8 reasons to join the Levite Jewish Community Center—hint: pickleball is one

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LJCC Cody and Marquise
It doesn’t matter if you’re here for the workout or the friendships—you’re in the right place. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Whether you’re looking for a spot to work out or a community of friends, there’s one place in Birmingham that has everything you need: the Levite Jewish Community Center (LJCC). Keep reading to find out why members love it and learn how you can join.

1. A top-notch fitness center

Levite Jewish Community Center fitness center
Membership director Cody and one of his personal training clients. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The Levite Jewish Community Center (also known as The J) has everything you might need for your fitness journey. The fitness floor includes machines, free weights, rowers, treadmills, TRX straps and more. You can also take advantage of the TRX studio and indoor walking track.

“When I first moved here, I didn’t know anyone in Birmingham. I just knew I wanted to play basketball and lift weights in a safe environment. This prompted me to go on a tour of The J. I signed up the same day of touring the facility. The next day I returned to start using my new membership and the front desk greeted me by name and made a joke about me signing up so quickly. Little things like that have made me more than happy to continue to attend The J and help out in any ways I can.”

Marquise Johnson, Member, Levite Jewish Community Center

2. Year-round indoor pool + seasonal outdoor pool

LJCC indoor pool
Make a splash this year with a J membership. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Love to swim? The J offers an aquatics program with multiple pools, lessons, water exercise classes and swim and dive teams. Enjoy the 25-yard heated indoor pool year-round, or check out the 300,000 gallon outdoor pool from mid-May to September.

PS: The J has some of the biggest pool floats you’ve ever seen.

3. Exciting weekly programs like Thursday pool parties + Monday bagels

LJCC member Marquise
Meet LJCC member Marquise Johnson. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Do you get bored doing the same thing over and over? Same. Thankfully, The J offers tons of programs so you can fill your week with something fun—and new—every day.

Here’s a look at a few of the programs you can enjoy:

  • Monday Matinees: Catch a movie every Monday at 2PM.
  • Member Mingle: Mingle with other LJCC members with wine and cheese every third Wednesday.
  • Group Fitness: Choose from dozens of classes as part of your membership, including a new ‘Accessible Water Zumba’ class for anyone with a disability.
  • Find even more.

Plus, The J has plenty of exciting events you can enjoy throughout the year. The Jewish Food & Culture Fest is a beloved outdoor food event with dishes that have been passed down for generations. Fill up on brisket, falafel or matzah ball soup while spending time with your friends.

“A few months after I joined The J, my wife and I attended the 2022 Jewish Food & Culture Fest. The environment was super fun and we are still talking about the food from that event.”

Marquise Johnson, Member, Levite Jewish Community Center

Ready to call The J your home base? Check out membership options today.

4. Free childcare for members

LJCC childcare
Free childcare for members is a major plus. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

You don’t have to worry about finding a safe place for your children while you work out, thanks to J-Care. J-Care is free childcare available to members while they enjoy LJCC programming or the fitness centers. J-Care is open daily from 8AM-Noon and Mondays-Thursdays 4-7PM, but you can also book babysitting 24 hours in advance.

5. Tons of scholarships

Cody Bass
Meet LJCC Mentorship Director Cody. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The LJCC is a nonprofit organization that serves community members regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion or gender. To serve people regardless of income level, The J offers fee reductions and scholarships! You can complete a financial assistance application to see which fee reductions and scholarships you can receive.

6. A top preschool program

LJCC
Your little ones will love The J as much as you co. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

The Cohn Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) is LJCC’s full-day preschool program for children aged six weeks through six years. The curriculum includes reading, math, language, science and art experiences in individual and small group settings.

Plus, the ECLC doesn’t just offer educational opportunities in the classroom. From a Diwali celebration to including Jewish experiences in the curriculum, the ECLC develops children at all levels.

7. Everything pickleball lovers need, including clinics, tournaments + a pro shop

LJCC Cody Bass
The huge basketball court doubles as a pickleball court. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

If you’ve been paying attention to the fastest-growing sport in the US, you’ll probably want to try it out for yourself. The J offers everything aspiring pro pickle ballers need, including a wood gym that offers open play and paid clinics during the week.

8. Everyone is welcome—no, you don’t have to be Jewish!

LJCC Cody and Marquise
Cody and Marquise became fast friends at the Levite Jewish Community Center. (Nathan Watson / Bham Now)

Let’s be honest: making friends as an adult can be tough. Whether you’re working remotely and don’t spend time with coworkers or you’re new to Birmingham, it’s wonderful to find a place that’s full of people who are looking for friendships, too.

“I think a lot of the people who come here realize that in order to create a community, that job falls on them. People are drawn to this place and because of that, we have a lot of members who realize it’s their responsibility to create community. They know that if they want people to care about them and care about their city, they have to do that too.”

Cody Bass, Membership Director, Levite Jewish Community Center

Ready to join the Levite Jewish Community Center? Head to their website today.

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