The JCA J Institute is the place in Jacksonville for adults of all ages to learn, explore, socialize and grow.

J Institute provides the unique opportunity for members and the community to develop new skills, explore the world, improve personal wellness and socialize with others of varying interests. We offer an ever-changing array of innovative classes, programs and events to inspire and educate. With cultural arts offerings, enrichment opportunities, inspirational speakers and exceptional entertainment, there’s something for everyone.

J Institute guest speakers and panel discussions highlight issues of importance to the Jewish community and the community at large. Through insightful lectures, members and guests gain an understanding of challenges facing the world and possible solutions.

J Institute has an assortment of art classes to introduce JCA members and the community to modern and traditional art techniques, including oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink and pastel painting, beginner through advanced pottery, print making, drawing, flower arranging, candle making, photography and more. Other cultural arts programming, activities and special events include annual festivals, concerts, artist talks, film series, book clubs, author readings and other opportunities to explore your creativity, meet renowned artists and writers and share in a culture of artistry with others in the Jacksonville community.

J Institute brings physicians and other wellness professionals to the JCA for discussions on an array of health and wellness related topics. Sit and Get Fit weekday chair exercise classes keep our mature adult members fit and social. Other programs cover topics such as prostate cancer, gastrointestinal health, autoimmune disease, spinal health, stress and emotional health, cancer wellness and more.

J Institute is committed to bringing the Jacksonville community exceptional enrichment and cultural arts programming and has been recognized twice with Innovation Awards by the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America. See for yourself and experience the difference that the J Institute can make in your life!

The JCA offers year-round art classes and workshops that utilize an assortment of media and techniques. If you’re a new artist, experienced creative looking for community or just want to explore your creative side, cultural arts at the JCA offers a variety of classes throughout the year. All classes offered are for beginners and up.

Pottery: The JCA has a pottery studio and kiln onsite where you can learn clay forming basics or fine tune your handbuilding or wheel throwing skills. High-fire glazing techniques are also taught. Craftsmanship, creativity and an appreciation for the elements of well-made, functional pottery are emphasized. Clay is provided.

Oil Painting: Local artist instructors help you explore basic painting techniques while developing visual awareness and artistic self-expression. Principles in 2-D art, use of materials, painting techniques and color mixing are studied through a variety of subject matter.

Drawing: Learn to draw through inspiring exercises and a variety of drawing media and techniques with professional, experienced staff.

Pastel Painting: Local artist instructors teach the basics of painting with pastels as well as methods and techniques for working with the medium.

Chinese Ink Painting: This class introduces you to basic through advanced techniques of Chinese brush painting. Explore simple brush strokes and take inspiration from flowers, small animals and landscapes to create an evocative painting.

Art in the Afternoon: These monthly art workshops explore various forms of arts and crafts such as art journaling, Shibori tie dye, candle making, wreath making and button art.

The Berman Family JCA Concert Series for 2022

Berman Family Endows JCA Concert Series

Edith and Milton Berman were known for their love of classical music. As JCA charter members, the Bermans sponsored the JCA’s original concert series, which brings exceptional, but unknown, young artists from around the world to Jacksonville. The series was continued after Edith and Milton’s passing by their son, Charles, and his wife, Eleanor. Now, more than thirty years later, Edith and Milton’s granddaughter, JCA Board Chair Rochelle Stoddard, and her husband David, have endowed the series to ensure it will remain at the JCA in perpetuity. Now known as The Berman Family JCA Concert Series, the program has and will remain free and open to the entire community thanks to the generosity of the Berman Family.

For more information, contact Heather at heather.terrill@jcajax.org.

 

  Sun, Jan 16 | 3 pm | Zhu Wang, pianist

Zhu started learning piano at the age of five. He is a graduate of the Music Middle School Affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and of The Juilliard School. Zhu is currently pursuing his post-baccalaureate diploma at Curtis Institute of Music, under the tutelage of Robert McDonald. Praised for his “technical mastery and a deep sense of lyricism,” (The Durango Herald), pianist Zhu Wang was awarded First Prize in the 2020Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He is also the first prize winner of the 2nd Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians, 4th Manhattan International Music Competition, Hilton Head Young Artist Piano Competition, and the Juilliard Gina Bachauer International Scholarship Piano Competition, and was a recipient of the Juilliard Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. This season, Zhu will make his New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater.

 

 

 

  Sun, Feb 13 | 3 pm | Steven Banks, saxophonist

Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International), “deeply felt lyricism” and “expert shaping of a dramatic arc” (Cleveland Classical), Steven Banks is an ambassador for the classical saxophone. He is establishing himself as both a compelling and charismatic soloist, dedicated to showcasing the vast capabilities of the instrument, and an advocate for expanding its repertoire. Steven Banks is the first saxophonist to earn a place on the Young Concert Artists roster in its 60-year history, capturing First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Steven Banks has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Saxophone Performance with a minor in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a Master of Music degree from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music.

 

 

 

  Sun, Mar 20 | 3pm | Albert Cano Smit, pianist

Pianist Albert Cano Smit is already becoming an audience favorite for his performances as a soloist with orchestra and in recital. He recently performed the Brahms Concerto No. 2 with the Las Vegas Philharmonic conducted by Donato Cabrera, and he has also appeared with the San Diego Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony. Albert won First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Albert won First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He also won First Prize at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition, which presented him in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Most recently, Albert was awarded the 2020 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Prize from The Juilliard School.

Albert is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma with Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School.

JCA Cultural Arts Festival: Jewish Artists of Jacksonville
Oct 28 – Dec 1

As part of our Cultural Arts Festival this year, we are connecting local Jewish Artists in Jacksonville to feature their masterpieces in the Vandroff Gallery.

The JCA Sunday Film Series offers a fantastic collection of movies each season that are selected to reflect the range of human experience and for their cultural and entertainment value. All showings are free and open to the community.

In addition to the Sunday Film Series, other movie nights and film screenings are planned throughout the season. We hope you will join us to enjoy our latest showings!

Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival with literary, film and arts events. This includess films, theatrical performances, a book club, family events and it’s signature event, the Annual Jewish Book Festival, now in its 25th year.

All festival events are free and open to the entire community. For additional information about the festival, contact Rachel Sandler at (904) 730-2100 ext. 271 or rachel.sandler@jcajax.org or Heather Terrill at (904) 730-2100 ext. 265 or heather.terrill@jcajax.org.

To donate to cultural arts programming at the JCA, click here.

To view a list of JCA virtual programming, live videos and resources, please visit here.

Art Classes

The JCA offers year-round art classes and workshops that utilize an assortment of media and techniques. If you’re a new artist, experienced creative looking for community or just want to explore your creative side, cultural arts at the JCA offers a variety of classes throughout the year. All classes offered are for beginners and up.

Pottery: The JCA has a pottery studio and kiln onsite where you can learn clay forming basics or fine tune your handbuilding or wheel throwing skills. High-fire glazing techniques are also taught. Craftsmanship, creativity and an appreciation for the elements of well-made, functional pottery are emphasized. Clay is provided.

Oil Painting: Local artist instructors help you explore basic painting techniques while developing visual awareness and artistic self-expression. Principles in 2-D art, use of materials, painting techniques and color mixing are studied through a variety of subject matter.

Drawing: Learn to draw through inspiring exercises and a variety of drawing media and techniques with professional, experienced staff.

Pastel Painting: Local artist instructors teach the basics of painting with pastels as well as methods and techniques for working with the medium.

Chinese Ink Painting: This class introduces you to basic through advanced techniques of Chinese brush painting. Explore simple brush strokes and take inspiration from flowers, small animals and landscapes to create an evocative painting.

Art in the Afternoon: These monthly art workshops explore various forms of arts and crafts such as art journaling, Shibori tie dye, candle making, wreath making and button art.

The Berman Family JCA Concert Series

The Berman Family JCA Concert Series for 2022

Berman Family Endows JCA Concert Series

Edith and Milton Berman were known for their love of classical music. As JCA charter members, the Bermans sponsored the JCA’s original concert series, which brings exceptional, but unknown, young artists from around the world to Jacksonville. The series was continued after Edith and Milton’s passing by their son, Charles, and his wife, Eleanor. Now, more than thirty years later, Edith and Milton’s granddaughter, JCA Board Chair Rochelle Stoddard, and her husband David, have endowed the series to ensure it will remain at the JCA in perpetuity. Now known as The Berman Family JCA Concert Series, the program has and will remain free and open to the entire community thanks to the generosity of the Berman Family.

For more information, contact Heather at heather.terrill@jcajax.org.

 

  Sun, Jan 16 | 3 pm | Zhu Wang, pianist

Zhu started learning piano at the age of five. He is a graduate of the Music Middle School Affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and of The Juilliard School. Zhu is currently pursuing his post-baccalaureate diploma at Curtis Institute of Music, under the tutelage of Robert McDonald. Praised for his “technical mastery and a deep sense of lyricism,” (The Durango Herald), pianist Zhu Wang was awarded First Prize in the 2020Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He is also the first prize winner of the 2nd Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians, 4th Manhattan International Music Competition, Hilton Head Young Artist Piano Competition, and the Juilliard Gina Bachauer International Scholarship Piano Competition, and was a recipient of the Juilliard Mieczyslaw Munz Scholarship. This season, Zhu will make his New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater.

 

 

 

  Sun, Feb 13 | 3 pm | Steven Banks, saxophonist

Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International), “deeply felt lyricism” and “expert shaping of a dramatic arc” (Cleveland Classical), Steven Banks is an ambassador for the classical saxophone. He is establishing himself as both a compelling and charismatic soloist, dedicated to showcasing the vast capabilities of the instrument, and an advocate for expanding its repertoire. Steven Banks is the first saxophonist to earn a place on the Young Concert Artists roster in its 60-year history, capturing First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Steven Banks has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Saxophone Performance with a minor in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a Master of Music degree from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music.

 

 

 

  Sun, Mar 20 | 3pm | Albert Cano Smit, pianist

Pianist Albert Cano Smit is already becoming an audience favorite for his performances as a soloist with orchestra and in recital. He recently performed the Brahms Concerto No. 2 with the Las Vegas Philharmonic conducted by Donato Cabrera, and he has also appeared with the San Diego Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río, Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Nottingham Youth Orchestra, and American Youth Symphony. Albert won First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Albert won First Prize at the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He also won First Prize at the 2017 Walter W. Naumburg Piano Competition, which presented him in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Most recently, Albert was awarded the 2020 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Prize from The Juilliard School.

Albert is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma with Robert McDonald at The Juilliard School.

Vandroff Art Gallery

JCA Cultural Arts Festival: Jewish Artists of Jacksonville
Oct 28 – Dec 1

As part of our Cultural Arts Festival this year, we are connecting local Jewish Artists in Jacksonville to feature their masterpieces in the Vandroff Gallery.

Film Series

The JCA Sunday Film Series offers a fantastic collection of movies each season that are selected to reflect the range of human experience and for their cultural and entertainment value. All showings are free and open to the community.

In addition to the Sunday Film Series, other movie nights and film screenings are planned throughout the season. We hope you will join us to enjoy our latest showings!

Cultural Arts Festival

Each November, the JCA celebrates its annual Jewish Cultural Arts Festival with literary, film and arts events. This includess films, theatrical performances, a book club, family events and it’s signature event, the Annual Jewish Book Festival, now in its 25th year.

All festival events are free and open to the entire community. For additional information about the festival, contact Rachel Sandler at (904) 730-2100 ext. 271 or rachel.sandler@jcajax.org or Heather Terrill at (904) 730-2100 ext. 265 or heather.terrill@jcajax.org.

To donate to cultural arts programming at the JCA, click here.

Virtual Programming

To view a list of JCA virtual programming, live videos and resources, please visit here.