Barbara and Frank Alioto

Barbara and Frank have been charter members of the APJCC since the doors opened on the Levy Family Campus in 2005. Frank comes to work out at the APJCC two to three times a week after work. Barbara, who is retired, originally came to work out and for group fitness classes, but has since expanded her interests to include Art History classes, Opera San Jose Guild lectures and preview performances, and Mah Jongg. And, you can still find her in the fitness classes five to six times a week.

Barbara grew up in Wisconsin as a member of a Protestant church, but she now attends the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment on The Alameda, which is a spiritual center that focuses on the essential truth and harmony found in all religions. Barbara says, “My religious beliefs, as is the case for so many non-Jews, are based in Judaism.” Frank also does not identify himself as Jewish. He was raised a Catholic, grew up in Queens, New York, and says, “Being at the JCC is a comfortable feeling for me.”

Frank continues, “Seeing a child from the Preschool, the posters and flyers for Jewish events, and knowing the APJCC is guided by Jewish values all feels natural to me. APJCC is welcoming, family oriented, culturally diverse, has great fitness facilities and programs, and the best bagel in town. It’s a cosmopolitan place where everyone is accepted.”

Barbara and Frank have felt well connected with the Jewish community of Silicon Valley over their many years here. It was Susan and Stephen Brenner who first referred them to becoming charter members of APJCC in 2005. Barbara says, “There is a great mix of Jews and non-Jews in the fitness center, and in the many community programs I attend – except for Mah Jongg. Just about everyone who plays Mah Jongg is Jewish. I learned how to play at the JCC, and now I’m part of a weekly group that plays there.”