BERYL & ROBERT SCHNEIDER DONATE $2 MILLION TO CONSTRUCT GYMNASIUM AT MANDEL JCC IN PALM BEACH GARDENS
PALM BEACH GARDENS (May 10, 2013) – During the annual Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, run by the JCC of the Greater Palm Beaches, Beryl and Robert (Bob) Schneider immediately recognized how they could make a powerful impact in the community. They stopped at a Mandel JCC information booth in the theatre lobby and became eager to learn more about this center that would provide programs and services to all ages. Just one day later, after intensive talks with the JCC and touring the construction site, the couple donated $2 million to the Mandel JCC, scheduled to open August 2013 at 5221 Hood Road. The gymnasium will be named in their honor.
“We have considered for a long time the best place to utilize our resources, and we are confident we found it,” said Beryl, who met her husband of 50 years when she was 11-years old. They attended the same school and shared many of the same friends.
Bob continued, “We have always been involved in Jewish life and it is important for us to contribute to the community where we live. We know the JCC will use the funds wisely. It’s also incredibly rewarding to see our contribution go directly to a project we see being built. We are counting down the days until the gymnasium can be filled with smiling little faces, and adults of all ages involved in sports leagues, ongoing programs and so much more. It instantly brings enormous smiles to our faces.”
As part of the Schneiders commitment and involvement in the JCC, they will serve as co-chairs of the JCC Founders Gala, an event to be held in November 2013 as part of the JCC’s week-long grand opening celebration. Additionally, Bob was recently elected to the JCC Board of Directors.
Bob Schneider, who was born in the Bronx and lived in Queens, New York, recognized from an early age the importance of charitable giving; his dad was active with nonprofits and relayed the value to his family. Schneider built a successful career in finance and real estate, particularly building and buying hotel and apartment complexes. He served as a partner at the accounting firm, Sherman & Yegelwel, in New York, before relocating with Beryl in 1978 to establish an office in South Carolina. One year later, he founded Schneider Management, which operated, developed and managed hotels in South Carolina. In 1982, he founded American Properties Management, which managed apartment complexes. At one point, his companies employed up to 450. Both companies are still in operation and focus exclusively on operating and managing apartment complexes. The couple lived in Hollywood, Fla. for 21 years before moving to Palm Beach Gardens nine years ago.
Beryl Schneider first honed her creative savvy working at an advertising agency on Park Avenue in New York, before becoming employed at a nonprofit, where she saw the value of fundraising to individuals. Throughout the years, Beryl has been active in Jewish life, serving as fundraising vice president at two synagogues, and president of a synagogue sisterhood while living in South Carolina. She’s also served on the Board of Directors for Friends of Life. When the Mandel JCC opens, Beryl said she is eager to attend the adult education classes as part of the Mandel JCC’s “Academy” of continuing education for active adults.
“Bob and Beryl instantly inspired us, not only with their generous contribution, but with their eagerness to get involved, to be hands on and to have a real, lasting impact on the JCC and our greater community,” said Michelle Wasch-Lobovits, executive director of the JCC of the Greater Palm Beaches. “They closely examined our finances and business model, and recognized the picture, that this project is about children, about families, those with special needs, and those of all ages so each of us has a home for Jewish life to come together.”
The Mandel JCC, a $20 million, 56,000-sq-ft. facility on 16 acres, also will feature a state-of-the-art-preschool, distinguished as one of six “School of Excellence” by the national JCC Association. It is designed for children three months to four-years old. The JCC also runs the popular summer day camp, Camp Shalom. Facility amenities, in addition to the gymnasium, include an expansive aquatics center, sports fields, reception hall, indoor and outdoor playgrounds, community garden, art gallery, and space for fitness, health and wellness classes. The JCC will continue to offer adult continuing education classes, bridge, lectures, health and wellness programs, fitness classes, and children’s programming, including for those with special needs. The building is named in honor of The Jack and Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation.
The JCC currently has a temporary location at Midtown Plaza on PGA Boulevard, its Leonard and Sophie Davis Camp Shalom at Duncan Middle School, and its Early Childhood Learning Center at the Arthur I. Meyer Academy in West Palm Beach (which has plans to locate adjacent to the JCC in 2014). All three programs will remain open until the Mandel JCC opening. The JCC of the Greater Palm Beaches also operates Ross JCC in Boynton Beach.
For more information about the Mandel JCC, the ongoing capital campaign and the brick campaign, please call the JCC North at 561.689.7700 or visit www.jcconline.com/mandel.
The mission of the JCC of the Greater Palm Beaches is to help create a strong Jewish community by providing high quality programs close to where people live that connect people to Jewish Life. The JCC is a partner agency of The Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. Visit the JCC online at jcconline.com.