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Merage JCC News

JCC Waves swimmer Lindsey Engel goes to Japan with the elite California-Nevada All-Star Team

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Irvine, CA – Lindsey Engel, one of several swimming phenoms on the JCC Waves swim team, was recently selected to participate with the elite California-Nevada 18 and under All-Star Swim Team. Comprised of 18 boys and 18 girls from competitive swim clubs throughout California and Nevada, the team spent last weekend competing with the team in Osaka, Japan at the Wakayama Championships.

At the Japan-Itoman competition in Osaka, Japan, Lindsey earned gold in the 50 meter freestyle, and placed 3rd in the 100 meter butterfly and 4th in the 200 meter butterfly.

Lindsey holds Southern California records in the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle relay. She also holds the California Interscholastic Federation High School record for the 50 and 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke for Crean High School in Irvine, where she attends.

Lindsey was selected for the team based on her results from USA Swimming’s December Nationals in Knoxville and Junior Nationals in Greensboro.

About the JCC Waves
The JCC Waves are the official swim team of the Merage Jewish Community Center in Irvine, CA. The team is designed to bring all levels of swimmers to a fun and fit activity that can lead to success in high school, college scholarships and the national stage. Currently, the Waves have over 55 invite level (JAG/WAG) swimmers, 40 Junior Olympic swimmers, 21 sectional swimmers, 10 Junior National qualifiers and 3 Olympic Trial swimmers.

The JCC Waves are led by the married swimming duo Chris and Gina Duncan, both former competitive swimmers.

Chris Duncan
Aquatic Director and JCC Waves Head Coach
USA Swimming Coach Member
Member American Swim Coach Association 15th year
AFO Certified

Gina Duncan
Assistant Aquatic Director and JCC Waves Head Age Group Coach
USA Swimming Coach Member
Member American Swim Coach Association 10th year

Gina regularly places JCC Wave swimmers in USA National Rankings and works closely with all JCC programs for a superior customer service experience, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”.

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About the Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County
Located on the Samueli Jewish Campus in the hills of Irvine, the Merage JCC serves more than 2,850 member families, welcoming both Jews  and non-Jews alike. Boasting an onsite preschool and day camp, fully-equipped theater and art studio, state-of-the-art fitness and aquatic center and the fourth largest JCC gymnasium in North America, the JCC is the hub of Orange County’s dynamic and fast-growing Jewish community offering programs, classes and events for all ages. To take a tour or for additional information contact us at 949-435-3400, One Federation Way, Irvine CA 92063 or visit www.JCCOC.org.

Contact: Julie Holdaway
714.292.3426
julieh@jccoc.org

JCC Waves swim team breaks records and brings home the gold at the Southern California Swimming Club Championships

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Irvine, CA – JCC Waves last week sent 40 swimmers to the Southern California Swimming Club Championships and came home winners. The team broke seven swim meet records and won 37 total individual medals and 3 relay wins. JCC Waves proves to be a small and powerful team amongst much bigger competitors.

Juliana Witting, 12-years old and Irvine phenom, broke an amazing four records for her age group: 100 yard Individual Medley, 100 yard breaststroke, 200 yard breaststroke, and 50 yard freestyle. Fourth in the nation overall, Michelle Tekawy, 10-years old, also an Irvine phenom, set the 200 yard Individual Medly record, as well as the 100 yard butterfly record. Breaking records earned Michelle Tekawy and Juliana Witting each 5 gold medals.

Additionally, the JCC Waves 15-18 years old girls relay team set the record for the 400 yard freestyle relay, as well as winning gold for the 800 freestyle relay.

400 yard freestyle relay gold medal winners and record breakers:
Sisters Taylor and Devin Newton (Fountain Valley), Rachel Thompson (Tustin) and Madelyn Meisel (Long Beach)

800 yard freestyle relay gold medal winners:
Sisters Taylor and Devin Newton (Fountain Valley), Rachel Thompson (Tustin) and Madelyn Meisel (Long Beach)

The Waves won an additional relay with the Newton sisters, Breanna Tran (Tustin) and Lauren Weins (Irvine) in the 200 Medley relay.

In addition to two gold winning relay teams, JCC Waves’ Rachel Thompson was golden in the 200 yard freestyle.

The boys did not come home empty handed. Alejandro Ortiz (Irvine) won silver in the 1000 yard freestyle and Jarod Yoshihara (Irvine) in the 100 yard backstroke.

The Southern California Swimming Club Championships took place February 14-17 at East LA College hosted by the Rose Bowl Aquatic Club. To qualify teams had to have one of the top 32 fastest times in respective age groups over the last year. Over 800 youth from 80 teams participated from all over Southern California, including future Olympic contenders. This is the top meet in Southern California and one of the nation’s foremost meets for swimmers 18 and under.

About the JCC Waves
The JCC Waves are the official swim team of the Merage Jewish Community Center in Irvine, CA. The team is designed to bring all levels of swimmers to a fun and fit activity that can lead to success in high school, college scholarships and the national stage. Currently, the Waves have over 55 invite level (JAG/WAG) swimmers, 40 Junior Olympic swimmers, 21 sectional swimmers, 10 Junior National qualifiers and 3 Olympic Trial swimmers.

The JCC Waves are led by the married swimming duo Chris and Gina Duncan, both former competitive swimmers.

Chris Duncan
Aquatic Director and JCC Waves Head Coach
USA Swimming Coach Member
Member American Swim Coach Association 15th year
AFO Certified

Gina Duncan
Assistant Aquatic Director and JCC Waves Head Age Group Coach
USA Swimming Coach Member
Member American Swim Coach Association 10th year

Gina regularly places JCC Wave swimmers in USA National Rankings and works closely with all JCC programs for a superior customer service experience, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”.

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About the Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County
Located on the Samueli Jewish Campus in the hills of Irvine, the Merage JCC serves more than 2,850 member families, welcoming both Jews  and non-Jews alike. Boasting an onsite preschool and day camp, fully-equipped theater and art studio, state-of-the-art fitness and aquatic center and the fourth largest JCC gymnasium in North America, the JCC is the hub of Orange County’s dynamic and fast-growing Jewish community offering programs, classes and events for all ages. To take a tour or for additional information contact us at 949-435-3400, One Federation Way, Irvine CA 92063 or visit www.JCCOC.org.

Contact: Julie Holdaway
714.292.3426
julieh@jccoc.org

Merage Jewish Community Center Announces a New Early Childhood Learning Center Director: Lisa Monette

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Monette-cropIrvine, CA – The Merage Jewish Community Center is excited to announce Lisa Monette as the new Director of the Early Childhood Learning Center, effective February 17, 2014.

According to Dan Bernstein, President/CEO, “We found a director who works equally well with teachers and staff, children, and parents; who embraces our educational philosophies and Jewish values; and whose collaborative leadership style and dedication to developing young learners is inspiring to teachers and parents. Lisa’s developmental knowledge, love of children and exceptional communication skills make it clear that she has the essential qualities and characteristics necessary to lead the Merage JCC’s preschool.”

A psychology graduate of University of California San Diego, Lisa has a Master’s in Education with an emphasis in Multi- Cultural Counseling from San Diego State University. 15+ years of professional experience designing, implementing and running programs within the fields of education and marketing. Lisa has served as a preschool teacher at Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle, WA; developed programming at Upward Bound, a program preparing children for academic success; and as faculty in San Diego State University’s Masters Education Program. Most recently, Lisa developed and delivered Temple Shir Ha Ma’a lot’s programming for 10-month (parent and child) through 5-year olds.

Lisa is honored and delighted by the opportunity to lead the Merage JCC’s Early Childhood Learning Center, and in accepting her appointment said, “Working in early childhood education is especially exciting because it is the gateway to the children’s journey in education. The J’s preschool is unique in that it offers the benefits of a large institution while maintaining a warm, haimish, loving community for the children.”

Lisa captures it best, noting, “I look forward to working with the dedicated teachers, supportive parents and amazing kids who make the preschool such a magical place.”

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About the Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County

Located on the Samueli Jewish Campus in the hills of Irvine, the Merage JCC serves more than 2,850 member families, welcoming both Jews  and non-Jews alike. Boasting an onsite preschool and day camp, fully-equipped theater and art studio, state-of-the-art fitness and aquatic center and the fourth largest JCC gymnasium in North America, the JCC is the hub of Orange County’s dynamic and fast-growing Jewish community offering programs, classes and events for all ages. To take a tour or for additional information contact us at 949-435-3400, One Federation Way, Irvine CA 92063 or visit www.JCCOC.org.

Contact: Julie Holdaway
714.292.3426
julieh@jccoc.org

The Jewish Mosaic: From Gold Rush to Gold Records

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Distinguished Scholars in Residence Dr. Emily Katz & Bree Burgess will present four mornings of learning about the Jewish mosaic of California history and the music industry. The eight class series at the Merage Jewish Community Center in Irvine will run Monday through Thursday May 20 – 23 from 8:30 am to 1 pm and include continental breakfast and lunch. Based on the Elderhostel concept of in-depth intellectual discovery this JCC School of Lifelong Jewish Learning program explores these two important topics relating to Jewish history and culture. Reservations for the entire series are $118 for JCC members and $136 for the public ($133/$151 after May 14) and can be made by calling 949-435-3400 or online at www.jccoc.org .

DR. EMILY ALICE KATZ is currently a professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine. She specializes in American Jewish History, which provides an important lens for examining modern Jewish experience and American History. One of the classes she teaches at UCI is on California Jews.  Dr. Katz received her PhD in Modern Jewish studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary and was designated a Recent Doctoral Recipient Fellow of the Mellon Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies’ Early Career Fellowship Program. Dr. Katz received her Master’s Degree in Jewish Art and Visual Culture from the Jewish Theological Seminary and served as curator at the Judaica Museum in Riverdale, New York.

BREE BURGESS has more than four decades of experience in the performing arts as a professional performer, writer, producer, director, and educator. She is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild. Since 2006, Bree has worked as writer/director, and recently as a performer, with Pacific Symphony’s “Class Act” and their Family Musical Mornings concert series. She is a former member of the Laguna Playhouse Board of Directors, is the creator and writer of LAGUNATICS and serves as the founding artistic director of No Square Theatre in Laguna Beach. For her on-going work in Laguna Beach, Bree has been recognized as Woman of the Year and Citizen of the Year, one of Laguna’s Most Influential People, and as Orange County’s 2012 Theater Woman of the Year.

Professor Jacqueline Hahn Presents ”Beyond The Canvas” Art Lecture Series

Friday, April 26th, 2013

 Award-winning professor Jacqueline Hahn  is presenting  ”Beyond the Canvas”, a fascinating art lecture series offering insights into legendary artists’ lives and artistic movements at  the Merage Jewish Community Center in Irvine beginning Thursday May 2 at 2 pm.  Professor Hahn received a Distinguished Instructor honor from UCI and has traveled the world lecturing on art history, literature and philosophy. The series, running May 2-30, will include talks on renowned artists Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Dali. Tickets for the entire series of four are $75 and individual lectures are $25 each. For more information visit the Merage JCC website at www.jccoc.org or contact Geri Dorman gerid@jccoc.org, (949) 435-3400 x303.  The Merage JCC is located at 1 Federation Way in Irvine.

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(949) 435-3400 | All Rights Reserved