia in her UWS apartment.  To read the story about senior ceramicists in action that appeared in our Winter/Spring 2019 Program Guide, click hereNadia Sachs passed away July 2020. May her memory be for a blessing.

Hannah Schrader

Few exemplify the JCC journey better than Hannah Schrader, who has been a part of the JCC community her entire life. To learn more about BBYO and other teen programs visit:

Allison Pillinger Choi

Member Allison Pillinger Choi cofounded Experiment in Dialogue, a JCC-hosted group that allows people with diverse viewpoints to come together over dinner and find common ground. Learn more about Allison and Experiment in Dialogue: To read the story about EID that appeared in our Fall 2018 Program Guide, click here.  

Sarah Heller

Serious physical obstacles haven't kept JCC + Adaptations member Sarah Heller from participating in 50+ marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, and more. For her, every day is a gift to be cherished. To read the story about Sarah Heller that appeared in our Fall 2018 Program Guide, click here. [LINK TO STORY PAGE ON SARAH]   For more information visit

Sarah-Kay Lacks

Since 2004, Sarah-Kay has developed free and low-cost Shabbat and holiday celebrations for our community and beyond. To read the story about Shabbat Shabbang that appeared in oure Winter/Spring 2017 Program Guide, click here.