Lawrence, NY - November 9, 2015 - Change is constant. And an important change occurred at 7 o’clock in the evening on Wednesday, November 4 when the Jewish Community Center of the Greater Five Towns (JCC) officially changed its name to The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC, in memory of the founder members and longtime supporters of the organization. The Announcement Ceremony was held at Temple Israel of Lawrence, Lawrence, New York.
According to Mr. Craig Spatz, President of the JCC’s Board of Directors, “The name change is an acknowledgment of the exceptional role Marion and Aaron Gural have played in establishing and growing the JCC of the Greater Five Towns to become the vital community-based organization it is today. Aaron Gural was a major force in securing the charter for the JCC in 1981. As a young boy growing up in New York City in the 1930s without a father, Jewish Community Centers successfully helped fill a void in his young life. So it is understandable then, that after experiencing the caring, support and guidance a JCC provides, Aaron, with his beloved wife Marion, gave so much of their lives and resources to ensure the JCC of the Greater Five Towns would continue to grow and flourish.”
Aaron Gural, before he passed away in 2009, went on to become a successful New York real estate developer and philanthropist. Together, Aaron and Marion instilled a strong sense of community responsibility on to their three children, Jeffrey, Barbara and Jane Gural Senders, all of whom who carry on that tradition today. Marion died in 1990, but her legacy will live on through the lessons of love and compassion she imparted to her children. The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC will continue their good work throughout the community.
Continuing to grow and flourish is exactly what the JCC of the Greater Five Towns has done. It remains a nonprofit, nonsectarian, organization that serves people in the Five Towns and the communities of East Rockaway, Far Rockaway, Lynbrook, Malverne, Valley Stream, and West Hempstead. Programs begin for the very youngest in the community, starting at six-weeks of age, and continue through all ages offering services for people with autism and other developmental disabilities, plus programs for single-parent Jewish households, Russian immigrants, those with traumatic brain injuries, Holocaust survivors and their families and, of course, traditional cultural arts, recreational and education programs. In addition, the JCC operates a kosher food pantry for those in the community struggling to find enough food to eat.
“Our gratitude knows no bounds,” said Joel Block, executive director of the newly renamed JCC, “especially for Marion and Aaron Gural’s unwavering support in helping to establish what is become a vital resource and lifeline for so many throughout the community, and for passing the lesson of philanthropy onto their children, Jeffrey, Jane and Barbara. We, too, share in the Gural family’s delight in fulfilling their parent’s dream. The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC will enrich the lives of our community members and we offer our heartfelt appreciation to the Gural family.”
Speaking for her siblings, Jeffrey and Barbara, Jane Gural Senders, a past-president of the JCC of the Greater Five Towns and current board member of The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC, issued the following statement: “Immortalizing our parents through the renaming of the JCC is a means of not only acknowledging their generosity in supporting organizations like the JCC, but also for teaching us the importance of giving onto others. It is our sincere desire that this legacy to Marion and Aaron will similarly inspire others to consider supporting causes that help improve the human condition and enrich the fabric of our community.”
The renaming program also included Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York, who dedicated the new Marion and Aaron Gural JCC and recognized the Gural family for their longtime support of the JCC and other Jewish causes.
About The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC
The Marion and Aaron Gural JCC is a vital community-based resource that meets the ever changing needs of a diverse community through a wide range of educational, enrichment and social services programs. The JCC serves over 16,000 people from the very youngest to the senior most citizens in the communities of Cedarhurst, East Rockaway, Far Rockaway, Hewlett, Inwood, Lawrence, Lynbrook, Malverne, Valley Stream, West Hempstead, and Woodmere. Founded in 1980, the JCC is a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation of NY. More information can be found at www.guraljcc.org.
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