Origin of "thank"

In English, “thank you” derives from “think”. It used to mean “I will remember what you did for me.”


Digging further into the history of the phrase we find that it derives originally from the word ‘think’. In Old English (c.450 – c.1100) the primary sense of the noun ‘thank’ was ‘a thought’. By the Middle Ages it had come to refer to ‘kindly thought for favor or services received’ – i.e. much like the meaning it has today. We could therefore paraphrase its meaning as: ‘for what you have done for me, I think on you favorably’.


Or in modern English: Thank you.


Thank you for your support. Thank you for your generosity, and thank you for taking an active role in ensuring the well-being of this community.


There is much for the community to think of you, as we have offered our programs, as we are changing how we engage with you, the donor, our supporter, and as we plan for the coming years to make sure we can continue to be here for our community.


Below you will find some more of the stories about the Federation and JCC programs and activities for the community that are only possible thanks to you. Enjoy!


Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, suggestions, or anything to share.


We think of you favorably.


Director of Development, Marketing, and Communications



The world is a classroom for students at the Brenner Family Early Learning Center, pictured here in the garden at the JCC.

Jr. Maccabi athletes brought home more than a dozen medals at this year's competition in Baltimore, Maryland.

See previous donor newsletters here:

August 2017

January 2018


  • This year's Campaign Chair is Phil Bloom

  • Phil grew up in Harrisburg and moved back to the area in late-2017 after 30 years away from home. 

  • This year's campaign theme is Come Back Home. The theme recognizes people like Phil, who are returning after a long absence, and also those who may have drifted away from the JCC/Federation and are now reengaging and getting involved in the community.  As Phil said in a recent Community Review article, "The day I moved back I was home again, in a Jewish community, and welcomed with open arms.  Life is busy.  You might have a job, family, or other responsibilities.  And no matter what, you can always come back home, because we’re here and we welcome you with open arms."

  • This year's campaign goal is $1.1 Million. As of 7/20/18, we are 85% of the way to our goal.

  • The 2017-2018 Campaign ends on August 31, 2018.

What are we doing with your support...

Production Notes from Seussical


“The bathtub looks amazing,” says Terry Fisher, complimenting set creator Kreg Paul’s work in preparation for the show, Seussical Kids. “He’s so good.  It’s worth the wait.”


Procuring sets.  Securing royalty rights. Playing Stage mom.  It’s all in a day’s work for Terry, the show’s producer and staff liaison for the JCC Drama Department.  Terry has practically lived in theatres.  “I’ve been here for close to 30 years, and even before that I was always around it because my mom was always in shows.”  It’s fair to say that at this point, Terry knows the ins and outs of children’s theatre.


In between yelling out direction and adjustment from the house toward the stage during a Monday night rehearsal and wondering aloud where one of the actors is, Terry tells me all the tasks on her plate to prepare for the show. “I help to pick the play, hire the director, costume and set designers, and choreographer,” Terry says. “We’ve already picked next year’s play.” (FYI: it’s Shrek Jr.!)


With 35 actors in the show (the majority of whom are Jewish or members of the JCC), this is no small production.  “The average production is at least $7,000.  When you add up the cost for the staff, the sets, the costumes, the royalties just to be able to perform the show, and the sound, it gets to be a lot.  Without generous donations, we’d lose a lot of money.  Most theatres don’t make a lot of money.”  The drama department has paid directors, choreographers, stage managers, and sound engineers for each show.


Most of Terry’s work is in the lead-up to the show:  coordinating all the moving pieces for the day of the production.  “On the day of the show, it’s mostly encouraging the kids, getting them in costumes, and keeping them calm because they’re either excited or nervous.  But if I’ve done my job correctly, everything is pretty much in place by the time I arrive that day.”


Why go through all the hassle just for a kid’s show?  “I love watching the end result.  This is what I’ve done my whole life, working with kids.  And the kids love it.  They sing the songs on the bus and in aftercare.  All the parents come to see the show.  It’s amazing to watch these kids.”


We are grateful for the funding provided by the Lois Lehrman Grass Foundation which enables us to provide theatre programming.

Your support allows us to continue serving you. There are countless ways you can help. Learn about them here.


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Brenner Family ELC students climb Masada as part of it's HUUUUGE Yom Ha'atzmaut Celebration. ELC curriculum instills Jewish pride and knowledge in all its students.

Kol Haneshama performed at this year's Israel at 70 Celebration. Harrisburg's only Jewish chorus performs at several events and locations throughout each year.

Girls on the Run participants ran in a 5K at Hershey this year. Girls on the Run teaches pre-teen girls lessons on self-respect and healthy lifestyles.

FIDF Impact Scholarship Recipient Daniel Sahalo speaks at the JCC.

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Selfie at Aqua Zumba, keeping our community's seniors active and energized!

Upcoming Community Events this Fall


Annual 5K Run/Walk - September 16th


Women's Philanthropy Event - October 18th
Speaker: Evan Benn of Indulge Magazine


Fall Community Relations Council Event - October 28th
Israel: Challenges & Triumphs in the 21st Century
with Ilan Troen


Sigd Celebration with Maly Gadai - November 7th (Updated)


Joint Cardozo - Maimonides Societies Event 
focusing on the Opioid Epidemic - November 15th

Super Sunday - January 27th

Art, socializing, and more at JCC Sip N' Paint Nights!

  • Brenner Family Early Learning Center educates more than 100 students each week, most of whom attend full-time.
  • ELC incorporates the Discover Catch program, which is all about teaching students a healthy lifestyle.  The program includes weekly swim and gym time, delicious and nutritious lunches, and time each week engaging in art or working in the JCC garden.
  • ELC has a 20/90 rule for outside play.  If the wind chill is above 20 and the heat index is below 90, students will be spending time outside that day.
  • Many lunch items are organic, grown right here at the JCC Garden.  Students get to take part in the development of their menu through their work and education in the garden.  ELC's menu includes no red meat, fried, or processed foods.
  • We teach our students moderation, too! The occasional cupcake for a birthday is OK with us!

40 Years Ago, Hebrew High was already producing young scholars and leaders in our community. Recognize anyone from the class of 1978?

  • Hebrew High was renamed "Sababa" in 2017.  "Sababa" is slang for 'cool' in Hebrew.
  • Sally Jo Bronner began as the new director of Sababa in 2017. In a 2017 Community Review article, Sally Jo said that she sees the program as a stepping stone to lifelong Jewish learning.  "The goal is to make it relevant.  We have to keep our kids Jewishly engaged, socially and educationally.  If we do that, they will want to attend."
  • Classes in the 2017-2018 school year included Jewish Soul Food, Jewish Photography, Reimagining Jewish Harrisburg, Israeli Cinema, and Being Jewish on a College Campus.

As we head into the final month of our 2017-2018 Campaign, several of our supporters just like you shared why the Federation is important to them. Click here to view our playlist of videos from community members.

Families come together at the JCC for the 
2018 Daddy-Daughter Dance

Thank You! Questions, comments, or concerns?
Please contact Oren Yagil at 717-236-9555 x3299.


Want to Learn Krav Maga? We are seeking participants for our upcoming Sunday classes at the JCC.  Contact Oren for more info.