Swim Team Championships

April 2015

Swim Team Championship Participation

Upon request by the swim team parent representatives, the Federation Board and the JCC Advisory Committee reviewed our policy regarding participation in the Durham Summer Swim League (DSSL) Championships which are held in July on Shabbat.

The Committee and the Board struggled with numerous issues, key among them the following:

If the JCC is to maintain its vital role in Jewish life, do we do so best by not participating in the championships or by giving community members a choice?

As an organization whose primary mission is building and serving the community, how do we best represent the needs of that community without sacrificing our commitment to Shabbat, so central a tenet in Jewish life? How do we reconcile our community’s diverse views on Saturday school make-up days with optional swim team championship participation? What are we asking of our community parents when we ask them to make this choice for their children?

How do we best serve a diverse community through a single policy decision?

After wrestling with these questions, the Federation Board of Directors has concluded that by allowing team members to choose, with no pressure from other team members or coaches, the JCC will be reinforcing the vision of the JCC as a place where all Jews – whether affiliated with a synagogue or not, can be connected to the Jewish community in a way that is meaningful to them.

The Board recognizes that some members of our diverse community may not agree with the conclusion, and they understand and respect this.  Everyone involved in these discussions agreed that the JCC is first and foremost committed to a pluralistic approach to Judaism…one that welcomes diversity of belief, practice, and observance while recognizing shared common values that are integral to Judaism.