Elliot Markman’s ties to the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven run deep. His father grew up at the JCC on Chapel Street and formed a close bond with Allan Greenberg, a relationship that Elliot has cherished throughout his life.
“I grew up playing basketball here,” Markman recalls. From attending summer camps at the age of four to working as a counselor in his early twenties, the JCC has been a constant in his life. “It’s kind of like a second home,” he says, emphasizing the lifelong friendships he's made there.
After graduating from college, Elliot found his way back to the JCC, drawn by the relationships he had built over the years. He speaks fondly of Nicolle DeMorro-Vigneron, JCC Assistant Director, with whom he’s shared a bond since he was 17.
“The people that I work with here are like real friends and family,” he says, noting their deep connection. “Jews don’t have godparents but Allan Greenberg is the closest thing I have to one,” he adds.
Now overseeing the Youth Basketball Program, Markman is eager to shape its future. He credits the program for his love of basketball and aims to preserve its essence while adapting to the evolving landscape of youth sports. He’s also keen on reviving traditions, like the jamboree at the end of every Biddy Basketball season, which his family used to sponsor in memory of his father.
Markman notes that the opportunity to make decisions is the most rewarding and challenging aspects of his new role. “It’s really nice to get my hands on being the person who's going to make the decisions,” he says. While this newfound responsibility can be daunting, he’s excited about the chance to make a lasting impact.
Elliot’s mission is to create lifelong memories for both children and adults. Whether it’s teaching swim lessons or introducing someone to basketball, he finds joy in imparting skills and passions that last a lifetime.
“It's my job to give them a reason to...go to my basketball league and have a great time,” Elliot says.
Reflecting on the JCC’s evolution, Markman is optimistic about its future. He praises the center’s commitment to member engagement and its ability to adapt and expand its offerings. “It is a community center,” he emphasizes, highlighting its role as more than just a gym or a pool. For Elliot, the JCC’s adaptability and commitment to the community are reasons he’s excited to be back.
In his closing remarks, Markman expresses his gratitude for the opportunity to share his journey and his hopes for the JCC. “Thank you, man. I’m excited,” he says with a smile.