They serve thousands of people every day across two different areas of Queens, and now they’re joining forces to make their programs even better.
Little Neck’s Samuel Field Y and Forest Hills’ Central Queens Y will merge together over the next several months, it was announced on Friday morning. It marks the next logical step for the two centers which have been jointly managed for some time, according to Samuel Field Y President Lawrence Gottlieb and Executive Vice President and CEO Jeri Mendelsohn.
“Throughout these past several years, it has grown increasingly clear that a formal merger of the agencies — with our closely aligned missions — can enable us to pool our talents and resources,” Gottlieb and Mendelsohn wrote in a joint email that QNS received. “With greater scale, the merged agency can advocate for community needs and harness philanthropic resources more effectively and, thus, have a greater impact on the communities we serve.”
Based at 58-20 Little Neck Pkwy., the Samuel Field Y serves more than 35,000 people in northeast Queens through community programs out of 36 different sites. Services include educational and recreational activities, sports programs, camping, mental health initiatives and programs for individuals with special needs. It also operates the Tanenbaum Pool (formerly the Deepdale Community Pool) which opened last year.
The Central Queens Y, located at 67-09 108th St., offers more of the same and has a nursery school for more than 300 children, day camps, teen leadership programs, adult education, cultural arts programs, a senior center and emergency food assistance. The 108th Street campus also boasts a full-sized pool and gym open to members.
Both the Samuel Field and Central Queens Y’s also offer various Jewish cultural, educational and religious programs.
The state must review and approve the merger agreement, a process that is expected to be completed over the next several months, according to Gottlieb and Mendelsohn. Both the Samuel Field Y and Central Queens Y are working with a planning consultant to facilitate all preparations for the organizations’ merger. Staff members at both Y’s will also be actively involved in the merger process.
“The staff and board of both agencies will be working diligently on the process over the next eight months and there will be opportunity for community input,” Gottlieb and Mendelsohn wrote.