Our JCC Community

Like many busy moms, I juggle a lot of different meetings and schedules. So there I was in a work meeting at Panera the first time the Siegel JCC “got the call”, back on January 9th. Reading a text about a bomb threat at my local JCC and Early Childhood Center was the last thing I expected to see on my phone! The Early Childhood Center wrote to say that everyone was safe, the children had been evacuated, and that, because there was no way of knowing when it would be okay to enter the building again, we needed to come pick up our children.

I went through a full range of emotions very quickly as a mom, but I knew that my son was safe, and I knew in my heart that this bomb threat was a hoax, and that no bomb would be found. What I did not know was that, over the next two months, our community center would be the target of four bomb threats, including one just this morning (Wednesday, March 8) and that hundreds of bomb threats would go out over the phone to Jewish institutions all over the United States and Canada. Whoever is behind the threats wants to make life inconvenient for us, and wants to scare us. They won’t win.

This JCC is where both of my children have gone for preschool, and it is where my husband and I made nearly all of our best friends in Delaware. We were rolling stones before we got here, moving from one community to the next without setting down roots, but Delaware, and the community at the Siegel JCC are different than any other place we’ve lived. This place feels small in the best of ways — so warm, so friendly. It is our home, and the people there are our family.

Our Jewish Community Center is strong, and our members are steadfast. Since that first call came in, the staff has become incredibly adept at whisking the children in the ECC out of the building for ‘an adventure’ and we’ve begun to bring our car keys and coats with us to exercise classes, ‘just in case’. When I picked him up at the end of the day after last week’s bomb threat, I asked my son about his surprise off-site dance party that day. His only complaint was that he didn’t have the right dance moves for the music. We’re winning.

In times of crisis, you see who your true friends are, and it has been truly amazing to see the outpouring of love and friendship from school children at the Islamic Society of Delaware, Immaculate Heart of Mary School, from concerned community members, even from other moms on the North Wilmington Moms Facebook page.

To our many friends in the community and fellow moms who want to demonstrate to their own children and our larger society that we are stronger together, I ask you to take one of two possible steps in showing your support for our JCC: 

Show Your JCC Pride Day – Wed, Mar 15

Organized by members of the community, please join us in showing your support of the J by wearing a J t-shirt. The J will be selling #istandwiththejcc t-shirts at their front desks as a mini-fundraiser beginning on Monday, Mar 13 with shirts for both parents & children starting at $10.


Community Rally – Sun, Mar 19, 2 – 3 PM, Outdoor Campus

Organized by local nonprofit leaders, come out for this event next Sunday with your kids and strollers as we walk the JLoop together! And another opportunity to wear our shirts together as one community. If you have never visited the JCC campus, you’ll see that it is closer and bigger than you think!