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JCC of Staten Island Protecting Members Through Self Defense Classes


The JCC of Staten Island has seen an uptick in violent incidents — including those motivated by anti-Semitism — in Staten Island and around the city. To help keep members of their facility and community safe, they have started offering Krav Maga classes.

“With its origins as an Israeli self-defense system and its emphasis on being prepared in real-world situations, Krav Maga was the perfect fit to empower our JCC’s participants to protect themselves,” said Kara Roche, the marketing and communications coordinator at the Staten Island JCC.

Krav Maga offers physical benefits, such as improved stability, flexibility, coordination and cardiovascular health. It can also benefit mental health by boosting confidence and reducing anxiety about potential harm. Besides learning practical tips for self-defense, Roche said the JCC hopes participants will see an improvement in their overall well-being after taking these classes.

So far, the turnout has been great, and members of all ages have been enjoying learning self-defense.

“After each class, we’ve had several participants tell us how much they look forward to returning the next week to continue learning and practicing,” said Roche. “Parents have also been pleasantly surprised by how much their young children enjoy the classes, and how quickly they are picking up valuable skills. Based on the initial turnout, we hope to continue to offer these classes in the fall so we can reach even more members of our community.”

To reach more members, the JCC has used traditional marketing techniques such as member communications and social media ads to let people know about the new Krav Maga classes. However, Roche said they have found that word of mouth has been impactful for this program.

“Our participants don’t just tell us how much they like these classes, they also tell their friends and family members,” said Roche. “Personal safety is just that — personal — and your participants can be powerful advocates for sharing how these classes have empowered them to feel safer in their daily lives.”

Taylor Brown

Taylor Brown is the assistant editor of Community Rec Magazine. She can be reached at taylor@peakemedia.com.

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