COVID-19 Updates

Published Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Join us for fitness classes, online learning experiences, activities and valuable resources and links.
Friday, March 27
Dear Friends,
Just a few short weeks ago, this new reality was unimaginable. Our Merage JCC is empty and eerily quiet. 
While our doors are shut – we are still hard at work in an effort to continue to provide our members with the excellent programming you expect from our JCC.
J Network
We’ve gone digital and launched J Network, with a collection of JCC videos, workouts, cooking and camp challenges, articles, links and resources. There is something new online every day. Experience one of your favorite speakers on video; live cooking, virtual camp, kids science experiments, basketball and trivia challenges; dozens of workout videos for all ages and stages; and more.
Building Opening
We are committed to opening our doors as soon as it is viable. Nevertheless, we will wait until public health authorities advise us that it is safe to do so. Our staff will pick right up where we left off: providing excellent programs, bringing the community together. 
As a nonprofit organization, our ability to re-open our doors, sustain our amazing staff and plan for the future is 100% dependent upon our community staying by our side.We respectfully ask you to consider paying your monthly dues if you are financially capable at this time.
Beginning in April members will receive $25 JBucks to thank you for your continued support. Redeem your JBucks for any of our programs, including camp, preschool, spa, training, cooking and more.
Membership Freeze
Given the crisis and closure, if you do not wish for us to charge your card, we will temporarily suspend your membership beginning April 1 through the end of June, resuming your membership July 1. If circumstances change and we open earlier, we will be in touch and resume membership accordingly. Click here to request a freeze.
Thank you
Thank you to our wonderful community and Board members for all the support we’ve received. As Pirke Avot, one of our essential Jewish ethical texts, teaches us nothing is more important than community. We will continue to explore every opportunity to keep us all connected and healthy.
We have a team on standby to help you access our programs. Email if you need help with Facebook or Zoom. In addition, we are reaching out to our members, making sure they are o.k. and offering support – grocery pick-ups and kind words. If you know a member we should be in touch with, please let us know at







Sunday, March 15 


The Merage JCC is CLOSED through Sunday, March 29 


Aronoff Preschool, PrimeTime and cultural arts, Spring Break programs, fitness and wellness classes, and all other activities are closed and cancelled for the next two weeks.

Thank you to our members and community for your patience and trust as we work together through these unchartered waters. You have the Merage JCC’s unwavering commitment to do all we can to help you and your children. We remain optimistic that this situation will change and we’ll move on together – in the not too distance future.

Thank you to our JCC staff who are working tirelessly to support our members and community.

Sunday, March 15 
Dear JCC Members and Friends,
As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change rapidly, we must be part of the solution and not part of the problem. The most important thing we can do is to work together to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
After consulting with our medical committee, we have made the difficult decision to close the Merage JCC effective at 6 p.m. today, March 15 through March 29 While we do not have any reported cases of individuals within the Merage JCC community who have tested positive for COVID -19, we are listening to health experts who are urging a dramatic reduction in activity.
We are so proud of the community we have built and realize that this decision can lead to many in our community feeling isolated. Please respond to this email if you would like us to reach out to you personally by phone, as we want to make sure everyone in our community feels supported. Our staff is currently mobilizing to create virtual opportunities to engage our membership from group fitness classes live on Facebook to cooking demonstrations on our Youtube channel and other virtual experiences that will engage our entire community. Stay tuned over the next few days and make sure you check out our web page for constant updates.
To our JCC Members and enrolled program participants: please know that we take seriously the investment you make in your and your family's JCC participation. We will communicate directly with you as soon as we are able regarding credits or payments of postponed/canceled programs. As our staff is occupied prioritizing health and safety and reorganizing certain operations, your patience is appreciated.
Many of our staff members will be working remotely during this time, but everyone here remains committed to building our incredible community. Please join us in continuing to thank them as we are a stronger community because of their commitment and dedication.
We will continue to provide regular updates, and we hope to see you all in a few short weeks back here at the Merage JCC. Please continue to follow the advice of experts and do everything you can to stay healthy and ensure the health of those around you.
Be well, 
Scott Braswell                     Irv Chase
Executive Director              Chair of the Board
Friday, March 13

Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that gatherings of more than 250 or gatherings that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person should be postponed.

The Merage JCC understands that for you, our families, we serve a critical need in caring for your children and offering a place to continue to exercise during this stressful time. In consultation with our board, medical committee, the CDC, OC Health Care Agency, and the CDPH we will continue to evaluate our operations daily. We commit to keeping you up-to-date if we should have to adjust our operations in the future.  

Due to the Governor and CDPH directive, we are postponing, for the remainder of March through April, the following events:

Preschool events including Grandparents Day & All School Shabbats

PrimeTime Adult classes, lectures, and events including Great Jewish Americans, Mah Jongg, and Gentle Yoga

Cultural Arts and Center For Jewish Life events including the Israeli Film Series and our Reflection Series (Yom Hashoah, Yom Ha'atzmaut)

The Celebration Ball, originally scheduled for May 17, has been postponed until the fall. A new date will be announced soon.

For an up to date listing of the programs that have been postponed please see our special COVID-19 page on our website.

We want to reassure all of you that we have a COVID -19 response plan, that we will continue to follow as this situation continues to evolve rapidly. This plan was developed with our medical committee using guidelines from the CDC, OC Health Care Agency, and the CDPH.

We have taken additional measures as part of our COVID- 19 response plan to continue to keep our community safe and healthy outlined below:

 Added additional housekeeping staff to continuously sanitize our fitness floor, fitness studios, and the preschool

All of our employees with high touch roles including security and our fitness floor staff are now wearing gloves at all times

Increasing the frequency of deep cleaning the preschool, children's areas, fitness center, and fitness studios

We are a resilient community, and we know we will get through this-together. In the meantime, please do everything you can to stay healthy and ensure the health of those around you.
Tuesday, March 3
Dear JCC Members and Friends,

At the Merage JCC, the health and safety of every person who walks through our doors is our top priority.  We continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and are in communication with the CDC, our own medical committee and local health authorities. Currently, the Merage JCC is operating under normal procedures. However, just as we ask our preschool families to keep their children home when they have a fever or flu-like symptoms, we ask that you do the same.
In addition, we are undertaking strategies to mitigate risk, out of an abundance of caution, including:
  • Placing additional hand sanitizing stations throughout the building
  • The cleaning staff are increasing frequency of wiping down high touch surface areas and door knobs
  • Equipment in the fitness center is being wiped down more often and we have placed more cleaning wipes throughout the fitness center
  • Signs with proper hand washing protocol have been posted in the bathrooms around the building
  • We are in close contact with various agencies and participated on webinars with the CDC and will take additional actions as recommended and warranted
The Merage JCC will remain vigilant and will continue to take a proactive approach to keeping our community healthy. We also ask you to do your part to ensure the health, safety and well being of the Merage JCC community by washing your hands regularly and staying home if you have a fever or have flu-like symptoms. Please visit the CDC for more information on COVID-19.
Scott Braswell                     Irv Chase
Executive Director             Chair of the Board