Months after the former JCC at Milken closed its doors at the Bernard Milken Campus in West Hills, officials representing the property’s new owners — New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS) — organized a ceremonial groundbreaking for its new campus.
Jacques Hay knows that the end isn’t always the end. When he learned that the JCC at Milken in West Hills will close on June 30 to become the home of New Community Jewish High School, he could have despaired. After all, Camp Chesed, the summer camp for Jewish children with special needs that he founded, had operated out of the location for 16 years.
The JCC at Milken in West Hills announced this week that it will shut its doors permanently as of June 30. The 42-year-old center will also close its Early Childhood Center, which has 80 preschoolers, on June 15.
“We now have a ‘makom’ — a sacred space in which to house our values,” said Bruce Powell, head of school at New Community Jewish High School (NCJHS), shortly after the deal was announced that NCJHS may have finally found a permanent home — at the site of its first home.
It's a typical bustling weekday at this Jewish center in West Hills, and it's a sharp contrast to the situation only a few months ago when the center was facing a deficit of $250,000, an uncertain future and a loss of nearly one-third of its members, following the abrupt closure of the pool on April 25 by The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Up to now, the New JCC at Milken has avoided closure and selling off its property, the fate of many former Los Angeles JCCs, because of its unique history.
Believe in the Exodus story or not, believe in the Oslo peace process or not, but you have to believe in Jewish Community Centers.
It has a gym. It has a teen center. And with Sunday's well-covered dedication, the new $4.5 million state-of-the-art Ferne Milken Youth & Sports Complex -- an addition to the Bernard Milken Jewish Community Campus in West Hills -- now has a lot of visibility.