New expansion at JCC will benefit the community, young and old

EDISON – Marion and Norman Tanzman were community leaders and philanthropists who supported Jewish causes, hospitals, education and special needs, according to Adam Glinn, director of development at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) of Middlesex County.

That is why it is only fitting the 10,000-square-foot expansion project at JCC is named the Marion and Norman Tanzman Center for Lifelong Living at the JCC. On May 19 – 35 years to the day the JCC building opened on Oak Tree Road in Edison – the JCC broke ground on the expansion.

“This campaign is about more than expanding a building,” Glinn said. “It is about strengthening community and providing healthier and more stimulating life experiences.”

Some 200 community leaders, including state legislators, local mayors and municipal council members, were on hand for the launch of the new expansion, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2020 at a cost of about $2.5 million.

The addition of the new wing will also allow for a thorough renovation of the existing 35-year-old structure.

“This campaign is about creating a place for all to experience lifelong living,” co-chairs Barbara Spack and Howard Zuckerman said in a statement.

The new wing will provide state-of-the-art, safe, accessible and welcoming new program spaces for the growing senior adult and Baby Boomer participants, including social spaces, a new kitchen, an outdoor courtyard and new program rooms.

The construction is scheduled to commence approximately in August with an expected completion date of fall 2020, Glinn said.

Norman Tanzman was a New Jersey state assemblyman and state senator in the 1960s and 1970s. He was a founder of the real estate development and management firm of Jacobson, Goldfarb and Tanzman.

The couple founded the Marion and Norman Tanzman Charitable Foundation and they were founding benefactors of the JCC of Middlesex.

The expansion is also expected to have a huge impact on the JCC’s Bright Beginnings Preschool program, which currently serves some 180 youngsters, about 75 percent of whom come from the fast-growing South Asian community.

“The JCC has become a very diverse place where all families are welcome and appreciated for their support,” said Joan Green, preschool director.

Breaking new ground is nothing new for the Edison facility, which in 2002 united the JCC with the regional YMCA to form the Community Campus, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the Jewish and Christian organizations.

“We live in a wonderfully vibrant and diverse community,” said JCC President Barbara Muhlgeier. “We embrace our entire community and offer a variety of programs to suit everyone’s needs and interests.”

The Community Campus is the first known collaboration of two sectarian-based organizations founded on different religious orientations, but who can work together for a common purpose.

Both agencies philosophically share the ideals of strength of mind, body, family and community. The collaboration enabled each organization to retain its own identity while sharing the belief of building strong community values.

The Community Campus facility features a state-of-the-art wellness center, a five lane swimming pool with locker rooms and a sauna, a gymnasium, an accredited preschool, a childcare center, meeting rooms and a multipurpose room for performances and lectures. Membership is shared between the JCC and the YMCA.

Since the Community Campus opened its doors in 2002, membership has grown to 8,000 active members and it has become a cornerstone of community life in the North Edison community.

For more information about the project or to participate and support the development of the Marion and Norman Tanzman Center for LifeLong Living, contact Adam Glinn at 732-593-5965 or aglinn@jccmc.org, or Paula Rann, director of fundraising and member services at 732-494-3232, ext. 3609, or prann@jccmc.org.

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