The Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver (JCC) and Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver have agreed to collaborate on the proposed JCC site redevelopment plan, which is expected to result in a new multigenerational community centre and a mixed-use rental housing project in the rapidly growing Oakridge neighbourhood. This partnership is the first of its kind in the Vancouver Jewish community’s history.
Should the redevelopment move forward as proposed, it is expected to be the largest investment the local Jewish community has ever made in a single project. In addition to the new JCC, the site redevelopment is expected to add new mixed-use rental housing units, expanded childcare, seniors services, cultural spaces and amenities to the city.
The organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will see them work together to fulfill a shared vision that is rooted in extensive community and public consultation, and which would positively impact Vancouver residents for generations to come.
The MOU outlines a partnership in which the JCC would transfer ownership of its property to a new community entity governed by an independent Board of Directors. The JCC and Jewish Federation also agree to collaborate on and co-lead fundraising activities for the capital campaign to fund this exciting and transformative community initiative.
“This agreement is an important initial step toward acting upon the community’s vision for a revitalized JCC that would become a legacy for the Jewish community and the city,” said JCC president, Salomon Casseres. “Our Board is excited to partner with Jewish Federation. We believe that this collaboration puts the project on a strong foundation for success, from a community, financial and governance perspective.”
“An opportunity like this comes along perhaps once in a generation, so we are very proud to be working closely with the JCC on this historic project,” said Alex Cristall, Jewish Federation’s board chair. “Jewish Federation takes a broad, long-term view of the sustainability, growth and evolution of the local Jewish community, and we believe that this project will create a strong core that will ultimately allow us to increase our reach and our impact.”
The proposed JCC site redevelopment is expected to result in a new 200,000 square foot state-of-the-art recreational, cultural and community centre with new childcare spaces, more services for seniors, an expanded space for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, a new theatre and more. The new JCC is expected to continue to be a hub for more than 15 not-for-profit community organizations, as well as arts and cultural, aquatics, and fitness programs.
The mixed-use rental housing units included in the site redevelopment plan are expected to be offered at or below market value and be open to everyone.
“The proposed redevelopment of the JCC site is a complex, long-term project that will take commitments from across the community, government and beyond to realize. We are hopeful that the necessary support can be secured to make this proposed redevelopment possible,” said Cristall.
A Diverse and Inclusive Community Centre
The current 60 year old JCC facility is accessed by a variety of different communities and is one of the leading and most diverse community centres in the area. It serves 40,000 people a year, comprising more than 300,000 visits annually.
“The JCC is a leader in providing cultural, recreational and social activities to the community, and is a beacon of diversity and inclusion for all citizens,” said Casseres. “The JCC isn’t just for the Jewish community – it’s open to everyone.”
The JCC is located in the heart of Oakridge – a neighbourhood that is central to the City of Vancouver’s Cambie Corridor Plan. Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the rezoning of the JCC site redevelopment plan in September 2018. The planning stages of the project have received support from the provincial government and private donors. The JCC and Jewish Federation will provide additional information about the project in the months to come.
About the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver
The mission of the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver is to provide leadership in cultural, recreational, educational and social activities, enabling individuals and families to achieve and to enhance a positive identification with Jewish life and Israel, and to develop good citizenship and a sense of community.
About Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver
Jewish Federation is the central planning organization for the local Jewish community. Through the Federation Annual Campaign, special project funding, and the Jewish Community Foundation, Jewish Federation generates the funds needed to meet community needs today, tomorrow and for years to come. Jewish Federation works collaboratively with more than three dozen partner organizations, unifying their work. Together, we touch the lives of thousands of community members locally, in our partnership region in Israel, and around the world.