Exec aims to revive ‘JCC without walls’

Exec aims to revive ‘JCC without walls’

Avrum Glassoff, the first executive director of the JCC of Western Monmouth, said he “yearned to return to the Jewish field.”
Avrum Glassoff, the first executive director of the JCC of Western Monmouth, said he “yearned to return to the Jewish field.”

Avrum Glassoff said his acquiring the new position of executive director of the JCC of Western Monmouth represents a return to his greatest love — serving the Jewish community.

“I yearned to return to the Jewish field, to create meaningful programs for people and to have an impact on their lives,” said Glassoff, 49, who took the last two years off from Jewish programming to work as a social worker at Sterling Manor nursing home in Maple Shade. “I am very excited for this opportunity to do the work I love, and to grow in my profession as the JCC grows.”

Glassoff is the first executive director in the Manalapan JCC’s history. Until now the center had been headed by a succession of program directors.

Glassoff brings to the position 25 years of experience directing programming for Jewish youth, singles, and seniors at three major organizations: United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, UJA-Federation of New York, and NJ Y Camps in Fairfield.

Glassoff’s goal is to help revitalize the Western Monmouth JCC, an organization he refers to as a “JCC without walls.”

The center operates out of an office space, offering programming at local synagogues, including Marlboro Jewish Center, Temple Beth Shalom in Manalapan, and Temple Shaari Emeth in Manalapan. The center serves the Jewish community from Aberdeen, Millstone, and Colts Neck, to Manalapan, Marlboro, Freehold, and Howell.

Glassoff said he plans to present new programs such as Shabbat dinners, boat rides around New York, and bus trips to museums and shows. He wants to breathe new life into ongoing programs such as the monthly lunch and learn program and a monthly Jewish film series at the Brookside Assisted Living Community in Freehold.

JCC copresidents Howard Topal and Jeffrey Kirsch said Glassoff’s resume stood out for his extensive related experience.

“He has an eagerness to share his fresh ideas,” Kirsch said. “When he laid down his plans he had ideas that we think will work well for us.”

“We want to be the center of the community’s Jewish life,” Topal said. “Avrum is a people person, and that’s exactly what the community needs. He is very qualified to lead the JCC to the next level of where we want to be.”

Glassoff lives in Toms River with his wife, Joanne, and their three sons, Sam, Matthew, and Steven. He holds bachelor of arts degrees in English from Columbia University and in Judaic studies from Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and a master’s degree in social work from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work.

JCC work runs in the family: Glassoff’s wife is director of senior programming at the JCC of Greater Monmouth County in Deal.

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