E.B. resident will serve as president of area YM-YWHA

Staff Writer

By vincent todaro

E.B. resident will serve as
president of area YM-YWHA

FARRAH MAFFAI Steven PolinskyFARRAH MAFFAI Steven Polinsky

EAST BRUNSWICK — Not only will the township now be a home away from home for the YM-YWHA of Raritan Valley, one of its own residents will be serving as the group’s president.

Steven Polinsky, who is an East Brunswick-based attorney, was installed as the organization’s new president Jan. 6. His tenure coincides with a very important time for the volunteer group, which specializes in child care.

The YM-YWHA (Young Men’s-Young Women’s Hebrew Association) recently purchased the former East Brunswick Country Swim Club on Dutch Road. The organization will hold its summer camp program there, while continuing to operate it as a swim club. Polinsky said one of his goals as president will be to help the YM-YWHA expand those services and increase its popularity in the East Brunswick area, where there are many residents with young children.

Polinsky, 43, said the Highland Park-based organization is entering a "renaissance period," and its recent purchase of the former Country Swim Club is another big step for the group.

"Purchasing the Country Swim Club site allows us to expand our service to the southern part of the county," he said.

"We have a significant membership from East Brunswick using our child-care services. The fact we now will have an area more accessible to the southern part of the county will allow us to enhance our ability to provide these types of services," he said.

The Dutch Road facility will provide a summer camp for children in addition to swim memberships for people of all ages. The Y has rented the 10-acre facility during the past few seasons because it needed the additional room for its summer camp, which was previously held at the much smaller Highland Park facility.

Polinsky said that, as president, he also wants to see the Y improve its existing Highland Park facility, which has served as the group’s main base for years.

"We’re trying to give an awful lot of time to the physical plant on the Highland Park campus," he said.

The building there has two main areas — a mansion, which is about 100 years old, and a community center, which may be about 50 years old, he said.

"They’ve been very used over the past 20 years, so we need to improve them," he said. "We expect some sort of redevelopment of the Highland Park site, but we’re not entirely sure what form yet."

Because the building is so old, the improvements will have to be limited. The Y will try to "modernize" the area, he said.

The Highland Park facility has a full-sized gymnasium, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, multipurpose rooms and three state-of-the-art workout rooms, he said.

The Y has a membership of several thousand people, including families and singles, and provides services for children as young as 6 weeks old, he said.

Polinsky said he wants to see the Y continue with the progress, such as membership growth, that it has made in recent years. He said he views his presidency as a natural outgrowth of the work he’s done since he began volunteering for the organization.

He served as treasurer in 1999 and as a vice president in 2000. In 2001, he was first vice president, a position that traditionally advances to the presidency. In his new role, Polinsky is following the three-year tenure of Martin Friedman.

"I got a call from them asking if I or my wife wanted to join. My family has always been involved in a number of community organizations like this, so this wasn’t anything new to me," he said.

Polinsky lives in East Brunswick with his wife, Eveline, and daughters, Naomi, 8, and Jamie, 6 — both of whom attended the Y’s preschool-kindergarten program and are now enrolled in the summer camp.

"If you have a kid in there and are asked to take responsibility; if you have time, it is hard to say no," he said.