FAQ

What is the Biennial?
Who should attend the Biennial?
When will the Biennial take place?
How do I make hotel reservations?
What should I expect to learn?
What kind of conference sessions are planned?
Are there any fun events planned in Baltimore?
Will the food provided at the Biennial be kosher?
Are there religious services?
What should I bring?
What should I wear?
What if I want to arrive in Baltimore early or stay past the Biennial?
How can I bring a guest?
What provisions are made for those with disabilities?
Are there any security measures I should be aware of?
Can I get a virtual idea of what the Biennial experience is about?
How can I register for the Biennial?
How do I register a spouse/guest for Biennial?
What are the registration rates for Biennial?
What’s the weather like in Baltimore in May?
Where can I find out about what else is happening in Baltimore?
How will I get to and from the Baltimore International Airport?
What are the transportation alternatives in Baltimore?
Where can I park near the hotel in Baltimore?
What if I have further questions?


What is the Biennial?
The JCCs of North America Biennial is a gathering of JCC volunteer leaders and senior professionals from all over North America. The program includes learning, the sharing of trends and ideas, and many opportunities to meet peers and colleagues. Held in a different city every other year, the Biennial is the place for JCC leaders to connect and network with like-minded people, and discover new ideas to bring home to their JCCs. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with old friends and make new connections. Get energized at the Biennial!

Who should attend the Biennial?

Each JCC should bring a CORE DELEGATION of at least five leaders:

  • President
  • Incoming president
  • Immediate past president (advanced leaders)
  • Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leaders (your up-and-coming leadership)
  • Executive director

We will have specific programming for these leaders in addition to in-depth cohort tracks for:

  • Financial Resource Development
  • Fiscal Operations
  • Marketing

Also, the following leaders will benefit personally and will bring back important knowledge to benefit your JCC:

  • JCC board members, especially committee chairs who can take advantage of in-depth learning tracks in:
  • Operations: membership, marketing, financial resource development
  • Program: fitness and wellness, camp, early childhood, arts and culture, teens, adults, social action, Jewish education
  • Administration: governance, strategic planning

The Biennial can be very valuable for senior managers, as well. We offer a substantial discount for staff who attend in addition to JCC executives.

When does the Convention actually start and end?

The Biennial begins on Sunday, May 15. On-site registration opens at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 at our welcome reception. The finale of the Biennial will take place on Wednesday, May 18.

Also, please note the specific start and end times for these cohorts:

Esther Leah Ritz Emerging JCC Leaders opening sessions begin at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.
JWB Jewish Chaplains Council and Merrin Fellowship opening sessions begin at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 13.
JCC Association Board meetings take place on Sunday, May 15 at 7:30 a.m. and Wednesday May 18 at 8:30 a.m.

You can find the schedule-at-a-glance in the program section of this website.

Where will the Biennial take place?
Baltimore Marriott Waterfront
700 Aliceanna Street
Baltimore MD 21202
TEL: (410) 385-3000
FAX: (410) 385-0330

How do I make hotel reservations?
You can book your room online. If you are a JCC Association Board member and you would like to pay through your Board Fund, please contact Yael Lubofsky at yael@jcca.org or 212.786.5084 to reserve your room.

The Biennial offers many learning opportunities for everyone. This is the time to learn how stay connected to your constituents, how to engage millennials, and Generations X and Z and Boomers. We will have terrific keynoters and an enormous variety of sessions, topics and speakers will spark your imagination with challenging ideas. Our learning sessions will range from governance to membership, strategic thinking to innovation, Israel to fundraising and everything in -between.

What kind of conference sessions are planned?
Learning sessions include:
Keynote Sessions
Featuring high-profile keynote speakers, our keynote speakers will tackle the challenges we face today, introducing ideas and opportunities that will inspire you and provide insight to shape the future of your JCC.

We have not yet finalized all of our keynote speakers, but in the past we have presented such inspiring ones as Scott Cowen, president of Tulane University; Donniel Hartman, president of the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem; The Home Depot founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank; Donna Shalala, Miami University president and former Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Bill Clinton; comedian Dave Barry, and professors Shulamit Reinharz, Robert Putnam and Deborah Lipstadt. Our speakers will be relevant to your concerns as leaders of JCCs today.

In addition to these terrific keynoters, the Biennial is really about the broader opportunities for all the learning, sharing, and networking. We will have an enormous variety of sessions, topics and speakers.

Innovation Labs by Size of City (NEW)
Three convenings with colleagues in the same size of city that will provide a space for conversations to think big. Learn and apply the methodogies of “startups” and entrepreneurs in setting and attaining goals for your JCC. How must we work together and individually to meet the needs of the Jewish community and the means to keep it going? How can and should we reinvent ourselves to adapt for the future?

J Talks
J Talks will feature future leaders in a TED Talk format. Hear what up-and-coming thought leaders have to say about the future of JCCs.

Seminars
Three elective 90-minute learning sessions led by outside experts or professionals from the JCC field designed for JCC officers, advanced leaders, committee chairs and JCC board members. Sessions will follow up on keynotes, tracks and Innovation Labs, and present strategic ideas to put into action. We expect to offer at least two dozen different sessions to choose from in operations, program, generational change and governance/administration.

Track Learning Groups
Specially designed sessions for your core delegates: current presidents and executives, incoming presidents, advanced leaders (past presidents), emerging leaders, fundraising, marketing and program (new) leaders. Each track will drill deeper into its respective field, enabling them to learn with each other and from each other.

Experiential Learning (NEW)
Use this off-site opportunity planned by the JCCs of Greater Baltimore to see how successful partnerships have worked for the JCC. You will have the option to visit one of two JCC sites, have a tour of the JCC and learn about one or more of its successful partnership programs, or you can participate in a hands-on service project.

Performance Showcase (NEW)
See and hear—and meet—musicians, comedians, authors and other artists who are interested in performing or presenting at your JCC.

J’s StakeHouse
JCC Association People, Practice, Innovation, Resources Showcase: Sample the full buffet of JCC Association offerings. Come and learn how your JCC can take advantage of the many benefits of your membership.

Exercise (of course!)
May include a run, yoga, Zumba, or Pilates, or visit the gym, pool and sauna at the hotel.

Shabbat
We will offer Shabbat programming for those who arrive in Baltimore prior to the start of the Biennial and who wish to join us.

Host Community Event
On Tuesday, May 17, our host community, JCCs of Greater Baltimore, will host us for a fun and fascinating evening at the American Visionary Art Museum. “Visionary art as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself. In short, visionary art begins by listening to the inner voices of the soul, and often may not even be thought of as “art” by its creator.” Enjoy your evening of food and fun.

There are several opportunities to dine in and around Baltimore, in historic Fell’s Point which the hotel is located in the heart of.

Will the food provided at the Biennial be Kosher?
All meals provided at the Biennial will be under kosher supervision along with receptions and refreshment breaks.

Are there religious services?
Daily religious services (Orthodox and egalitarian) will be held along with Shabbat services on Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14 should you arrive earlier.

What should I bring?
Feel free to bring resources and materials from your JCC to share with others. Also bring lots of questions and an appetite for learning.

What should I wear?
Any Biennial veteran will recommend a nice comfortable pair of shoes. Dress is business casual. It is also a good idea to have a sweater or light jacket in case you get cold while in the sessions. Hotel meeting rooms are often chilly.

What if I want to arrive in Baltimore early or stay past the Biennial?
You are welcome to stay in Baltimore beyond the Biennial and explore all the sights. Please visit local Baltimore websites for great ideas or speak with our host community volunteers at the hotel. We have arranged for discounted hotel rates from May 11th – May 18th, 2016, based on availability.

How can I bring a guest?
Register your spouse or partner when you register yourself. You can register guests for specific events. For security reasons, only registered attendees or registered guests will be allowed into Convention events.

What provisions are made for those with disabilities?
Please indicate your disability and special needs in the box provided on the registration form. We will do our best to accommodate these special needs.

Are there any security measures I should be aware of?
For security reasons, Biennial badges must be worn at all Biennial events. Badges will be provided upon check-in at Biennial registration. Non-registered persons will not be allowed access to any Biennial events. JCC Association of North America reserves the right to withdraw the credentials of any delegate to the Biennial. No solicitation is permitted.

Can I get a virtual idea of what the Biennial experience is about?
Take a look at the highlights video from our 2014 Biennial and our why attend the 2014 JCCs of North America Biennial video on our homepage

How can I register for the Biennial?
Visit our online registration page.

How do I register a spouse/guest for Biennial?
We changed to a new registration system since the last Biennial.

  • In order to register your spouse/partner/guest, you first need to register as a Biennial delegate by filling out the form for yourself, in its entirety.
  • Click on the register button at the bottom of the page. That will take you to a second page, called the “Payment Page” where you will see your current invoice. Right above the invoice is a green + symbol to add guests.
  • Click on the green + sign to open the registration form for your spouse/partner/guest.
  • Fill out that form for your spouse/partner/guest.
  • Click the register button on the bottom to add your guest to your registration. Once you have completed adding guests, you can choose your payment options and complete your registration. (Cost of spouse/partner/guest registration is $425.00)
  • If you have already registered yourself and need to add a guest, please contact Dina Yakar at dyakar@jcca.org and she will send you a link to add a guest to your registration.

What are the registration rates for Biennial?
Visit our registration rates page.

What’s the weather like in Baltimore in May?
The weather in Baltimore is generally in the high 70’s – low 80’s at that time…perfect for those of us wanting to get away from the long winter!

Where can I find out about what else is happening in Baltimore?
Visit Baltimore.org.

How will I get to and from Baltimore/Washington International Airport?
Click Here for information about ground transportation from the airport.

Ground Transportation: Baltimore/Washington International Airport is located twelve miles north of the hotel It is about a 20 minute ride to the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront. Taxicabs: A cab ride costs about $45.00 from the airport to the hotel.

Airport Shuttle: Super Shuttle service is available from the airport to the hotel beginning at $23.00 (per person, $12.00 for each additional passenger, one-way). They have offered us a special discount. You can find the rates here.

There are a number of public transportation services available to you at any given time when you need to get to and from the Airport.

Automobile Rental: There are over 15 local car companies with easy pickup and drop off at the airport. Check with each company for rates. Click here to view rental car company contact information.

What are the transportation alternatives in Baltimore?
Before you rent a car, check out all the possibilities here.

Where can I park near the hotel in Baltimore?
Parking is available at the hotel and there are a number of garages nearby. We have more information on locations and rates here.

What if I have further questions?
Please e-mail Robin Ballin at rballin@jcca.org or telephone the Biennial Hotline at 212-786-5154. Registration matters can be addressed directly to our registrar Dina Yakar at dyakar@jcca.org or 212-786-5152.