Remembering Jess

By Scott Cohen JCC Executive Director 

On Saturday November 25 the JCC family lost one of its pillars with the tragic passing of Jessica “Jess” Ciola. The Facebook page tributes are never ending, yet it does not seem real. Each photo shows another smiling picture taken of Jess at some event or fun night out, the words expressing loss while the pictures show joy.

It makes sense that so many have a photo taken of Jess at some fun time in their lives — after all, Jess was a friend to so many in the community, a force of nature and a kind soul. She was small in stature, shorter than average for a woman but you would not describe her that way. She was a huge personality who attracted friends, clients and co-workers into her world and left them the better for it. She was a special person who had a gift for making others feel special, which is why so many have been deeply affected by her passing. 

Jess had been at the JCC for 13 years and over that time served in a number of capacities most recently as Personal Training Manager. Her skill, passion and knowledge led her clients on a voyage to better health. She could be tough when she needed to be. Many of her clients talked about how she would push them to achieve things they did not think possible, often because they did not want to disappoint her.

Jess left her fingerprints throughout the JCC Fitness Center — from the layout to the equipment chosen to the office that she shared right in the middle of all the action. It was easy to know when she was in the room; the big presence in a small package.

Jess was lead staff on the annual Murray Lender 5K 

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