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2015-05-08 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


May 8, 2015  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

New Tampa JCC to sport Glazer name

The new Jewish Community Center at the historic Fort Homer Hesterly Amory has officially been named the Bryan Glazer Family JCC. The Tampa JCC & Federation also unveiled the new logo for the facility.

Construction crews have been renovating the building since late 2014. When work is completed in 2016, the facility will once again become a crown jewel in West Tampa – with more than 100,000 square feet of state-ofthe art community space. The JCC will include a visual arts center, a premier events center, a fitness and outdoor aquatics facility, an indoor track, and a multi-sport gymnasium. The facility will also house numerous educational offerings as well as a diverse offering of senior programs, and an Innovation Center for Israeli start up companies that wish to do business in the United States.

“Because of the leadership and generosity of Bryan and Shanna Glazer and dozens of other individuals and families, as well as the support of all of our elected officials, the dream of a new JCC is now becoming a reality,” said Jack Ross, executive director of the JCC. “This project will have a great impact – not only for the Jewish community, but the entire Tampa Bay region.”

The JCC will bring Jewish and non-Jewish communities together for education, recreation, wellness, social and cultural pursuits against a backdrop of Jewish values.

“I couldn’t pass up the chance to enhance Jewish life in the heart of Tampa. With such a large Jewish community living here, we really needed a facility that was conveniently located and the Armory is a perfect fit,” said Glazer, Tampa Bay Buccaneers cochairman.

“This facility will change lives in a positive way through programs that engage, educate and entertain,” he said. “What makes it even more special is the fact that it’s all happening at a place with so much history.”

The Fort Homer Hesterly Armory opened in 1941, the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed. Over the years, in addition to serving as a National Guard armory, the venue also hosted speeches by President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as performances by Elvis Presley, the Doors, Buddy Holly and many others. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places, but it has been vacant since 2004.

Construction of the project totals $26 million. Both public and private dollars are funding the initiative with Glazer’s $4 million pledge the largest private donation.

“Our vision of creating an epicenter of Jewish life in Tampa is finally becoming a reality, said Gary Gould, Tampa JCC & Federation chief executive officer. “The JCC has always had a strong presence in the community, but this new facility and operating model will allow us to expand our reach even further as a multifaceted, transformative resource that serves all ages.”

Currently the Tampa JCC & Federation’s base is at the 21-acre, multi-generational Douglas & Maureen Cohn Jewish Community Campus, located off Gunn Highway near Citrus Park. The campus includes the JCC, preschool, Weinberg Village assisted living residence and headquarters of the JCC & Federation and Tampa Jewish Family Services. JCC & Federation officials have said they plan to continue operations there once the new JCC is open.

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