Amanda and her Husband, Mayer, and daughter, Mo.

Thank you for your support of the Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg!


My name is Amanda Kohn and I am the new Development Coordinator for the Federation. I am originally from Philadelphia, but grew up in Cherry Hill, NJ. I recently moved to Harrisburg with my husband, Mayer, and our one-year-old daughter, Monica, where we are members of Kesher Israel. I am an avid runner and reader and I try to spend as much time as I can outdoors with my family.


I am excited to be in this role and to help put the Federation’s mission into practice. My previous experience includes my work with Tikvah, a grassroots non-profit organization based out of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia commited to improving the quality of life for adults of all ages with mental illness.


I look forward to getting to know the community through my new role with the Federation, and to working with you to make 2019 a great year for Jewish life in Harrisburg.


Thank you again for your support and enjoy reading about the programs, events, and impact that your contribution has had.


If you have any questions, you can reach me at 717-236-9555 x 3299 or by email.

Happy and hungry participants at the Donut Wars

Community Relations Council hosted Candidates Night featuring prospects for national and statewide office.

Serving up delicious soup at Women Cook: Ethnic Cuisine

As your campaign chair, I am writing to thank you for your support of the Annual Campaign and for being a Champion for our Community! Your generous support makes a tremendous difference in our community and beyond.
The needs of the Greater Harrisburg Jewish Community continue to be great and we need your help.  The value of the work of the Federation is often unclear until it is most needed. In Harrisburg, our Federation is all the more critical, because we are also a JCC, serving everyone in the community from the youngest at The Brenner Family Early Learning Center (ELC) to our seniors, and everyone in between.  Our preschool has the highest quality rating available of Keystone Four STARS.  It is your support that allows families in need to receive scholarships to receive a high level of education to be ready for elementary school. Our team has new ideas to serve the community every day, but we cannot put them into action without your gift.
It all starts with you.  

Here's What's Happening...

ELC Students Travel The Globe
with Flat Stanley Project


The work at the Brenner Family Early Learning Center is being seen and felt all over the world. Literally.


That’s because throughout this school year, students are participating in the Flat Stanley project, a geography lesson that lasts from August to May, reaches all 50 states, and that has even put students in touch with friends and family in Israel and Amsterdam.


“This is the 2nd year we’ve done the project,” says Macy Deskiewicz, Pre-K teacher at the ELC. “The lesson begins by reading the story of Flat Stanley, who is flattened when a bulletin board falls on him. He doesn’t know how to fix it, but he makes the best of it by doing new things that he couldn’t do before, like being flown as a kite and retrieving a lost wedding ring from a drain.”


In the story, Flat Stanley mails himself to California, and this is where the lines between the story and real-life start to merge. Each student in the Pre-K ELC class, with the assistance of instructors Macy, Susan Strickland, and Brandon Danzey, creates a flat version of themselves, which is then sent to family and friends from around the nation, and sometimes the globe. “We cover all 50 states,” says Macy. “When people mail them back to us, we start to learn a lot about people and places from all across the country. They send us pictures of the Flat people at landmarks, like Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone, and they tell us about their state, the capitol, major cities, what the weather’s like, and what fun things there are to do there. One Flat person was lucky enough to see Hamilton this year.”


Each time the class receives a returned Flat person, the corresponding student gets to present the message from the recipient to the class, and are given the opportunity to learn about this new place by finding it on the map. “It’s a great lesson in writing, literacy, and geography,” says Macy. “It’s nice to have this kind of continued learning experience for the students. A lot of times when you do lessons, you complete it and move on. But this project goes throughout the whole year. By the time we’re done, the kids know that they live in Pennsylvania, and that others live elsewhere and that it’s not the same everywhere you go. It’s a great way to learn about different cultures.”


In Summer 2018, Brenner Family ELC was recognized by Keystone Stars as a STARS FOUR facility, the highest quality standard achievable. The learning center’s lesson plans are designed to meet the quality standards of Keystone Stars. “This lesson meets a lot of standards and different levels,” continues Macy. “They’re connecting books to real life things. It’s all about preparing the students to be successful kindergarteners and successful people.”

Your support allows us to continue serving you.

There are countless ways you can help. Learn about them here.

JFGH Award Recipients at Joint Agency Annual Meeting
October 10, 2018

Martin Brill accepts the Albert Hursh Lifetime Leadership Award, presented by Abby Kantor Smith.

Emily Halper, recipient of David Javitch Young Leadership Award, with Henry and Jane.

Andrea and Steven Weikert, on behalf of Lexi Weikert, recipient of the JCC Volunteer Award.

Senior Adult Club

  • The Senior Adult Club hosts between 25-35 community members for lunch each Tuesday and Thursday. That number skyrockets into the hundreds for special celebrations like Thanksgiving and New Year’s.
  • The club holds relevant and meaningful programming throughout the morning and afternoon, as varied as musical entertainment, college professor lectures, movies, games, technology discussion, nutrition, and health and wellness. Members often stay to socialize and play mah jongg after formal programming has ended!
  • The program began at the JCC in 1960 and was originally called the Golden Agers.
  • Thanks to our generous donors, our members have enjoyed sponsored bus transportation for monthly Theatre trips, as well as special programs that are more expensive than the senior adult department could afford on its own! Thank YOU!
  • JCC members over the age of 60 are eligible to join the club.

Upcoming Community Events:

Super Sunday 2019 
January 27

Monte Carlo Night
February 2


Israeli Breakfast Bash
February 17


Sports Banquet
March 10

Purim Carnival  
March 17

There were lots of smiling faces during Chanukah programming this year!

Campaign Update - 1.1.2019-small.jpg

Generous Gifts.JPG

  • JCC Summer Camp has been a fixture in our community for generations. It first moved to Green Hills in the summer of 1969.
  • JCC Camp provides children with summer-long fun, as well as exposure to Judaism. Themed days include Mitzvah day, Israeli Day, and a weekly Oneg Shabbat
  • Many former campers get their first work experience by returning to the camp as Counselors and Counselors-in-Training. This important step in the development of young adults and teens is a signature impact of the camp.

Recognize anyone in these photos from summers' past?

  • Our camps are organized by age, each named after a Hebrew word: Camp Gan (Garden), Chaverim (Friends), Sabra, Maccabee, and Giborim (Mightiest).
  • Thanks to our donors scholarship dollars, many children from our community who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend can experience a summer of fun alongside their friends (and make new ones)!
  • We are currently raising funds to support the playground at Green Hills, which is in need of some repairs and replacements after the harsh weather this year. Click here to learn more!

Want to Learn Krav Maga? We are seeking participants for our upcoming Sunday classes at the JCC.  Contact Andrea for more info.

Another year, another call: Marjorie Sherman volunteers at 2018 Super Sunday

I’ve been here for 63 years,” recalls Marjorie Sherman. “I don’t know if there was a Super Sunday when I first moved here from Minnesota, but I do know that almost from the start, I was involved with the Annual Campaign.”


On January 27th, Marjorie will again participate in Super Sunday, where community members call on their friends and family to support the work of the Federation through the Annual Campaign. Each has his or her own reason for participating. “The Center has always been so important to me and to my children. We lived in Uptown Harrisburg, and if the kids weren’t home, there was a good chance that they’d ridden their bikes to the Center!”


 As a longtime supporter and volunteer, Marjorie has seen it all when it comes to Super Sunday. Throughout the years, she remembers the constant chorus of community members chatting with each other through the phone lines and of bells ringing out to record a new pledge or increase.  She has seen caller ID and cell phones and increasingly busy lives make fundraising more challenging; still, she says, “Every bit helps. It’s really amazing the amount of money that is still raised on Super Sunday given the modern challenges we have.  But I am so encouraged by the kind of leadership Emily and Gregg Freeburn have shown, and that these next generations are learning to ask and to give. It is a wonderful feeling to connect with a friend or community member.”


Marjorie sees Super Sunday as the bridge between generations, and feels it is very important for her to give of both her time and money. “I don’t know how not to give to the campaign. You just need to do what you can do. The JCC has been the heart of our Jewish community for 60 years, but it is also a business, and it’s hard to run a business unless people pitch in. I have a very strong feeling for this community. When you’ve been around as long as I have, you care very much about what goes on.  And for as long as I can, I plan to do my part.”



The Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg will hold its annual Super Sunday on January 27th from 9am – 2pm at the Harrisburg Jewish Community Center. For more information on getting involved or the annual campaign, contact Amanda Kohn at or 717-236-9555 x 3299.



Thank You! Questions, comments, or concerns?

Please contact Amanda Kohn at
717-236-9555 x3299.