European JCC staffers get training in modern technology

MARSEILLE, France (JTA) — Workers from European Jewish community centers convened in Marseille for training on using smartphone applications to modernize JCCs, among other techniques.

To showcase the potential for using smartphone apps in JCCs, organizers of the biannual Pan European Conference of Jewish Community Centers offered the approximately 100 participants a smartphone application providing information about the tracks and activities at the four-day event, which opened Nov. 1.

The fifth event of its kind, it was the first time that the JCC conference was co-sponsored by a commercial firm — Jdate, the Jewish dating site. Jdate gave “a substantial amount of money” to advertise its website at the conference and operate a stall there, according to Mario Izcovich, who co-organized the biannual conference as pan-European programs director at the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Another tool featured at the conference was introducing more sports programs to European JCCs, where “sports does not play the central role which it has in American ones,” Izcovich said. Conference participants were given the opportunity to tour the facilities of Maccabi Marseille.

Other tracks included arts and culture; leadership training; and care for the elderly population. The conference was co-organized by Fonds Social Juif Unifié, the social aid organization of France’s Jewish communities, and other groups.

“Unlike in the U.S., in Europe there is no single model for Jewish community centers,” Izcovich said. “Getting to know the various models reached across the continent is therefore extremely helpful for improving the work of the JCCs.”

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