To those involved in the JCC Community, February fundraising, pre-2021, always meant Reflections–a formal affair replete with a program and paddle raise.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boulder JCC introduced JFest. With the intention of celebrating the power of the community at a time when we were unable to gather in person, JFest highlighted creative virtual programming with a month of fun and interactive online events culminating in a 36-hour online fundraising drive.
In 2023, with restrictions easing up, the time was right to enhance the JFest format, allowing for more opportunities to gather in person. The month of February remained JFest and consisted of a packed schedule of programs of all sizes, and catering to all interests. Some highlights included a presentation by Executive Director, Jonathan Lev, sharing his experiences as a participant in the 2022 Ride for the Living, Pickleball Palooza, which brought together fans of this fast-growing sport for a fun afternoon of connecting on the court, Alumni Shabbat, reuniting Early Childhood Center and Cherryvale Day Camp children for an evening of togetherness, and Pub Trivia, which led to some fierce, friendly competition! We welcomed over 1,500 people, friends old and new, for programming throughout the month.
A key part of JFest is the 36-hour fundraising drive, and our community showed up strong in support of the Boulder JCC. We are proud to share that we exceeded our fundraising goal and set a JFest record of $340,000 raised. These funds are crucial in making all that we do possible and we are eternally grateful for this support.
The month concluded with the JFest Celebration Party on February 25, at which we were overjoyed to be able to celebrate alongside close to 400 guests at a transformed JCC. Combining elements of Reflections, along with the feedback we had gathered from our JCC family about what they wanted in a gala, this party was an opportunity for us to shine a light back on what matters most, the community. We dropped the fundraising aspect of the evening and took the time to be together and celebrate our reunion.
This year’s JFest and JFest Celebration would not have been possible without the dedication of our incredible community and the support of the 2023 JFest event sponsors. Stay tuned for next year’s plans!