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ROCHESTER, NY –For more than two decades, the YMCA of Greater Rochester has been a part of the Lewis Street community, providing much-needed services to children and families. Now, as the needs are evolving, the Y is ready to meet them in new ways. In keeping with recommendations from the Task Force, the Y has made the bold move to purchase the Lewis Street building.

The YMCA Center for Equity at Lewis Street will now be known as The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center. This would not have been possible without a significant gift from longtime supporters Jurij and Marie Kushner.

“It’s always been a dream of the Y to have a permanent facility in this neighborhood; we are proud to help make that dream a reality,” said Jurij. “So much has evolved in Marketview Heights since we first became a part of the neighborhood. It’s time for the Y to evolve with them, working alongside neighbors to learn what services are needed.”

For the Kushners, the Y represents opportunity for everybody. Jurij has been a leader in the YMCA of Greater Rochester’s philanthropic efforts for more than three decades. He was Chairman of the YMCA of Greater Rochester’s Corporate Board of Directors when the YMCA opened a childcare center at Lewis Street in 2001. The Kushners’ latest generous gift affords the YMCA more than just being able to own the building. Over the next 10 years it will save the YMCA nearly one million dollars in rent, and includes an endowment to help support The YMCA at Lewis Street Neighborhood Center into the future.

“That’s a direct investment back into programmatic efforts that will impact the community right now,” said Dr. Daniele Lyman-Torres, Senior Vice President of Urban Services, YMCA of Greater Rochester. “We are committed to enhancing access to programs and services, developed directly from working with the community to learn what residents want and need, and this is one step we are taking to ensure that.”

To continue working with neighbors, the YMCA will be hosting a series of meetings at The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center. They will be:

  • 6 pm on Monday, February 28
  • 5:30 pm on Thursday, March 10
  • Noon on Friday, March 18

These meetings will serve as an avenue of open dialogue to ensure ongoing engagement with how the YMCA is able to best support the community’s needs.

“It’s all about increasing neighborhood access to essential programs,” said Jen Cathy, Chief Impact Officer, United Way of Greater Rochester and the Finger Lakes. “Everyone deserves to have a place they can count on for support when they need it. We’re proud to see our partners at the YMCA of Greater Rochester committed to making real change in this neighborhood.”

In addition to the Kushners and the United Way, generous support from the Riedman Foundation is helping ensure the future of The Lewis Street YMCA Neighborhood Center. The building was purchased from The Community Place of Greater Rochester, with whom the YMCA has had a strong partnership with for the more than two decades of leasing space.

“The YMCA has been providing programs from The Lewis Street Center building for 20 years, so this sale ensures the center remains a vibrant asset to the neighborhood,” said Scott Benjamin, Chief Executive Officer of The Community Place of Greater Rochester.  “Community Place looks forward to continued collaboration with the Y and neighborhood residents to provide the programs and services important to our community.”


Rochester Business Journal